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Books That Matter: Introduction

An anti-racist social justice bookshelf that highlights specific books as a way to increase visibility and include everyone!

Student Testimonials

"I think it’s important to diversify our learning and be aware of social injustices all around the world."


"It shows that inclusivity can be done in a non-verbal way and including a bookshelf in a place that is seen by students daily, it may interest a lot more to read or look into the topics on display which overall increases awareness of those topics."

"If more students are exposed to multicultural education, cultural differences, and anti-racist literature, more people will be informed about the experiences of non-white people. This increased understanding of BIPOC communities can lead to a decrease in racist behaviors and beliefs and overall better treatment for people in historically oppressed communities."

Implicit Bias

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines implicit bias as a way in which "people can act on the basis of prejudice and stereotypes without intending to do so" (2015).

Their website includes information about implicit biases and the history behind them.

Harvard hosts Project Implicit, which is a resource for testing your implicit biases. 

Try this test of your implicit biases

Books That Matter

In Fall 2021, the University Library's Student Learning & Engagement Department worked to create an anti-racist social justice bookshelf to be put on the 2nd floor of the main library. In Spring 2022, this bookshelf was implemented!

This is a working bookshelf that students can browse in person at the library as well as check out any of the titles for outside use. Books on the shelf cover many different identities, histories, and genres ranging from autobiographies to comic books.

This bookshelf is meant to include many types of stories, histories, and identities. It is a positive reinforcement not only for the University Libraries but for the entire University of Arizona campus culture.

Pictures of the Shelf

Book Recommendation

Recommender: Sarah Wallace (PIC Student with the UA Library)

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Davis 

Freedom is a Constant Struggle is the topic of Women’s HER-story book club at the Women and Gender Resource Center, stop by and pick up a copy! 

Meeting times: 4th floor of the Student Union- Women and Gender Resource Center 

                        3/28, 5-6pm  

Freedom is a Constant Struggle is composed of interview excerpts and political speeches from 2013 and 2015 through which Davis discusses significant historical and political struggles worldwide. The book is both a challenge and call to action for “activists to identify the interconnections between variously situated struggles against structural violence rooted in white supremacy, patriarchy, state power, capitalist markets, and imperialism, in order to build coordinated struggles towards social change” (Carlton, 2017). The conversation in this book covers the “struggle for liberation and freedom from state violence in Gaza, Palestine; the abolition of slavery; the proliferation of racialized criminalization and punishment through policing and mass imprisonment” (Carlton, 2017). This book urges readers to confront personal bias, expand the very definition and regulation of social change, and inspires the collective movement of liberation. Davis remains a foundational and influential force in anti-imperialist and anti-racist movements and for penal abolitionism both in the United States and globally; here Davis gives voice to struggle and shouts for change. 


Carlton, B. (2017), Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine and the Foundations of a Movement Angela Y. Davis, edited by F. Barat. Chicago, IL.: Haymarket Books (2016). The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 56: 133-134.