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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Azevedo

CSU Stanislaus’ Book Clubs: Where Literature Meets Social Justice

Do you appreciate reading thought-provoking novels that advocate for social change? If you’re an avid reader who enjoys learning about the experiences of others, pondering contemporary social issues, and exploring ways of improving society, joining one of CSU Stanislaus’ book clubs might be great for you!


Students on Stanislaus State’s campus gather to read and discuss enlightening novels that touch upon important themes relevant to our society, including but not limited to equality, decolonization, non-discrimination, and professional development. The Social Justice Book Club and Undocu Book Club, in particular, delve deeply into these topics by allowing individuals to discuss their personal experiences in conjunction with the novels they read together.


The Social Justice Book Club, a collaboration with Associate Professor Dr. Dana Nakano, the University Library, the Warrior Cross Cultural Center (WCCC), and the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), is an inclusive space for individuals desiring to explore culturally diverse literary works that positively impact society and spark educated conversations about it.


According to its website, the Social Justice Book Club aims “to build community by reading a variety of literary genres...that reflect social justice, racism, decolonization, identity, and personal narratives that relate to marginalized communities.” Members intentionally select literature including these themes with the hope that they will encourage acceptance, healing, and social justice—all of which our society desperately needs.


The Social Justice Book Club will read Tommy Orange’s There There and James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room this fall. Masterfully written and richly complex, both novels inspire thoughtful reflection on their respective themes, making them sure to impress. Discussions about There There will occur on the following days and times:

  • Thursday, September 28, 2023, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

  • Thursday, October 12, 2023, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

  • Thursday, October 26, 2023, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

  • Thursday, November 9, 2023, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Members will gather on Thursday, October 19, 2023, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to discuss Giovanni’s Room. Meetings are both virtual and in-person. To attend in-person gatherings, go to room L 203 on the second floor of the University Library. The URL for virtual meetings is https://csustan.zoom.us/J/84304078719, and the meeting ID is 843 0407 8719.


The Social Justice Book Club’s registration deadline has passed, but if you’re interested in joining, promptly email the WCCC at wccc@csustan.edu. Also, be sure to follow it on Instagram to receive updates!


In addition to the Social Justice Book Club, the Undocu Book Club is another excellent choice if you’re considering joining an on-campus book club. Affiliated with the Undocumented Student Services, it invites individuals to read and discuss poignant literary works featuring themes of immigration, empowerment, and personal and professional growth. The Undocu Book Club strives to “expand our community’s personal literature experience” and hopes to foster acceptance and make literature accessible to the community, according to its website.


This fall, members of the Undocu Book Club are reading Sally Hayden’s novel My Fourth Time, We Drowned, which boldly confronts the corruption surrounding humanitarian agencies and chronicles the experiences of refugees through investigative journalism. Gatherings are usually bimonthly and occur on:

  • Wednesday, October 4, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Wednesday, October 18, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Wednesday, November 1, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Wednesday, November 15, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Wednesday, November 29, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Undocu Book Club holds in-person meetings in room L 201 on the second floor of the University Library.


Registration is officially closed for this semester, but you can still join the Undocu Book Club by emailing dreamers@csustan.edu or calling 209-667-3711. To receive updates about it, don’t forget to follow the Undocumented Student Services on Instagram!


If you care about social change and enjoy discussing thought-provoking novels, joining one of CSU Stanislaus’ book clubs can be a great way to connect with like-minded individuals and expand your literary horizons. The Social Justice Book Club and Undocu Book Club provide safe and inclusive spaces for individuals to explore diverse literary works featuring powerful social themes. By reading and discussing these novels together, members can gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of others and work towards creating a more just and equitable world.



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