For immediate release | August 16, 2018

Free virtual event with MARCH graphic novel creators offered as part of ALA’s Great Stories Club

The American Library Association (ALA) invites library professionals and their patrons to a free virtual event with Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, co-author and illustrator of the acclaimed graphic novel series March. During the event, Aydin and Powell will speak with attendees about the Civil Rights Movement and their experience telling Congressman John Lewis’s story in March.

The virtual event is supported by an ArtWorks Literature grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and will be held at 1:30 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

Learn more and register online. Space is limited, and participation is first-come, first-served.

A New York Times bestseller and winner of the National Book Award, March tells the story of the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of one of its most iconic figures. Co-authored with Rep. Lewis, the trilogy offers a vivid firsthand account of his lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation.

Aydin, the series creator and Digital Director & Policy Advisor to Rep. Lewis, and Powell, an award-winning visual artist, will discuss:

  • creating March and speaking with audiences around the country about Rep. Lewis’s call for people of all ages to get into “good trouble” and move productively towards community-based change and equity;
  • how telling diverse stories, including one’s own, can influence people’s perspectives, perceptions and behaviors about and towards one another; and
  • how developing fundamental skills like reading, writing, and creative self-expression can positively affect one’s future.

During the event, the presenters will take questions from young people participating in current Great Stories Club programs, which are being hosted in more than 100 U.S. libraries. Those include libraries selected for the Great Stories Club pilot series on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) that are using March: Book One, and those selected for the GSC themed series “Empathy: The Cost of Switching Sides” that are using March: Book Three.

An expansion of ALA’s long-standing Great Stories Club program model, the TRHT pilot series features books that explore the coming-of-age experience for young people in historically marginalized groups. This pilot is a part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation efforts, a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.

ALA will invite applications for the next round of TRHT Great Stories Club grants starting on Sept. 4. Library professionals interested in applying to be part of the program may sign up for ALA’s Programming Librarian e-newsletter to receive applications instructions when they are available.

The themes for the upcoming rounds of the TRHT Great Stories Club are “Deeper Than Our Skins” and “Finding Your Voice.” Participating libraries will establish community outreach partnerships, work with small groups of teens to read and discuss four titles selected by librarians and humanities scholars, and convene racial healing circles inspired by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s TRHT framework and methodology.

The Great Stories Club is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office in partnership with ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services. Funding is provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more about NEA.

Contact:

Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

ALA Public Programs Office

sostman@ala.org

312-280-5061