For immediate release | January 22, 2018

Anthony Graves to keynote 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunrise Celebration at Midwinter

CHICAGO - Author and activist Anthony Graves will deliver the keynote address at the 19th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observance and Sunrise Celebration during the American Library Association’s (ALA) Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits in Denver. The 2018 Celebration will be held from 6:30-7:30 a.m. on Monday, February 12 in the Colorado Convention Center.

Graves spent over 18 years in prison – including 12 years on death row – after being wrongfully convicted for murder. Upon his exoneration in 2010, he founded the Anthony Graves Foundation, a non-profit that works towards furthering criminal justice reform with a special emphasis on the Texas criminal justice system. Through his foundation, initiatives such as the Humane Investigation Project, Exoneree Speakers Bureau, and C.H.O.I.C.E.S. have provided legal assistance, outreach, and education to people impacted in unjust ways by the criminal justice system. Graves’ book, “Infinite Hope,” was released on January 16 (Beacon Press, January 2018) and his participation as keynote is generously made possible by Beacon Press.

Joining Graves is Call-to-Action speaker Alexandra Rivera, Senior Associate Librarian, Student Success and Community Engagement at the University of Michigan. In her current position, Rivera coordinates the University of Michigan Library’s K-12 initiatives to prepare students for post-secondary education, manages the Library’s Peer Information Counseling Program, and supports the University of Michigan’s Detroit Center. From her role as a Spectrum Scholar to her leadership in ACRL, REFORMA, and in JCLC since the beginning, Rivera has been active in ALA and its affiliates throughout her career. Rivera currently serves as a Councilor-at-Large on the ALA Council and as the Vice President of the Joint Council of Librarians of Color.

The annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observance and Sunrise Celebration commemorates Dr. King's legacy and recognizes the connection between his life's work and the library world. This year’s theme is “Where Do We Go From Here?” and featured readings will include selected passages from the works of Dr. King.

Coffee and tea will be served. Attendance is open to all attendees of the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting. For more information, please visit

The 2018 Celebration is sponsored by ALA's Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services, OCLC, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force of the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table, and the Black Caucus of the ALA, Inc.


Briana Jarnagin

Member Services Assistant

Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services

(312) 280-5020