Common Text Resources

Common Text 2019 and 2020 Additional Resources

The resources on this page were originally gathered to further the conversation around 2019's Common Text, So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. They remain relevant and helpful for our conversations about 2020's Common Texts.

Continuing the Conversation: June 2020

As the academic year comes to a close at Seattle University, we are seeing protests against racial injustice across America in response to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. We stand with Seattle University president, Fr. Stephen Sundborg, and Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Natasha Martin in condemnation of these acts and in calling for continued work to end systemic injustice. Their letter to the campus community can be viewed here.

One of the goals of the Common Text program is to invite students into a conversation, one that will continue throughout the year, and beyond. While the 2019-2020 school year ends, we encourage our students and our community to remain in dialogue with the themes of this year’s text, So You Want To Talk About Race. Below are some resources for continued learning and engagement.


Summer 2019 Resources

Check out these additional resources regarding Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race and issues of racism, oppression and marginalization. Here you will find more by Oluo, as well as resources for some in-depth exploration of Redlining - one of the subtle but impactful ways that institutionalized racism has impacted our communities, including right in SU’s neighborhood.

Reading the book is a great way to get started, but at SU we also try to always dig deeper. These resources will help you get started. Keep checking this page as we add more sources. 

Additional Author Resources

As you read So You Want to Talk About Race this summer, if you are interested in digging a little deeper and getting to know more about the author, here are some additional resources to check out: 

Talks at Google Video:



During the Great Depression of the 1930s, many U.S. residents could not afford access to a home. To spur home ownership, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration, under the New Deal, started the Federal Housing Administration to support homeowners with federally backed mortgages. 

However, banks that gave out mortgage did so along racial lines. In more than 200 U.S. cities, bank drew race-based maps to determine loans: white neighborhoods were marked in green or blue as "desirable," where nonwhite areas were marked in yellow or red for "hazardous." White residents received mortgages with the best interest rates, where black residents, and/or those who lived in non-white areas, were denied loans or given the worst rates. This became the process of redlining, which denied loans to and divested from black areas, while guaranteeing loans to and investing in white areas across the United States.  Redlining, the federally backed loan process, created the racially segregated cities that exist today.

Here are some resources on redlining:

  • The Disturbing History of the Suburbs, Adam Ruins Everything
    (6 minute video):