Videos from the 2021 First-Year Experience® Conference are now available

By Spenser Stevens | April 16 2021 | College & University Reads

We’re pleased to share videos from the 2021 First-Year Experience® Conference. Whether you weren’t able to join us at the conference or would simply like to hear the talks again, please take a moment to view the clips below.


Penguin Random House Monday Event

Monday, February 15, 2021 | 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm EST


This event featured authors Michele Harper (THE BEAUTY IN BREAKING), Kim Johnson (THIS IS MY AMERICA), Megha Majumdar (A BURNING), Jim McCloskey (WHEN TRUTH IS ALL YOU HAVE), and Isabel Wilkerson (CASTE).


View the video clips below:


Michele Harper (The Beauty in Breaking)



Kim Johnson (This Is My America)



Megha Majumdar (A Burning)



Jim McCloskey (When Truth Is All You Have)



Isabel Wilkerson (Caste)


Penguin Random House Tuesday Event

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 | 12:15 pm – 1:45 pm EST


This event featured authors Ishmael Beah (LITTLE FAMILY), Emily Bernard (BLACK IS THE BODY), Erin Brockovich (SUPERMAN’S NOT COMING), Lan Cao & Harlan Margaret Van Cao (FAMILY IN SIX TONES), and Kathryn D. Sullivan (HANDPRINTS ON HUBBLE).


View the video clips below:


Ishmael Beah (Little Family)



Emily Bernard (Black Is the Body)


Erin Brockovich (Superman’s Not Coming)



Lan Cao & Harlan Margaret Van Cao (Family in Six Tones)


Kathryn D. Sullivan (Handprints on Hubble) 

Penguin Random House Thursday Event

Thursday, February 18, 2021 | 12:15 pm – 1:45 pm EST


This event featured authors Brittany K. Barnett (A KNOCK AT MIDNIGHT),  Ta-Nehisi Coates (THE WATER DANCER), Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (THE UNDOCUMENTED AMERICANS), Chanel Miller (KNOW MY NAME), and Gabby Rivera (JULIET TAKES A BREATH). 


View the video clips below:


Brittany K. Barnett (A Knock at Midnight) 



Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Water Dancer)



Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (The Undocumented Americans)



Chanel Miller (Know My Name)



Gabby Rivera (Juliet Takes a Breath)


This Is My America
"Incredible and searing." --Nic Stone, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear MartinThe Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching yet uplifting first novel that explores the racist injustices in the American justice system.
Age 12 and up
Grade 7 & Up

Black Is the Body
Stories from My Grandmother's Time, My Mother's Time, and Mine
In these twelve deeply personal, connected essays, Bernard details the experience of growing up black in the south with a family name inherited from a white man, surviving a random stabbing at a New Haven coffee shop while taking graduate studies at Yale, marrying a white man from the north and bring him home to her family, adopting two babies from Ethiopia, and living and teaching in a primarily white New England college town. Each of these essays goes beyond a narrative of black innocence and white guilt and sets out to discover a new way of telling the truth as the author has lived it.

Handprints on Hubble
An Astronaut's Story of Invention
The first American woman to walk in space recounts her experience as part of the team that launched, rescued, repaired, and maintained the 30-year-old Hubble Space Telescope.

A Knock at Midnight
A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom
An urgent call to free those buried alive by America's legal system, and an inspiring true story about unwavering belief in humanity--from a gifted young lawyer whose journey marks the emergence of a powerful new voice in the movement to transform the system.

The Undocumented Americans
One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation.

Know My Name
A Memoir
She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford’s campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral–viewed by eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time.