‘Weathering’ is New Book Project Title on Health Equity

Previous Campus Community Book Project Titles, with Weathering in front.
The 2024-25 Campus Community Book Project Title is “Weathering: The Extraordinary Stress of Ordinary Life in an Unjust Society” by Arline Geronimus. (Megan Macklin/UC Davis)

The Campus Community Book Project has announced its 2024-25 title selection, and with it is inviting the university community to spend the next academic year discussing the physical toll of systemic injustice.

Arline T. Geronimus
Arline T. Geronimus

The next book project title is Weathering: The Extraordinary Stress of Ordinary Life in an Unjust Society, by Arline T. Geronimus, a professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. It is part of this year’s theme, health equity and justice, and will guide discussions, lectures and other events, culminating in a campus visit by the author on March 5.

“Marginalized Americans are disproportionately more likely to suffer from chronic diseases and to die at much younger ages than their middle- and upper-class white counterparts,” publisher Little Brown Spark says about the book. “Dr. Arline T. Geronimus coined the term ‘weathering’ to describe the effects of systemic oppression — including racism and classism — on the body. In Weathering, based on more than 30 years of research, she argues that health and aging have more to do with how society treats us than how well we take care of ourselves.”

Tickets will go on sale June 21 for her 2025 talk at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, and discounted copies of the book are now available from UC Davis Stores.


The book project organizers will sponsor many more events in the months leading up to Geronimus’ visit to campus, and students, faculty, staff and community members are all invited to help plan those events by signing up for the Book Project Program Planning Committee. The committee will meet virtually every two or three weeks from June to September.

A ‘hopeful’ book

Laci M. Gerhart, an assistant professor of teaching in the Department of Evolution and Ecology and a member of the selection committee for the Campus Community Book Project, said this year’s selection has a “hopeful and solution-focused tone” and finds similarities in issues faced by different populations.

“For this selection, we wanted a book that highlighted the particular health equity issues that burden some populations or demographics over others while also selecting a book that would be relevant and relatable to our diverse audience of readers,” she said.

This is the 23rd title in the Campus Community Book Project, a series of deep, meaningful discussions first started in the aftermath of 9/11 as a means of promoting conversation around a common subject, sharing all perspectives respectfully, in accordance with the Principles of Community. 

Past topics have included mental health, gun violence, disability issues, immigration, food insecurity and more.

Following year’s topic

Campus Community Book Project organizers are also looking ahead to 2025-26, when they will plan events around the theme of belonging. That theme is fitting, given that 2025 is the 35th anniversary of the first signing of the Principles of Community, a document focused on the right of every member of our community to belong, regardless of their beliefs, background or identity.

Members of the book project’s selection committee are now accepting nominations for titles related to belonging — nominations can be sent via email until July 24, and short explanations of why the book is being suggested are encouraged but not required. A list of the full selection criteria is available online.

The selection committee is also soliciting new members, and those interested in volunteering to help choose the next book should complete this online form

ML Farrell, a longtime selection committee member who retired in 2022 from her position as director of alumni engagement with the School of Medicine’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations, said serving on the group has been very rewarding.

“It’s terrific each year to see long-time committee members and meet new folks, who all bring a variety of perspectives to our reading and review of nominated books — and to our deliberations to reach a final, short list of our top choice books,” she said. “I’ve found the theme and book selected each year to be truly timely and thought-provoking. The book has always provided ample food for thought and opportunities for discussion and real exchange of ideas.”

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Cody Kitaura is the editor of Dateline UC Davis and can be reached by email or at 530-752-1932.

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