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Silicon Valley Reads 2017

SV Reads 2017 logo image


De Anza College joins Silicon Valley Reads in celebrating the 15th anniversary of the program with books and events focused on the theme "... and justice for all." It's an opportunity to read, think and join a community conversation about bias and social justice.

We invite everyone in the De Anza College community and Silicon Valley to . . .

  • Read one or more of the featured books
  • Attend events — there's something for everyone
  • Engage with others in discussion and share perspectives

This year's Silicon Valley Reads campaign kicked off Feb. 23 at De Anza's Visual and Performing Arts Center, where author Adam Benforado was interviewed on stage by Mercury News columnist Sal Pizarro. Benforado stayed afterward to sign books and chat with readers.


Author Shaka Senghor is also coming to campus: He'll be speaking at the Campus Center on March 22, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., in Conference Room B.


A special poetry reading will be held the same day, 4:30-6:30 p.m., at the Euphrat Museum of Art, where the "Justice for All?" multi-media art exhibit will continue through March 23.


All told, the Silicon Valley Reads 2017 program includes more than 100 free events around Santa Clara County. Visit the Silicon Valley Reads event listing for details on all events, including many for children and families.


See more details on the De Anza events below.

Featured Books Available on Campus

Both of this year's featured books are available in the Library and scheduled to be on sale in the Bookstore starting Feb. 14. Visit the Silicon Valley Reads 2017 selections page to learn more about the authors and their work.

Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice
by Adam Benforado


 image of book cover for Unfair
Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison
by Shaka Senghor


cover image of Writing My Wrongs

Events listed below will be held on campus. All events are free and open to the public. For a complete list of events throughout the region, visit the Silicon Valley Reads website.

Date: Wednesday, March 22
Time: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Location: Campus Center, Conference Room B

Shaka Senghor is a leading voice in criminal justice reform and the president and co-founder of #BeyondPrisons, an initiative designed to uplift the voices and experiences of those impacted by the criminal justice system.

Shaka SenghorHis memoir, "Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in an American Prison," was released in March 2016 and debuted on both the New York Times Best Seller List and the Washington Post Best Seller List.

"Writing My Wrongs" is a powerful memoir of Senghor’s 19-year incarceration for homicide, seven years of which were spent in solitary confinement.  He used this time to discover literature, meditation, self-examination and the kindness of others – tools he used to confront the demons of his past, forgive people who had hurt him and begin atoning for the wrongs he had committed.

Senghor’s story has been described as  a powerful testament to the power of hope, compassion and unconditional love.

Date: Wednesday, March 22
Time: 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Location: Euphrat Museum of Art

Faculty and students will share poetry, spoken word and prose on the same theme -- "Justice for All? -- that is the subject of the ongoing multi-media exhibit at the Euphrat Museum. 

Faculty writers include Aimee Suzara, Tony Santa Ana, Adriana Garcia, Lita Kurth, Ken Weisner, Rosanna Alvarez and others, representing a diversity of voices and perspectives. An open mic will also be available for students.

This event is co-sponsored by the English Department (Division of Language Arts); the Office  of Equity, Social Justice and Multicultural Education; the Jean Miller Resource Room for Women, Gender and Sexuality; and the Euphrat Museum.

photo of Liberty WeepsDate: Feb 1-March 23
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Open to tour groups by appointment.
Location: Euphrat Museum of Art

"Justice for All?" features works that look at our collective history and the unconscious bias that impacts our systems and lives.

The show includes "Liberty Weeps," a nine-foot cardboard sculpture, documentary photography, mural-size woodcut prints from Oaxaca, a film and poem about Japanese internment and a wall of portraits remembering people who have been targets of police violence. The artists face injustice and its consequences, calling for empathy to guide our actions and institutions.

Artists include the ASARO Collective, Beta, Joseph Delappe, Adrian Discipulo, Rodney Ewing, Tatyana Fazlalideh, Yolanda Guerra, Taro Hattori, Jamil Hellu, David Izu, Emiko Omori, Oree Originol, Samuel Rodriguez, Kirstina Sangsahachart and Judy Shintani. Special projects with Marco Marquez's graphic design students and Jen Myhre's sociology students..

For more information about the exhibit and artists, including samples of featured artwork, visit the Euphrat Museum of Art website. You can also read the reviews of this exhibit in Metro Silicon Valley and the Mercury News.

Date: Thursday, Feb. 23
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Visual and Performing Arts Center, De Anza College

Adam Benforado, author of "Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice," one of this year's featured books, was interviewed on stage by San Jose Mercury News columnist Sal Pizarro. The conversation was followed by audience Q&A and book signing.

"Unfair" is a New York Times bestseller that uses dozens of real-life vignettes and research studies to show how innate bias about race, gender, appearance, education and economic status can influence fair treatment at every step of the legal system.  The author proposes that technology and scientific advancements could be used to instill more equity into the system.

“I wrote "Unfair" because I wanted everyone to understand the hidden forces that lead to criminal injustice,” said Benforado, a professor of law at Drexel University.

"To make progress in our fight against abuse, unequal treatment and wrongful convictions, we must come together as a community to consider the psychological biases that shape the behavior of judges, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, police officers -- and all of the rest of us.  Silicon Valley is the perfect place to have this conversation."

Adam Benforado talking with Sal Pizarro 

The kickoff was cosponsored by the Commonwealth Club Silicon Valley and De Anza College.


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Last Updated: 3/22/17