TCC Public Good Reads Reveals Common Book and $10K Grant to Support Program

Tulsa Community College announces the next book in its common book program, Public Good Reads.

The College is adopting “Braiding Sweetgrass,” by Robin Wall Kimmerer, for the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 academic years. In addition, TCC received a $10,000 grant from the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries, an initiative of the American Library Association made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

“The common book program creates a shared learning experience for our students and has shown to be an important tool to increase a student’s success in completing their educational goals,” said Dr. Angela Sivadon, senior vice president and chief academic officer.

As part of Public Goods Reads, an estimated 2,000 TCC students will read “Braiding Sweetgrass” as part of their course work during each academic year. The $10,000 grant from ALA will purchase printed and digital copies of the book for the TCC Library as well as support public events with the book’s author and exhibit.

Public Good Reads is designed to spark conversations from diverse points of view to help promote a deeper understanding of the human experience while also building empathy and enhancing personal growth.

The common book program is embedded into the College Success course curriculum for all first-time entering students and across other disciplines, including child development, English, Honors, history, human services, humanities, philosophy, and psychology, reading, and sociology classes.

“Braiding Sweetgrass,” a non-fiction book, explores the connection between living things and human efforts to cultivate a more sustainable world through the lens of indigenous traditions. The author, Robin Wall Kimmerer, is a botanist and a member of the Potawatomi Nation who reflects on how modern botany can be explained through these cultures.

TCC faculty, staff and students had an active role in determining the Native Voices theme and final selection for the common book. Led by Dr. Natalie Schuster and Amy Lagers, the common book committee evaluated nominated books and narrowed down the finalists.

“Students were encouraged to be involved in the selection process, along with faculty and staff,” says Lagers. “They had the opportunity to suggest books and vote for both the theme and the final choice, providing input along the way.”

Public Good Reads, which expands learning and dialogue beyond the classroom, launched in Fall 2019 with assistance from a National Endowment for the Humanities grant and significant financial support from the Tulsa Community College Foundation for 2020 and 2021. The grant from the ALA American Rescue Plan will support the next two academic years. Previous common book selections focused on veterans and the Tulsa Race Massacre and have included student-focused events with each author.

Visit to learn more about Public Good Reads and events planned related to the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 book selection.