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Social Justice Reading Club

Spring 2022 Discussion

We Share the Same Sky: A Memoir of Memory & Migration, by Rachael Cerrotti

During her time on campus, the author took part in a number of presentations on her work. See below for more information about these past events.

We Share the Same Sky, Rachael Cerrotti’s moving memoir, tells the story of Rachael's grandmother, Hana, who escaped the Holocaust, and of Hana's subsequent moves following the tragedy of losing her family in the concentration camps. A limited number of complimentary copies are available at Gumberg Library, first-come, first-served. E-mail Maggie Cowburn to request a print copy or link to the first chapter on e-reserve. Multipass is required to access e-reserve.

The Social Justice Reading Club has selected We Share the Same Sky as the Spring 2022 book selection. It has been said of the book Bearing witness has never been more important. Cerotti and her grandmother are powerful guides as to why these Holocaust stories matter" (Marisa Moss, New York Journal of Books).

In this work, Rachael tells the story of her grandmother Hana, who survived the Holocaust. Leaving her homeland right before Kristallnacht, Hana spent over twenty years displaced and without citizenship. Her diaries, letters, and oral histories provide intimate perspectives on trauma and survival. As part of this project, Rachael personally visited every place on earth that her grandmother had moved to, and the author interweaves her grandmother's journey with her own story of loss. Rachael Cerrotti writes “The history books helped me understand my grandmother’s story, and my grandmother’s story helped me understand the history books.”


Rachael Cerrotti will visit Duquesne University from March 30-April 1, 2022. While on campus, Rachael will visit a class and give several presentations on various aspects of her work. A virtual presentation for the local community is being planned for the evening of March 30th. Campus presentations include the following:


Wednesday, March 30, 2022, 6:30-8:00 pm Virtual Zoom Session

Title: We Share The Same Sky: A Visual Journey

Description: Join us on March 30 to welcome author Rachael Cerrotti to discuss her book, We Share the Same Sky. Rachael is a documentary photographer, writer, educator and audio producer who has spent more than a decade retracing her grandmother’s journey of displacement as a result of surviving the Holocaust. The critically-acclaimed memoir weaves together the coming-of-age stories of Rachael and her grandmother Hana in an exploration of how acts of kindness during war echo from one generation to the next. The program will be a visual journey through Rachael’s work and will include time for questions. This will be virtual, open to the general public and is co-sponsored by the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh.

Registration Link


Thursday, March 31, 2022, 12:15-1:30 pm In Person, Power Center Ballroom A

Title: Ethical Dilemmas in Journalism & Storytelling: The Influence of Memory, Trauma, and Time

Description: Research, writing and reporting include ethical dilemmas related to telling stories. What happens when source materials such as documents, diaries, or oral histories conflict? How do trauma and time affect memories, interviewing techniques, and the stories we tell? Rachael Cerrotti will share her experiences creating a memoir of her Jewish grandmother’s experiences in Europe during the Holocaust, relying on multiple primary sources. Co-sponsored by Institute for Ethics and Integrity in Journalism (IEIJ) and Gumberg Library.

Registration link


Thursday, March 31, 2022, 4:00-5:30 pm In Person, Power Center Ballroom A

Title: Same Sky, Different Land: A Book Discussion of We Share the Same Sky: A Memoir of Memory and Migration

Description: You are invited to an in-person dialogue with author Rachael Cerrotti using her book to illuminate personal and public issues of migration, displacement and community. Discussion will include empathetic discourse of lived experience, ethical inquiry, political analysis, social justice ramifications of refugees and migrants, and much more. You do not need to read the book prior to attending, however you may want to listen to the podcast at ( Co-sponsored by The Center for Migration, Displacement and Community Studies (CMDC) and the Social Justice Reading Club (SJRC).

Registration Link


Friday, April 1, 2022, 12:30-1:30 pm Virtual Zoom Session

Title: Welcome to Widowhood & We Share the Same Sky: Perspectives on Grief and Intergenerational Trauma 

Description: Rachael Cerrotti will share her story of young widowhood and her grandmother’s story of escaping the Holocaust, linking together concepts of grief and survival. This virtual conversation will give participants a chance to discuss challenges, core concepts and opportunities for serving those who have experienced and live with generational trauma, grief from personal and tragic losses, and the potential for healing that comes from uniting in a public forum such as the online Welcome to Widowhood project. Co-sponsored by the School of Nursing and Gumberg Library.

Registration Link


Please visit for more details and registration information in the upcoming weeks. 

Thanks to our co-sponsors

Co-sponsored by the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, the Center for Migration, Displacement and Community, the Institute for Ethics and Integrity in Journalism, the Center for Community-Engaged Teaching and Research, the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, the Duquesne University School of Nursing, and Gumberg Library.


About the Author

Along with her recent memoir, writer and photographer Rachael Cerrotti has been published in major news outlets such as The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and NPR, has created an award-winning podcast, and is the current Storyteller in Residence for the USC Shoah Foundation.


Author Website and Podcast



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