Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Great Stories Club: National Advisors

Great Stories Club

The American Library Association (ALA) is grateful to the following individuals for their guidance and participation as National Advisors to the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Great Stories Club (TRHT GSC).

Rachel BernsteinRachel Bernstein joined Oregon Humanities in 2015 as the first partnership and training manager. In her current role, she builds and strengthens partnerships across the state, and recruits, trains and supports discussion facilitators. For the past decade Rachel's work has focused on building the civic capacity and engagement of coalitions, organizations, groups and individuals through the creation and facilitation of workshops and trainings. Her workshops and trainings have focused on creating space for participants to learn about and advance issues of equity, social justice and intersectionality. She’s worked with youth and young adults one-on-one as a case manager for homeless youth and mentor for at-risk teenage girls, and empowered leaders by supporting them in building advocacy campaigns centered on issues affecting youth and students with organizations like the Oregon Bus Project and Oregon Student Association.
Jane KulowJane Kulow is director of the Virginia Center for the Book and program director for the Virginia Festival of the Book, both programs at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, which she joined in 2012. An advocate for reading, books and libraries, Jane served on the City-Wide Board of the Friends of the Boston Public Library; developed the Build Crozet Library grassroots organization, providing a channel for community support in the long-time effort to build a new Crozet/Western Albemarle Library; and served on the Build Crozet Library fundraising committee, which raised more than $1 million to stock and furnish the library. She currently represents Albemarle County on the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library Board. Jane earned a B.A. in English from Illinois College and an M.A. in communication studies from Emerson College, founded a graphic design studio in Boston, and taught at two colleges there while operating a communications consultancy. She also served as the president of the Saskatoon French School Parent Board and as president of Albemarle County Parent Council. Kulow and her family live in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Kristin Lansdown
Kristin Lansdown is a current MS/LIS student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, via the LEEP program. She obtained her B.A. from DePaul University in psychology with a focus on human development and women/gender studies with a focus on race and class. She recently completed her Master of Education, also at DePaul University, with a focus in school counseling and is a licensed professional school counselor in the state of Illinois. She has served as a Summer Acceleration Counselor Mentor with Chicago Public Schools, a grant-funded position that provided social emotional support for students who cycled out of elementary school due to age as they transitioned into high school. From 2010 to 2017 she worked as a Circulation Student Supervisor at the DePaul Richardson Library and from 2014 to 2017, as a Community Outreach Peer Guide with the Center for Access and Attainment at DePaul University. Currently, Kristin is the Library Associate for Adult Fiction at Oak Lawn Public Library. She is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated and a 2017-18 American Library Association Spectrum Scholar.
Andrea LewisAndrea Lewis is a program officer at Maryland Humanities and director of the Maryland Center for the Book. She joined the staff in 2007 after working for more than a decade in public libraries, bringing her experiences to coordinate several statewide literature programs including One Maryland One Book, which draws nearly 20,000 participants each year; the Letters About Literature writing contest for young readers; and the Literature & Medicine and Veterans Book Group discussion programs. Andrea’s background in public relations, programming and fundraising includes work with organizations such as The National Gallery of Art, Folger Shakespeare Library, Scholastic, the Public Library Association and the Maryland State Department of Education, as well as more than 20 years overall spent working with public libraries in Maryland and across the country through consulting and committee work. She remains devoted to helping organizations refine their image, increase funding, and expand their reach to new audiences. Andrea has a B.A. in communication and art history from James Madison University, and an M.A. in public communication from The American University in Washington, D.C.
Lessa Pelayo-LozadaLessa Pelayo-Lozada is a young readers librarian at the Palos Verdes Library District in California. She is currently serving as an ALA Executive Board member and previously served as chair of ALA's Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services Advisory Committee. She is a past president of the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association and chaired the Family Literacy Focus Committee for five years, after helping create the Talk Story: Sharing Stories, Sharing Culture family literacy program for Asian Pacific Islander American and American Indian Alaskan Native families. Much of Lessa's professional work focuses on services to youth and promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in libraries, librarianship and her local community.
Dr. Loriene RoyDr. Loriene Roy is Anishinabe, enrolled on the White Earth Reservation, a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. She is professor in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin where she teaches courses in reference, library instruction, and access and care of indigenous cultural knowledge. Roy served as 1997-98 president of the American Indian Library Association (AILA) and 2007-08 president of ALA. Currently she is on the Library of Congress Literacy Awards Advisory Board and the Libraries Without Borders Advisory Committee. Her awards include the 2015 Distinguished Service Award, AILA, and the 2014 Library School Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, UICU. Loriene received an MLS from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Gwenn WeaverGwenn Weaver has provided leadership to and promoted change in public and private sector groups including educational, nonprofit, government and business organizations for more than 30 years. Recently, she retired from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), where she served as a program officer for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. Weaver has spent much of her life engaged with learning and literacy. Currently she serves as chair of ALA’s Committee on Literacy, and participating on the Advisory Committee to the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services. She holds an MBA from UCLA, an MS in Library Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign; a BA in sociology from the University of Buffalo, and an AA from Mitchell College.

Patty WongPatty Wong is the City Librarian of the Santa Monica (Calif.) Public Library. She has worked in many types of libraries and is an active member leader within the ethnic professional librarian affiliates of ALA. As a current member of the ALA executive board, she brings a reflective, collaborative approach and extensive experience and knowledge, working with divisions, roundtables, offices and ALA staff. With a passion for a more inclusive, diverse and equitable ALA, Patty creates opportunities for strengthening partnerships within and beyond the association, building on the field’s commitment to literacy, advocacy, community service and engagement, access, and intellectual freedom. Together, she believes we can reinvest in school libraries and librarians, work actively with the Library of Congress, re-commit to our growth as professionals, and diversify our economic and business strategies.


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