Skip to main content

A Little "Knight-Time" Reading

Each year, faculty and staff come together to choose a book that will introduce students to the rigorous and interconnected academic environment at SUNY Geneseo. Students from Tesla House, Dante House, and the Access Opportunity Program participate in the read and a discussion led by faculty and staff on the Sunday before classes start. Lectures, events, and classes throughout the fall semester are linked to this book to demonstrate the integrated nature of learning. 

The first event is a book discussion on the Sunday of move-in weekend from 10 am - 11 am in the College Union Ballroom.  Join faculty, staff, and students from across campus to chat about the book!

Each year, we offer an online, 1-credit course based on based the common summer read book (CMRD 101). This course is open to all students as well as students who are a part of the summer discussion so all can participate in this integrated and reflective learning opportunity.

 brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Wilson - book cover

Book for the 2019-2020 cohort: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Jacqueline Woodson is the 2014 National Book Award Winner for Young People’s Literature for her New York Times bestselling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, which was also a recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor Award, the NAACP Image Award, and the Sibert Honor Award. She is the author of more than two dozen award-winning books for young adults, middle graders, and children; among her many accolades, she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a three-time National Book Award Finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

The 2018 book was We Rise: the Earth Guardians Guide to Building a Movement that Restores the Planet by Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a 17-year old indigenous environmental activist and hip hop artist. Xiuhtezcatl came to campus in October 2018 as the President's Sustainability Lecturer. For more information, visit Xiuhtezcatl's website.

Beginning with the empowering story of the Earth Guardians and how Xiuhtezcatl has become the voice of a generation, We Rise explores all aspects of effective activism and provides step-by-step information on how to start or join a solution-oriented movement.  If you are interested in creating real and radical change, We Rise will give you the inspiration and information you need to make the world a better place and leave you asking: If I don't step up, who will?  

For any questions or concerns, contact the Department of Student Life ( or 585-245-5851) or the Assistant Director for Educational Initiatives, Meg Reitz, PhD ( or 585-245-6363)