Identities Project
Identities Project


The Identities Project is a Student Life-sponsored cross-campus collaboration with the Social Justice and Equity Committee, Breaking Barriers Diversity Club, and other campus entities that provides opportunities for our community to explore and discuss gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, social class, ethnicity, and other facets of identity through intentionally-reflective civil dialogues, lectures, documentaries with discussions, and other programs.  All are welcome and encouraged to attend these free events.

Fall 2022 Identities Project Schedule

Tues, Sep 27,


Location: NRC195

We Live in La Crosse - Stories of Belonging

Join Dr. Heather Linville (UWL) in this community exploration of language, identity, & belonging. Engage with digital stories created by multilingual youth and adults, told using words, images, & music.



Oct.17- Nov.2 

Locations: TBD

Honoring Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) 

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a cultural holiday giving families a chance to pray for and remember the lives of their deceased relatives to help them on their spiritual journey. The celebration has gained in popularity across the U.S. and Latinx communities in recent years. The event will occur October 17, thru November 2, 2022. This year’s plan at Viterbo University includes setting up the altar, or ofrenda, in multiple locations across campus including Murphy Center lobby, Reinhart Center, Hawk's Nest, and Nursing center lobby.

The altar will remain for the duration of the program. During our celebration, the campus community will be encouraged to adorn the altar with photos of or memorabilia from the departed. A closing ceremony will be held on November 2, All Souls’ Day, a day of prayer and remembrance for the faithful departed.

Tue Nov 15 5p-7p

Location: DEI Lounge - 4th Floor Nursing Center

Identities Project Book Discussion

Please join the Identities Project on November 15th at 5p for a "book club" event focused on contemporary inequalities. We ask that those who are interested in attending come ready to discuss any book(s) they have read recently that relate to historic or contemporary inequalities. These books can be nonfiction or fiction. 

 Major themes of discussion may include (but are not limited to): how inequality is portrayed in fiction; how different forms of inequality (e.g., related to race, class, gender, sexualities, etc) are discussed in nonfiction; how discussions of sexism, classism, homophobia, racism, (etc) are different and/or similar? 

Our goal is to provide space for us to process these books together, make/take recommendations, and think through some steps to continue moving forward with a lens of equity and inclusion for all.  Please review some possible book suggestions below, under the Antiracist Resources section, or bring your own books that can relate to the conversation!  Any/all are welcome to share, unpack, and build community in conversation!


  • The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas
  • On the Come Up - Angie Thomas
  • All American Boys - Jason Reynolds/Brendan Kiely
  • Internment  - Samira Ahmed
  • Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson
  • Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi
  • Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Seed to Harvest - Octavia Butler
  • Iron Council - China Mieville
  • Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie
  • Sorcerer to the Crown - Zen Cho


  • Americanah (Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi)
  • Caste: The Origins of our Discontents (Wilkerson, Isabel)
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Alexander, Michelle)
  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in an American City (Desmond, Matthew) 
  • Had I Known: Collected Essays (Ehrenreich, Barbara) 
  • Capital in the 21st Century (Picketty, Thomas)
  • The Meritocracy Trap: How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite (Markovits, Daniel)
  • The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good? (Sandel, Michael)
  • Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive (Land, Stephanie)
  • Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival, and Hope in an American City (Elliott, Andrea)
  • The System: Who Rigged it and How to Fix It (Reich, Robert)
  • Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (Hochschild, Arlie) 
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (Reynolds, Jason and Kendi, Ibram X)
  • Rigging the Game: How Inequality is Reproduced in Everyday Life (Schwalbe, Michael) 
  • Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation (Freeman, John)
  • Feminists Don't Wear Pink (And Other Lies) (Curtis, Scarlett)
  • Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men (Perez, Caroline Criado)
  • The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap (Coontz, Stephanie)
  • The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle (Faderman, Lillian) 
  • Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility (Taylor, Dorceta) 




Antiracist Resources

 The Identities Project committee members ask you to take time to  think critically about the unacceptable, but very real, racist behaviors and beliefs in our country. We'd also encourage you to learn more about actions you can take to move towards justice.

We've compiled a list of books, films and more for you to explore over the summer. Thank you to those folx who have added their suggestions! Please reach out if you have more resources you'd like us to add. 

Want to do more than just learn? Start by joining your local SURJ chapter to connect to resources in your community (La Crosse area SURJ). 

Books - Nonfiction (consider purchasing from independent bookstores!)

  • "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nahesi Coates
  • "Stamped from the Beginning" by Ibram X Kendi 
  • "How to be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi
  • “How We Fight For Our Lives” by Saeed Jones
  • "Me and White Supremacy" by Layla Saad 
  • “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo
  • “From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America” by Elizabeth Hinton
  • “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander
  • "When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir" by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
  • “Waking Up White” by Debby Irving
  • "Minor Feelings" by Cathy Park Hong
  • "Are Prisons Obsolete?" by Angela Davis
  • “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness” by Austin Channing Brown

Books - Fiction

  • "The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas 
  • "We Cast a Shadow" by Maurice Carlos Ruffin 
  • "On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous" by Ocean Vuong 
  • "Copperhead" by Alexis Zentner 
  • "Pachinko" by Min Jin Lee
  • “Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid
  • "There There" by Tommy Orange