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Academic and Student Services

Participate in Common Read

There are many ways to get involved with the MCW Common Read Program.

Stay Connected!
We are always looking for opportunities to engage with our readers. Follow @MCWREADS on Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates, giveaways, and opportunities to participate in ongoing virtual discussions. You can also subscribe to our mailing list below so that you never miss a beat!

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How to Get a Copy of This Year's Common Read

There are many ways to access a copy of this year’s MCW Common Read.
MCW Library

MCW Library

  • Ten print copies are available at the Todd Wehr Library, and you can check them out for up to 4 weeks. See the library catalog record for the loan status of each copy. If all copies are checked out, we can help you reserve a copy of the book. If you haven’t checked out items from the MCW Libraries, it only takes a few minutes to set up your library account; just remember to bring your MCW, Children's, or Froedtert ID badge.
  • Also check out How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi


First-year Medical, Graduate and Pharmacy students should have received a free copy of the Common Read, donated by the Dean, School of Medicine’s Office. Didn’t receive your copy? Email us

All other students should check out the MCW Community tab to learn more about how to get a copy of their own!

MCW Community

MCW Community

Copies are available to MCW students, faculty, staff, and community members through the following venues:


Book Discussion Toolkit

Program Goals

Program Goals

The MCW Common Read shared reading experience is designed to:

  • Engage the campus community and beyond in an academically focused reading experience
  • Generate robust discussions and exchanges of diverse ideas
  • Promote connections among members of the campus community and beyond
  • Provide a common starting point for building relationships
  • Equip readers with the skills necessary to approach the world with cultural humility and curiosity

Goals adapted with permission from UW Madison’s Go Big Read Program

Book Discussion Guidelines for Facilitators

Book Discussion Guidelines for Facilitators


  1. Select a theme for your book discussion. For example:
    - A chapter to focus on
    - A topic carried throughout the book
  2. Email to request a room be reserved, please include:
    Your name and role
    Desired theme or focus
    Number of expected attendees(15-20 people is optimal for a book discussion)

Set the Stage

  • Be prepared with an icebreaker. A lighthearted question will do! For example:
    - Where would you take the author in Milwaukee?
    - What did you find most compelling about the book?
  • Begin by asking the participants to introduce themselves (name and current occupation)
  • Next, mention some goals of the MCW Common Read Program:
    - To unite students, residents, faculty, staff, and community members alike in thought-provoking discussions about timely topics
    - To provide a foundation for conversations around change, compassion, caring, and character
    - To create a safe space for idea-sharing and problem-solving

Optional Ideas for Facilitators

  • Ask participants to say what they liked about the book. Beginning with negatives might stifle some people who liked the same things that others did not. Ensure that everyone
    gets a chance to speak, perhaps go in a circle around the room.
  • Introduce some quotes from a book review that was negative to stimulate discussion.
  • Ask for thoughts about this negative review.
  • Feel free to use some of the discussion questions from the author’s website linked to on this site
    - You may want to generate discussion questions that apply to your specific theme or desired audience
  • “Let’s return to the book” can be a good way to get back on track if the conversation derails

Wrap Up
Choose a way to end the discussion. If you’ve set a stopping time and it’s getting close, you may mention there are only XX number of minutes left and find out if anyone has any burning issues that weren’t yet addressed. If the conversation has lulled, or it seems like most people are “done” with the exception of a few, you can help end the official discussion by thanking everyone for coming and hanging around to finish up with those who still have comments.

If you are an expert on your theme, feel free to share your opinion about certain discussion topics, however if you are not, do not let your own opinions influence how you handle the discussion. If something is said that seems untrue or upsetting, you can ask the group, “What do others think about that?” Be comfortable with the fact that some participants will speak more than others and others will not speak at all. Some mostly listen, and that is OK!! Don’t worry if there is silence: a silence of 3 or 4 seconds may feel like a long time, but the break may elicit thoughtful comments.

View the PDF
Book Discussion Guidelines for Participants

Book Discussion Guidelines for Participants


  1. Select one or more of the offered book discussions that interests you to attend
  2. Bring a copy of the book, if possible, to reference during the discussion


  • Begin with positive comments. What you liked about the book and why.
  • Avoid recapping or summarizing the book, assume everyone has read it.
  • The discussion should focus around the theme selected by the facilitator. You may share your personal experiences as they relate to the book, but be brief.
  • Not everyone will agree with your ideas. Disagreements should be discussed respectfully. Keep an open mind and listen carefully to other opinions.
  • Respond to comments of others instead of waiting to only share your own
  • Discuss aspects of the book that didn’t appeal to you or you found difficult to accept, express these as questions, rather than statements
  • Talk with discussion partners, not just the facilitator
  • Most importantly, enjoy!

Remember: Always assume good intent.

View the PDF
Discussion Guide for Know My Name

Discussion Guide for Know My Name

This discussion guide is forthcoming. Check back soon for an updated resource!