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Self-portrait by Sarah for the Human Library at UC Davis

Human Library at UC Davis: May 24 — Ask. Listen. Connect.

Join us for the Human Library at UC Davis — an unforgettable event during which six human “Books” will share their stories of being homeless, surviving sexual trauma and depression, finding happiness and success despite discrimination or disability, and dealing with a loved one’s addiction. Through one-on-one conversations, attendees are invited to learn more about topics and life experiences that may be a world away from their own through the voices of others right here in our own community.

Thursday, May 24
4:30-8:00pm (come for as much or as little time as you are able)
Shields Library, First Floor
Register at

The Human Library is an international movement for social change that aims to “to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue.” The UC Davis Library is bringing this program to campus with the support of a UC Davis Diversity and Inclusion Innovation Grant.

Attendees are encouraged to come with thoughtful questions, a curious mind and an open heart. While all of our Books will be participating from 4:30-8:00pm, attendees may come for all or part of the event. (Please note that since the event is structured to allow for one-on-one conversations, we cannot guarantee the availability of any particular book at a specific time.)

Sarah (sketch)

Sarah: I Wear Many Faces
As a child Sarah experienced sexual trauma and as an adult she’s struggled with infertility, chronic illness and mental health issues including PTSD and clinical depression. As she reveals her different “faces” — mother, sexual-abuse survivor, student, patient and wife — she hopes others will learn and grow as she has.





Unraveling Student Homelessness
When Stephanie finally revealed to her family that she had been homeless in 2013, her family criticized her for not seeking their help. “People don’t realize,” she said, “how easy it is to fall into a situation that leads to homelessness.” Today, Stephanie is graduating with a departmental citation and applying to law school.





Tekla at the piano

Tales of a Disabled Musicologist: Navigating Academia with Multiple Sclerosis
Tekla was finishing her dissertation and had her sights set on getting a job in academia. Then she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. “I’ve had to redefine success and how to have a fulfilling life,” she said. “I think that would be meaningful to share with others.”





It’s the Silence that Scares Me
As the mother of a recovering heroin addict, Trina has lived the stark reality of how addiction affects the whole family and how silence feeds the stigma of this disease. In her words, when you have a loved one who is an addict, “there is no easy fix, no solution, no happy or sad ending — there is just ambiguity. It is a lifelong journey.”



Vickie: African-American Women’s Experiences in Leadership
In graduate school while pursuing her master’s degree, Vickie was the only black person in one of her classes — and the only person in this particular class not selected the first time her classmates split up to work on a group project. After she received one of the few A’s on an exam, her classmates’ attitude seemed to change. She says she “can only assume they thought I was not qualified to be in a graduate program.” Episodes like this one have stayed with Vickie as she has built a successful career in campus administration, and helped make her into the successful leader she is today.

To learn more, or to apply to be a Book at a future event, visit

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