Stripling to deliver Call-to-Action address at 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunrise Celebration

For Immediate Release
Tue, 11/17/2015


John L. Amundsen

Program Officer, Outreach and Communications

ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services

(312) 280-2140

CHICAGO – Barbara Kay Stripling, senior associate dean and assistant professor of practice at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies and past-president of the American Library Association (ALA), will serve as Call-to-Action speaker at the 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunrise Celebration during ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston. The 2016 Celebration will be held from 6:30 - 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 11 in room 205BC in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

During her presidency of ALA, Stripling championed intellectual freedom, privacy, advocacy for all types of libraries, public funding for libraries, legislative action, equitable access to information and community-building and civic engagement through libraries. In 2014, Stripling convened the ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, which is charged with developing a plan and strategic actions to build more equity, diversity and inclusion among our members, the field of librarianship and our communities.  The most important Task Force outcome is the public and honest conversation that will be generated by its plan and recommended actions.

Her decades-long career has encompassed service as a children’s librarian, director of school library programs in New York City’s public school system and as a professor in Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies.

The Call to Action address provides an opportunity for a member of the profession to reflect on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King and its importance in our professional efforts.

Stripling joins acclaimed civil rights activist, academic and author Dr. Mary Frances Berry, who will be delivering the keynote address. Berry has been one of the most prominent activists in the cause of civil rights, gender equality and social justice in the United States. Her publications include such subjects as the history of constitutional racism in America and child care and women’s rights. "Power in Words: The Stories behind Barack Obama’s Speeches, from the State House to the White House" (Beacon Press, 2010) offers insight and historical context of President Obama’s most memorable speeches. Her most recent book, "We Are Who We Say We Are: A Black Family’s Search for Home across the Atlantic World" (Oxford University Press, 2014) offers a new angle of vision for looking at racial identity, demography and migration as themes of our national history. Her forthcoming book "Five Dollars and a Pork Chop Sandwich: Vote Buying and the Corruption of Democracy" (Beacon Press, February 2016) explains that some campaign voter turnout activities are just another form of voter suppression. Dr. Berry’s participation is generously made possible by Beacon Press.

The 2016 Sunrise Celebration will bring together leaders from across the association, including 2015-16 ALA President Sari Feldman and ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. Featured readings will include selected passages from the works of Dr. King. The celebration is coordinated by event co-chairs Andrew P. Jackson of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and LaJuan Pringle of the Social Responsibilities Round Table Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force.

Coffee and tea will be served. Attendance is open to all attendees of the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting.

For more information, please visit

The ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) is a unit within the American Library Association. It works to make ALA more democratic and to establish progressive priorities not only for the association, but also for the entire profession. Concern for human and economic rights was an important element in the founding of SRRT and remains an urgent concern today. SRRT believes that libraries and librarians must recognize and help solve social problems and inequities in order to carry out their mandate to work for the common good and bolster democracy. SRRT’s main website is hosted

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), an affiliate of the American Library Association, serves as an advocate for the development, promotion and improvement of library services and resources to the nation's African-American community and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African-American librarians.  To learn more about BCALA, please visit

Beacon Press is a 160 year old independent nonprofit publisher of books on social change, history, religion, the environment, science and society. Its mission is to promote freedom of speech and thought; diversity, religious pluralism, anti-racism and respect for diversity in all areas of life.  Beacon is partnering with the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. in publishing "The King Legacy," a series of new  editions of previously published King titles as well as new collections of  Dr. King's writings, sermons, lectures, speeches and prayers, each with new introductions by leading scholars.  To learn more about Beacon Press and The King Legacy, please visit or