For immediate release | June 21, 2011

Many Voices, One Nation 2011 moves to Saturday, features Flaherty, Morales and Soetero-Ng

CHICAGO — Jordan Flaherty, Yuyi Morales, Maya Soetoro-Ng and members of the New Orleans Neighborhood Story Project will participate in Many Voices, One Nation: New Orleans, during the 2011 ALA Annual Conference. This year’s Many Voices, One Nation will move to Saturday from noon - 1:30 p.m. in the Hotel Monteleone New Orleans, Queen Anne Ball Room.

Jordan Flaherty is a writer and community organizer based in New Orleans. In addition to his award-winning post-Katrina journalism, he was the first journalist to write about the Jena Six case. He has produced news segments for Al-Jazeera, TeleSur and Democracy Now! and appeared as a guest on CNN's American Morning, Anderson Cooper 360, CNN Headline News, GRITtv, Keep Hope Alive with Reverend Jesse Jackson and National Public Radio. "Floodlines: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six" is his first book.

Since emigrating from Mexico in 1994, Yuyi Morales has drawn strongly from her Mexican heritage to create some of the most celebrated books for children. As a Spanish-speaking immigrant struggling with English, she took solace in public libraries, practicing English with her son by reading children’s books. In her library visits, she found a renewed interest in stories, inspiring her to enroll in evening writing classes and purchase her first set of paints and brushes to learn how to paint. Less than a decade later, the self-taught artist’s illustrations earned her a Pura Belpré Honor, as well as a Christopher Award and a Jane Addams Award. The first author-illustrator to be recognized by the Pura Belpré Committee three times for her work, Yuyi Morales now lives with her husband and teenage son in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Maya Soetoro-Ng is currently an education specialist for the East-West Center, where she facilitates educational exchange and cross-cultural understanding between Asia and the United States. She is also a lecturer at the University of Hawai’i’s College of Education, where she teaches multicultural education and the history of education. Her book, "Ladder to the Moon," was inspired by her young daughter Suhaila’s questions about her late grandmother, Ann Dunham, who is mother to Maya as well as to President Barack Obama.

The New Orleans Neighborhood Story Project was founded in 2004 by Rachel Breunlin and Abram Himelstein as a book-making project based in the neighborhoods where they live and work. Following the mission, “Our stories told by us,” the Project works with writers in neighborhoods around New Orleans to create books about their communities.

Many Voices, One Nation began as an initiative of ALA Past President Carol Brey-Casiano. The program, an evening of literature and performance during the ALA Annual Conference, brings together writers and artists from different perspectives and presents a rich program of spoken word and performance that celebrates and reminds us of the many unique cultures sharing one world.

Many Voices, One Nation is made possible through the generous support of Gale, part of Cengage Learning. Through Gale’s generous sponsorship, Many Voices, One Nation is a free event for conference attendees.


Miguel Figueroa