One Read Program

Being Heumman book coverBeing Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist

by Judith Heumann with Kristen Joiner

Why do we choose a book and read it together as a Law School community? What are we trying to accomplish?

We began this practice in 2015 – the year after Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Missouri. Everywhere on campus, we were having difficult conversations and struggling to hear each other and to be heard in return. In the practice of law, it is important for attorneys to be exposed to and aware of aspects of the world beyond their own daily experiences. To facilitate this understanding, and to strengthen our community at Hulston Hall, Mizzou Law started a One Read program. Law students, staff, and faculty are invited to read a particular book that relates to law, the legal profession, or legal education, and touches on important issues of the moment. We believe that a One Read program strengthens our community within Hulston Hall by providing a focus for conversations and events within the law school exploring the issues of race and the experience of “otherness.”

Over the past few years, our One Read program has led us to read books that consider otherness from different vantage points. Our inaugural One Read opened our eyes the justice offered to the marginalized and impoverished in Just Mercy, by attorney Bryan Stevenson. Since then, we’ve considered the Japanese American internment experience in the United States during World War II, the effects of the “War on Drugs” and the resulting mass incarceration, and health care, power, and self-determination. In 2019, we read Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance’s compassionate yet provocative account of poverty in Appalachia and his tumultuous childhood. Last year, we explored how to have hard conversations about race by reading Ijeoma Oluo’s best-seller, So You Want to Talk about Race.

This year, we have chosen Being Heumann as the 2021-22 One Read title because it gives a first-hand account of the feeling of invisibility marginalized people experience. Judy Heumann’s memoir of her activism to help advocate for equal rights for disabled people is an invigorating read and one that provides a road map for attorneys who want to make a difference.

Access the Book

There are several ways you can access the book:

Get Caught Up

Check out past Mizzou Law One Read books and find all the books nominated to be the One Read for more excellent reading suggestions.