Health Sciences Common Book

2020-2021 Common Book

how-to-be-an-anti-racist cover art

How to Be an Antiracist 
by Ibram X. Kendi 

Each year, the UW Health Sciences schools select a Common Book that serves as a platform for students from across health professions to engage with one another in substantive, inter-professional dialogue about pressing topics related to health equity and social justice. We're pleased to announce this year’s Common Book is How to Be an Antiracist, a No. 1 New York Times bestseller by American author and historian Ibram X. Kendi.

Kendi is a leading scholar of race and discriminatory policy in America. He is the founding director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University. In July, he joined Boston University as a professor of history and founding director of its Center for Antiracist Research. He will also the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for the Advanced Study at Harvard University.

In his memoir, Kendi weaves together a combination of ethics, history, law and science to reshape the conversation about racial justice in America. He helps us rethink our most deeply held, if implicit, beliefs and challenges us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.

We hope that this book will help further conversations about equity, diversity and inclusion within the School of Public Health and the UW Health Sciences communities. We also hope that it will offer students, faculty and staff an additional tool to expand their knowledge of the history of race and racism in the U.S. and to take steps to uproot racism in society, in our institution and in themselves.

You can purchase a print copy of the book, Audiobook or E-book online or from your favorite bookstore. We encourage you to purchase a copy from a Black-owned bookstore, including our local Black-owned Estelita's Library. The UW Library has limited e-copies due to copyright restrictions and the Health Sciences Service Learning and Advocacy Workgroup is working to address the issue. Students who have financial hardship, please contact Rachel Lazzar (

  • Author: Ibram X. Kendi 
  • Publisher:  Penguin Random House
  • ISBN - 9780525509288
  • Publication Date: 2019

Book Club for Health Sciences Students

These discussion will take place on Thursdays, 12-1pm Pacific, via Zoom, for the next few weeks, and will provide an opportunity for students to gain deeper understanding of Dr. Kendi’s work. Book club discussion groups will take place in race-based caucuses, which provide separate spaces for people of color and white people to consider race-related issues. Book club dates for Fall 2020: October 15, October 29, November 19, December 10. Stay tuned here for updates.