The Human Library at UC Davis

The Human Library at UC Davis is designed to create a positive platform where people of different backgrounds can come together to ask questions, share stories about diverse life experiences, and have one-on-one conversations that challenge stereotypes, prejudices and preconceived ideas.

Modeled after an international movement for social change called the Human Library, the Human Library at UC Davis is an event where people are the “Books” and they offer their stories to “Readers” through 20-minute conversations. It is a forum where interesting, thought-provoking and difficult questions are expected, appreciated and discussed.

Questions? Contact us.

Due to the limitations on in-person events during COVID-19, the Human Library at UC Davis program is currently on hiatus.

Meet the “Books” who have volunteered to share their stories through the Human Library at UC Davis.

If you’re interested in attending a future event as a “Reader”, please tell us a bit about yourself and we will let you know about upcoming events. As a Reader, your role is to come prepared to ask thoughtful questions and be an open-minded, empathetic and active listener.

I Wear Many Faces

I experienced sexual trauma as a child, which hid under the surface until it came bubbling out in my early 20s. My “book” is about my struggles with PTSD and clinical depression, and my experiences as a student, coworker, mother and partner.

Tales of a Disabled Musicologist: Navigating Academia with Multiple Sclerosis

I was finishing my dissertation and had my sights set on getting a job in academia when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I had to redefine success and how to have a fulfilling life.

It's the Silence that Scares Me

When you have a loved one who is an addict, there is no easy fix, no solution, no happy or sad ending — there is just ambiguity. It is a lifelong journey.

An African-American Woman’s Experience in Leadership

In graduate school, I was the only black person in one of my classes — and the only person in this particular class not selected the first time my classmates split up to work on a group project. After I received one of the few A’s on an exam, my classmates’ attitude seemed to change. Episodes like this one have stayed with me as I have built a successful career in campus administration.

The Joy Inside A Chicken Nugget Elevator

My son has autism. He teaches me every day to be more — more patient, more kind, more open, more fierce, more understanding. He teaches me to be less — less judging of others, less worried, less of who I was yesteday. I am a better person thanks to this journey.

Navigating Spaces in Wellness and Illness

An “invisible” congenital chronic illness, diagnosed at age 15, left me with a dual sense of self: healthy me vs. disabled me. I balance the two daily, both internally and in my interactions with others, who often don’t understand that I have a disability because I appear “normal.”

Hard Because I Care

A child of immigrant parents, I have faced anti-Semitism and glass ceilings. I have marched for Zionism, women’s rights and environmental protection. Injustice and unfairness are part of life. You can only control yourself and who you are.

Mom, I Still Love You


As both the child of a drug addict and as an epileptic, I’ve faced prejudice. It became less about my ability and more about what I could have been if I had never been in that environment.

Unraveling Student Homelessness

People don’t realize how easy it is to fall into a situation that leads to homelessness. When I finally revealed to my family that I had been homeless in 2013, they criticized me for not seeking their help.

Freedom Through Trauma

Staying silent about my reality and confronting burdens and traumas in college — domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, racial inequities and discrimination, undocumented parents, conflicting teachings, coping with the negative effects of being ‘raised’ by an alcoholic and drug addict father, management of my mental health struggles, and balancing everything out with my love for education — was my first step in living my Mexican-American Dream and using my trauma to fuel my passion of loving and serving others.

Do you have a story to share? If you are interested in serving as a Book at a future Human Library at UC Davis event, please complete this brief application to tell us a bit about yourself.

Books share their stories of facing stigmas, stereotypes or prejudices, and must be comfortable talking about those experiences.

Books do not need to have a prepared presentation nor do they need to share their entire life story. They should just be willing to give honest answers to questions that may, at times, be difficult. Books should have a desire to share their story as a way of providing others with an alternate way to look at an issue that is present in our community with the goal of helping reduce stereotypes.

Anyone associated with the UC Davis community is invited to participate, including students (undergraduate, graduate, professional, medical, post-doc, etc.), staff, faculty and alumni.

We welcome you to be a part of this important UC Davis event that is focused on improving diversity and inclusion, challenging conventions, altering and broadening perspectives, and strengthening the Principles of Community at UC Davis.

To participate in the Human Library at UC Davis, please fill out this application.

If you know someone who might want to be a Book, please share this brochure with them.

Questions? Email us at

This UC Davis Library event was launched with the support of a 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Innovation Grant.