Finding Your Voice: Speaking Truth to Power

Created by Susana M. Morris, Associate Professor of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology, in collaboration with Angelina M. Cortes, Sno-Isle Libraries; Joslyn Bowling Dixon, Oak Park Public Library; and Amira Shabana, Proviso East High School.

Timeline for 2023-2024 Grantees

Applications accepted online via ALA Apply: January 18 – March 15, 2023
Grant notification: May 1, 2023
Evaluation and Reporting Open Hours for grantees: July 20, 2023 at 1-2 PM Central Time (Note: watch 20-minute asynchronous webinar beforehand)
Theme Facilitation Webinar for "Finding Your Voice" grantees: July 25, 2023 at 12-2 PM Central Time
Online pre-program report (PDF preview) due via ALA Apply: August 1, 2023
Programming Term: August 1, 2023 – May 31, 2024
Online final report (PDF preview) due via ALA Apply: June 28, 2024, or within 30 days of final program

About the theme

The old adage goes “children should be seen and not heard.” That conventional wisdom implies that speaking up and out is the exclusive realm of adults. It also suggests that children and young people don’t have important things to say — that they should stay out of adult conversation.  The truth is that young people have been vital to making change by speaking and showing up in the face of adversity. Take Joan of Arc, for example. In 1429, while just 18 years old, she led a French army to the besieged city of Orléans in a victory over the English. 

But we don’t have to go back to 15th-century France to find young heroes. On November 14, 1960, 6-year-old Ruby Bridges became the first African American child to integrate a white Southern elementary school. Her mother and U.S. marshals had to escort young Ruby to class because of violent mobs in her hometown of New Orleans. Bridges was born the same year that Brown v. Board of Education made “separate but equal” public spaces illegal, and her bravery was a milestone in the Civil Rights movement. There are countless examples of young people speaking out and taking a stand against injustice. Continue reading about this theme.

Reading List

  • 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
  • Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

Programming Materials

Promotional Materials

See Also

The "Finding Your Voice" theme was part of the Great Stories Club series on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation originally created with funding received from the Kellogg Foundation. Visit the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Great Stories Club page for more information about the TRHT iteration of the project.