ALA Great Stories Club series on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation

Great Stories Club participants with books

With support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, ALA is offering three rounds of Great Stories Club grants that are part of a series on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation. These new series connect ALA’s longstanding Great Stories Club literary programming model to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) efforts.

Launched by the Kellogg Foundation in 2016, TRHT is 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. It seeks to unearth and jettison the deeply held, and often unconscious, beliefs created by racism — including the belief in a hierarchy of human value. ALA is one of the 100 voluntary National Partner Organizations, along with 44 scholars, that participated in the 2016 TRHT design phase. Learn more about the Kellogg Foundation's Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation efforts.

As part of the Great Stories Club’s TRHT series, libraries will engage more than 5,000 underserved young adults in transformative, humanities-based reading and discussion programming and racial healing sessions.

From October 2017 – August 2018, ALA collaborated with humanities scholars, programming librarians, racial healing practitioners and others in the development of three new reading and discussion series inspired by WKKF’s TRHT process; and piloted programs in 25 libraries. Applications for the new series will open beginning in fall 2018, and an evaluation report on the pilot initiative will be published in early 2019.

Each new Great Stories Club series on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation will engage libraries, community partners and underserved teen audiences in reading and discussing four theme-related books and participating in programs led by a racial healing practitioner. The project will engage local communities in racial healing and change efforts that address present inequities linked to historic and contemporary beliefs in racial hierarchy.

The project seeks to bridge embedded divides and generate the will, capacities and resources required for achieving greater equity and healing, particularly in the lives of young adults facing personal challenges such as detention, incarceration, addiction, academic probation, poverty and homelessness.

The Great Stories Club series on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation will offer 100 grants on the following themes for programs in 2019 - 2020:

  • Deeper Than Our Skins: The Present is a Conversation with the Past
  • Finding Your Voice
  • Growing Up Brave: Courage and Coming of Age

2018 Application Dates

Libraries are invited to apply to be part of the Great Stories Club's TRHT series. Applications will be accepted from Sept. 4 to Nov. 16, 2018, for the themes "Deeper than Our Skins: The Present Is a Conversation with the Past" and "Finding Your Voice: Speaking Truth to Power."

Seventy libraries, in total, will be selected. Grantees will receive copies of the book selections; travel and accommodations expenses paid for an orientation workshop in Chicago; a $1,200 grant to cover work with a racial healing practitioner; and additional resources and support.

Book selections will include the following. Grantees may select up to four titles per theme.

  • "Deeper than Our Skins": Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates; The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano; Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices, edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale; The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang, illustrated by Sonny Liew; Mother of the Sea by Zetta Elliott; and Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. by Luis J. Rodriguez.

  • "Finding Your Voice": The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo; I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina; Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero; Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson; American Street by Ibi Zoboi; and Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro.

Learn more or apply online.

2019 Application Dates

A final round of grants will be offered in 2019. Applications will be accepted May 6 - July 15, 2019, for the following collection:

  • "Growing Up Brave: Courage and Coming of Age": Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona; The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas; March: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell; Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older; X: A Novel by Ilyashah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon; The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Advisors and Participating Libraries

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 Kellogg Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts and Acton Family Giving.

ALA logo, TRHT logo