For immediate release | June 12, 2020

Author and activist Stacey Abrams, ALA President’s Program speaker at ALA Virtual

CHICAGO— Author and activist Stacey Abrams will join ALA Virtual as the ALA President’s Program speaker. Abrams is the New York Times bestselling author of “Lead from the Outside,” a serial entrepreneur, nonprofit CEO, and political leader. After serving 11 years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as minority leader, Abrams became the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia, where she won more votes than any other Democrat in the state’s history. This session will take place on Thursday, June 25, 2020, 12 -1 p.m., CT.

Over the course of her career, Abrams has founded multiple organizations devoted to voting rights, training, and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at both the state and national levels. Dedicated to civic engagement, her most recent endeavors include: launching Fair Fight to ensure every American has a voice in our election system, Fair Count to ensure accuracy in the 2020 Census and greater participation in civic engagement, and the Southern Economic Advancement Project, a public policy initiative to broaden economic power and build equity in the South. Her newest book, "Our Time is Now," was released on June 9, 2020.

Abrams received degrees from Spelman College, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and Yale Law School. Born in Madison, Wisconsin, she and her five siblings grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi, and were raised in Georgia.

Registration is now open for the American Library Association’s (ALA) Virtual - Community Through Connection, June 24 - 26,2020. The three-day, online event will send a strong message that the library community can—and will—remain connected during this unprecedented time. Through the generous support of a select roster of event sponsors, ALA has lowered registration fees from $175 for ALA members to just $60. Library professionals who have recently been furloughed, laid off, or are experiencing a reduction of paid work hours, are welcome to attend at no cost. Registration will close on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at noon CT.

Other featured Speaker appearances include: American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer and author Misty Copeland (Opening Session), Wednesday, June 24, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. CT, sponsored by Penguin Random House; Actress and author Natalie Portman (Closing Session), Friday, June 26, 1 - 2 p.m. CT, sponsored by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group; UK poet and social media influencer Sophia Thakur, Wednesday, June 24, 1 - 1:30 CT, sponsored by Candlewick Press; Caldecott medalist and author Matthew Cordell, Wednesday, June 24, 3:30 - 4 p.m. CT, sponsored by Holiday House; and actress and author Sonia Manzano, Thursday, June 25, 2 -2:30 p.m. CT, sponsored by National Geographic Kids.

Breaking the Rules of Graphic Novels” will include a panel of best-selling Graphic novelists. This session will take place Thursday, June 25, 3:30–4 p.m.CT to include, Roxanne Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, Gabby Rivera, Brian Azzarello, and Ryan North. The discussion will be moderated by Filip Sablik, president of Publishing & Marketing, BOOM! Studios and is sponsored by BOOM! Studios.

The event will feature a portfolio of more than 50 educational sessions, including COVID-19 related information pertinent to libraries; live chat opportunities with authors and speakers; an exhibitor showcase with more than 600 participating exhibitors; and presentations in an on-demand format from book publishers on forthcoming book titles.

For additional event information please visit the 2020 ALA Virtual Event website, ALA Instagram, ALA Twitter, ALA Facebook, and follow hashtag, #alavirtual20 for updates.

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Donna Hunter

Conference Marketing Specialist

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