The Farm pushes our thinking on motherhood, exploring gender, race, class, and the access to power, freedom, and choice
Tuesday, October 3, 2023

This year’s One Community, One Book (OCOB) program is featuring author Joanne Ramos. This program, hosted by the UI Center for Human Rights (UICHR), an affiliated center with the College of Law, has become a cherished tradition.

Each year, OCOB extends an open invitation to both the campus and the local community to engage in a shared reading experience centered around texts related to human rights. The initiative offers a wide array of activities such as virtual book clubs, classroom interactions, author presentations, and webinars. 

This year's OCOB selection is The Farm by Joanne Ramos. The story is told form the perspective of four women, exploring gender, race, and class, and of who has access to power, freedom, and choice.

"One Community, One Book provides a unique opportunity for our campus and broader community to engage around important human rights topics through literature. We hope this year’s selection stimulates dialogue and complements our semester-long programming on reproductive justice and human rights," stated Iowa Law professor and associate director of UICHR, Brian Farrell.

OCOB was originally conceived by UICHR founders, Dorothy Paul and Burns Weston, in 2001. Their vision aimed to foster collaboration between the university and the community, using literature as a tool for human rights education. Since its inception, UICHR has played a pivotal role in orchestrating numerous OCOB events in Iowa City and Johnson County.

Over the years, OCOB has welcomed renowned authors like Khaled Hosseini, the author of "The Kite Runner," and Bryan Stevenson, known for "Just Mercy," who have delivered keynote lectures, offering insights into their works. Collaborations with organizations like the City of Literature and Geneva Campus Ministry, along with other campus and community groups, have further integrated the program into the fabric of the community. 

Upcoming events 

Author Keynote - October 8 at 1:30 pm
The Farm by Joanne Ramos: A book sale and author signing will start immediately following the lecture. The event is in person and free to the public. The lecture takes place at C20 Pomerantz Center at the University of Iowa on October 8 at 1:30 pm. 

Community Book Club - November 3 at 3pm 
Meet us at the Green House in Iowa City for an evening of conversation surrounding The Farm and the author keynote.


UICHR, which has been a unit of the College of Law since 2013, is led by Associate Dean Adrien Wing and Professor Brian Farrell (JD98), both human rights scholars who teach in the law school. They are joined by Assistant Director Amy Weismann (JD00), Program Manager Erika Christiansen, and Program Advisor Jo Butterfield.