Common Read

Guttman Bridge logo

The Bridge Program will be held February 21-27, 2023.

All Bridge participants read the same text to create shared experiences and build community. The Common Read provides a base for the discussion of diverse viewpoints, inspires intellectual curiosity, and starts important conversations about academic work and engagement at the college level. The various Bridge activities are connected to a theme from the text that is chosen by the Bridge Curriculum Committee. This year’s theme is Community.

The Colossus of New York book cover

This year’s Common Read is an essay titled “City Limits” from Colson Whitehead’s The Colossus of New York, a collection of essays about New York City that was published in 2004.

Before Bridge begins, all participants are required to complete the following:

  1. Read Colson Whitehead’s essay, “City Limits,” in which the author discusses his relationship with an ever-changing New York City. Born and raised in Manhattan, Whitehead invites all New Yorkers to define their own unique relationship with the City.
  2. While reading Colson, highlight or underline text that stands out to you or relates to your own experiences. Take notes on your thoughts and impressions.
  3. In addition, consider how you are connected to the City and through whom – people, organizations, and networks. Think about how the theme of community is represented in the reading. You will be reflecting on and sharing your ideas during Bridge.

The Common Read is now available on Blackboard. To access it:

  1. Log in to CUNYfirst.
  2. From CUNYfirst, click on Blackboard.
  3. From Blackboard, click on New Student Orientation under My Organizations.
  4. Open the Resource Folder to find the essay.

If you have trouble accessing CUNYfirst or Blackboard, email For accessible versions of the Common Read, contact the Office of accessibility at