For its 2022 Common Read, the college has chosen George Takei’s New York Times best-selling graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy. The book details Takei’s personal experiences of growing up in internment camps, as well as the larger story of Japanese internment in the United States and the policies that enabled it. In his memoir, Takei shares the joys and horrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother's hard choices, his father's faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future. They Called Us Enemy received an American Book Award in 2020.
Takei is an actor, author and activist, best known for his role on Star Trek. He has captured the hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. He has won several awards and honors for his work on human rights and Japan-United States relations and is a prominent proponent of LGBTQIA+ rights.
SUNY Oneonta’s Common Read advances diversity by encouraging students to examine and better understand topics such as equity, inclusion, and personal history through many lenses. It aims to further infuse cultural literacy into our academic program by asking the campus community to read a diversity-related book, which then is discussed in fall courses across several disciplines.
Takei will deliver the Mills Distinguished Lecture on October 24, 2022.
The Mills Distinguished Lectureship is named to honor the memory of Professor Albert Mills and his wife, Helena. Their bequest to the College at Oneonta Foundation led to the establishment in 1988 of a fund to bring prominent speakers to our campus.