For immediate release | June 7, 2012

Many Voices, One Nation welcomes Chertavian, Fekadu, Huerta

CHICAGO — Gerald Chertavian, Tewodros Fekadu and Javier O. Huerta will join Many Voices, One Nation: Anaheim, from 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. on Friday June 22 in the Anaheim Convention Center Room Room 304 AB, during the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif. Admission to Many Voices, One Nation is free and open to all Annual Conference attendees.

Gerald Chertavian is the CEO and founder of Year Up, a non-profit organization that provides intensive professional education to urban young adults. His organization was recently recognized by Fast Company and The Monitor Group as one of the top 25 organizations in the nation using business excellence to engineer social change. “A Year Up: How a Pioneering Program Teaches Young Adults Real Skills for Real Jobs-With Real Success” will be published by Viking Adult Books in July. Dedicated to closing the Opportunity Divide, he combined his entrepreneurial skills and his passion for working with urban young adults to found Year Up in 2000. Year Up provides the technical, professional and communication skills needed to empower urban young adults to make successful transitions to careers and higher education.

Born in Eritrea, Tewodros "Teddy" Fekadu has lived in five countries on three continents and is fluent in four languages. He currently lives in Australia, where he founded the African Communities Association Gold Coast Inc., which aims to share African traditions and heritage through performance and education. He also works with several organizations to help resettle African refugees to the Gold Coast. His company, Moonface Entertainment, produces films and documentaries about East Africa. In his book, “No One's Son: The Remarkable True Story of a Defiant African Boy and His Bold Quest for Freedom” (Leapfrog Press), Tewodros recounts the challenges and triumphs of surviving a poverty-stricken childhood on the streets of Ethiopia. As he struggles with loneliness and the need for love, his enduring courage brings him the loyalty of friends and mentors along the way. Striving for freedom, Tewodros envisions a better life elsewhere and flees Africa, but new cultures bring new complications—first in Egypt, then in Japan.

Javier O. Huerta is the author of “American Copia: An Immigrant Epic” and “Some Clarifications y Otros Poemas,” recipient of the Chicano / Latino Literary Prize. His poems have been included in numerous anthologies, including “American Tensions: Literature of Identity and the Search for Social Justice” and “The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2011.” A native of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, he currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he is working on his doctorate in English at the University of California, Berkeley.

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.

Gerald Chertavian’s participation is made possible Penguin Group (Booth 2610), one of the largest English-language trade book publishers in the world.

Tewodros Fekadu’s participation is made possible by Leapfrog Press and Consortium Book Sales & Distribution (Booth 2567), offering a window into the world of independent publishing with a wide range of award-winning books from over 100 independent publishers from around the world.

Javier O. Huerta’s participation is made possible by Arte Público Press (Booth 2361), the oldest and largest publisher of U.S. Hispanic authors.

For general information about the 2012 ALA Annual Conference June 21-26, 2012 in Anaheim, Calif., visit


Gwendolyn Prellwitz

Interm Director

Office for Diversity (DIVERSITY)

800-545-2433 ext.5048