CCC Common Read - American Tensions
CCC Common Read - American Tensions
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American Tensions: 2020-2022 Common Read Project

Common Read 'What Now' ArtworkE Pluribus Unum: “Out of many, one.”


These words appear on the very currency we use to regulate our exchange. A healthy society also must traffic in the exchange of perspectives. A pre-condition of fruitful dialogue is cultivating both the necessary intellectual empathy and the informed understanding required to truly hear and see others.



In an effort to cultivate the formation of such capacities, we have created a repository of free, open-source content intended to inspire and cultivate civil conversations.


Connect with Your Community

All CCC students and community members are invited to participate in our programs. We all share these common experiences. Many courses at CCC have adopted the resources as required or suggested reading. See the complete list of resources below.


Curios Living Magazine

Curios Living Magazine showcases the art and artists of northern Arizona. This year's magazine shares the theme of American Tensions.




About Common Read

CCC Common Read invites students, employees, and community members to engage with a common theme and participate in intellectual experiences related to that theme, as outlined by our current suggested text(s). We encourage faculty to use the full text or excerpts in their courses as required or recommended material.


Through facilitating course adoptions and programming outside the classroom, CCC Common Read seeks to create meaningful learning opportunities which deepen students’ engagement and sense of belonging at our institution and in our communities.


Program Outcomes

Through participation in Common Read programming, students will:

  • ​engage in dynamic discussions with other students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the wider community while expanding our culture of inclusion and respect;
  • ​explore vital questions and problems in an academic setting;
  • ​communicate ideas orally in a clear and effective manner;
  • ​demonstrate listening and comprehension skills; and
  • ​make connections between learning experiences inside and outside the classroom and across disciplines.






In an effort to cultivate dialogue, the CCC Common Read recommends the following resources for use in our classrooms and our community:


The following resources are organized by type. You will find a brief description next to each resource.





University of Alaska Anchorage offers the following handbooks to help faculty, faculty developers and university leaders more effectively engage campus communities in conversations about the most important issues of our times.



  • The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives by Jonathan Haidt
    • Understanding why people arrive at the conclusions they tend to arrive at is essential to productive dialogue on moral and political issues. In this Ted talk, Jonathan Haidt maps out a five-dimensional rubric for explaining how liberals and conservatives approach moral issues differently.



  • TED Radio Hour: Dialogue And Exchange
    • We're living in a time of intense ideological division, and it often feels impossible to bridge the gap. But can we afford not to? This hour, TED speakers explore how to communicate across the divide. These segments can be used together or separately.


Lesson Plans & Activities

  • Preparing Students for Difficult Conversations
    • This lesson plan from Facing History and Ourselves focuses on events in Ferguson, MO, but can be adapted for current events. The lesson's objectives are: Students will be able to establish a safe space for holding difficult conversations; Students will be able to acknowledge one another’s complicated feelings about race; Students will be able to develop a shared understanding of the basic facts surrounding the events in Ferguson.



Contact for Common Read

Anna Hammerle

Common Read Coordinator
Contact Form