Division of Finance Book Club

book club picture

Mission Statement


The Division of Finance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Book Club connects readers with selections that raise awareness and appreciation of diverse cultures, ideas, and beliefs. Our goal as a club is to build community with our peers, to provide a safe space to discuss diversity issues, and to develop a culture of inclusivity within all levels of the division.

Discussions are focused on personal anecdotes, lived experiences, and themes brought to light by the authors. We try to offer a variety of literature types while honoring various cultural events throughout the year. We hope that as we continue reading selections, participants will have a greater sense of how to address current issues within their community.

Meetings are held roughly every 6 weeks. Upcoming selections, their descriptions, and information about the authors can be found below. There is no requirement to attend every meeting or to have finished the book before attending. Please join us as we continue to grow and learn together!

Upcoming Event

February 8th, 2024
3:00 pm

In honor of Black History Month, we will be joining an event hosted by the University of Chicago, F&A and Friends Book Meet.  The F&A and Friends book club participates in discussions centered around inclusion, cultural competency and communication.

Heavy: An American Memoir

by: Kiese Laymon

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon is eloquently and honestly written about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to his trek to New York as a young college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, Laymon asks himself, his mother, his nation, and us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.

Register for the event

Previous Events


October 17 2023
12:00 pm  – 1:00 pm

Fun Home

by: Allison Bechdel

“Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the “Fun Home.” It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.”

Register for the event



July 19th 2023
12:00 pm  – 1:00 pm

The Color of Hope

by: Vanessa Hazzard

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. This was started by Bebe Moore Campbell on June 2, 2008. Campbell struggled to support her daughter who battled with mental illness and a system that prevented her daughter from getting help and support. In honor of Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, we have chosen The Color of Hope as our July reading.

The Color of Hope: People of Color Mental Health Narratives is a project that sheds light on mental health in communities of color by sharing stories by those affected by mental illness. By sharing our stories, we open up discussion around the topic and break through stigma and shame.

July book club meeting will be our first IN-PERSON meeting!! There will be a virtual component in case you are not on campus. There will be some food items so please email Sherell Rutland at srutland@upenn.edu if you plan to attend and have any food allergies or restrictions.


July-August 2022 – Meeting to be held September 28, 12:00pm – 1:00pm


Will Smith

A memoir honoring one of Philly’s own rags to riches stories.


About the work:

One of the most dynamic and globally recognized entertainment forces of our time opens up fully about his life, in a brave and inspiring book that traces his learning curve to a place where outer success, inner happiness, and human connection are aligned.

This memoir is the product of a profound journey of self-knowledge, a reckoning with all that your will can get you and all that it can leave behind. Written with the help of Mark Manson, author of the multi-million-copy bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Will is the story of how one person mastered his own emotions, written in a way that can help everyone else do the same. Few of us will know the pressure of performing on the world’s biggest stages for the highest of stakes, but we can all understand that the fuel that works for one stage of our journey might have to be changed if we want to make it all the way home. The combination of genuine wisdom of universal value and a life story that is preposterously entertaining, even astonishing, puts Will the book, like its author, in a category by itself.

About the author:

Will Smith is an actor, producer and musician, two-time Academy Award nominee, Grammy Award and NAACP award winner who has enjoyed a diverse career encompassing films, television and multi-platinum records.

September – October 2022 – Meeting to be held October 26, 12:00pm-1:00pm

Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America

Maria Hinojosa

A memoir honoring Hispanic Heritage Month.


About the work:

In Once I Was You, Maria shares her intimate experience growing up Mexican American on the south side of Chicago and documenting the existential wasteland of immigration detention camps for news outlets that often challenged her work. In these pages, she offers a personal and eye-opening account of how the rhetoric around immigration has not only long informed American attitudes toward outsiders, but also enabled willful negligence and profiteering at the expense of our country’s most vulnerable populations—charging us with the broken system we have today.

About the author:

Maria Hinojosa is an award-winning journalist who has collaborated with the most respected networks and is known for bringing humanity to her reporting. For thirty years, Maria Hinojosa has reported on stories and communities in America that often go ignored by the mainstream media. Bestselling author Julia Alvarez has called her “one of the most important, respected, and beloved cultural leaders in the Latinx community.”


October – November 2022 – Meeting to be held November 30, 12:00pm-1:00pm

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (REVISIONING HISTORY)

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

A revisionist historical non-fiction honoring Indigenous People’s Month.


About the work:

The first history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous peoples. Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire.

Spanning more than four hundred years, this classic bottom-up peoples’ history radically reframes US history and explodes the silences that have haunted our national narrative.

About the author:

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, the daughter of a tenant farmer and part-Indian mother. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than four decades and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. After receiving her PhD in history at the University of California at Los Angeles, she taught in the newly established Native American Studies Program at California State University, Hayward, and helped found the Departments of Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies. Her 1977 book The Great Sioux Nation was the fundamental document at the first international conference on Indigenous peoples of the Americas, held at the United Nations’ headquarters in Geneva. Dunbar-Ortiz is the author or editor of seven other books, including Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico. She lives in San Francisco.