September 24th, 2009
On September 23, 2009, all incoming freshman and transfer students at UCLA were engaged in book discussion groups centered around Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains. The book, designated UCLA’s common book for 2009-2010, follows the work of Dr. Paul Farmer, who has dedicated his life to addressing HIV and Tuberculosis in Haiti and throughout the world.
Through the recently launched UCLA Global Citizenship Initiative 5,000 first-year and transfer students were given Mountain Beyond Mountains during their Orientation sessions.
On September 22nd, students participated in Volunteer Day, a large community engagement project organized by the UCLA Volunteer Center at sites throughout Los Angeles.
The next night on September 23rd, as the culmination of True Bruin Welcome Week, students participated in facilitated discussions based on the summer reading and led by members of the Residential Life staff and the Faculty-in-Residence Program. Each book group featured a UCLA student or wider community member, known as a Global Citizenship Ambassador, who spoke about his or her own commitment to global citizenship and service.
Based on dialogue in community discussions, students were encouraged to seek out opportunities to further their experiences, interactions, and connections to the themes of the Initiative. This has been facilitated through community programs, student projects, and personal action plans.
The initiative was undertaken as a joint effort of the UCLA Volunteer Center, the UCLA Office of Residential Life, and the Art | Global Health Center at UCLA.