Building One Nation with Many Voices

Contacts: Gwendolyn Prellwitz
ALA Office for Diversity

(800) 545-2433 x5048
For Immediate Release
June 12, 2007

Building One Nation with Many Voices

Annual conference program to feature artists and writers of diverse cultures

Washington DC – The American Library Association (ALA) will showcase the diverse voices of our world at the Many Voices, One Nation program, an evening of literature and performance during its Annual Library Conference in Washington D.C.

Join writers and artists from across the land as they weave a tapestry of spoken words, song and dance celebrating our fundamental unity within the global human family and evoke the unique cultures of our nation’s capital in Salons I and II of the JW Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, on June 22, from 7 - 10 pm. Admission is free and includes access to a book-signing reception.

Many Voices, One Nation began as an initiative of past ALA President Carol Brey-Casiano. The 2005 Initiative generated a "nation's booklist" available at the ALA website, a nationwide celebration of reading entitled Many Voices, One Nation, One Night @ your library® held for the first time on Monday, April 11, 2005 during National Library Week, and the first Many Voices, One Nation literary event held at the ALA 2005 Annual Conference in Chicago. The June 2006 Many Voices, One Nation: New Orleans proved to be a moving evening commemorating human resilience and courage as ALA’s Conference came to New Orleans in the aftermath of the 2005 hurricanes. The program in Washington, DC continues the tradition, and honors Brey-Casiano’s vision of regional events highlighting the diverse voices of our nation’s literature and the unifying role that libraries play in building a literate nation.

Many Voices, One Nation: Washington D.C. will feature Nancy Garden, renowned Young Adult author of “Hear Us Out” and “Annie on My Mind”; Patrice Gaines, journalist, author, and prison reform activist; Reginald Harris, poet and Head of the Information Technology Support Department for the Enoch Pratt Free Library; Anosh Irani, Bombay-born novelist and playwright residing in Canada; C. M. Mayo, Texan author and award-winning travel writer; E. Ethelbert Miller, author, literary activist and director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University; Mary Kay Ricks, Washington D.C. journalist, author and student of D.C. history and abolitionism; students from the D.C. Writers Corps, a community non-profit that fosters the literary and creative talents of local youth; Tim Tingle, Choctaw storyteller and award-winning author of Native American fiction and folklore; and performances by the Ishangi Family African Dance and Drum Group; and go-go band Lissen Da Grew^p. Go-go is a subgenre of funk, which originated in the Washington, D.C. area during the mid- to late-1970s.

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