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Richmond Times-Dispatch

Mark Your Calendars: Talking Book Bans with Elizabeth Acevedo, Ashley Hope Pérez, and More

By Appearances, Community work
OK, book lovers. Mark your calendar for Monday, Dec 6, 7 pm Eastern. That's when Elizabeth Acevedo (The Poet X, Clap When You Land), Ashley Hope Pérez (Out of Darkness), librarian and author Angie Manfredi (The Other F Word), and Gordon Danning from the National Coalition Against Censorship will chat with me about their experiences with the growing number of book challenges and bans. You can access the full press release here. Virginia has been a hotbed of challenges in recent months as Michael Paul Williams wrote about this past week in the Richmond Times Dispatch. Challenges are nothing new. (For a great historical perspective, you can check out historian Leonard Marcus's new book, You Can’t Say That.) Chances are that, before long, a challenge will come to a school near you. How will you respond? I'm grateful that James River Writers, one of our state's best-known writers' organizations, has stepped up to host this conversation. You probably know JRW from their annual writer's conference, but they do lots of programs to support writers, in both craft and in community-building. As part of their mission, together we've planned a free-flowing chat that will touch on some key topics, including basic definitions of bans, challenges, and censorship. Why are we seeing so many challenges, even for books that have been in circulation for a while? What are the underlying issues for parents, authors, teachers, librarians, and readers? How can school and library communities best prepare for these difficult conversations? What are fair boundaries...
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2019 Richmond Times-Dispatch People of the Year Award

By Appearances, Awards and news, Community work
Meg Medina and Rodney Robinson, RTD 2019 People of the Year, Photo credit: Clement Britt On Monday, I had the enormous surprise and pleasure of being named Richmond Times-Dispatch Person of Year. I share this honor along with Rodney Robinson, who is the 2019 National Teacher of the Year. It feels especially sweet to be named together with Rodney as both of us work with the needs of young people at heart. Here’s to Richmond’s children! I hope you’ll take the time to read about the contributions that all 24 honorees have made to our community this year. I think you’ll see why I feel so lucky and humbled to have been named to this auspicious group. It was a shock when we were revealed as the recipients. Neither one of us was told we had won in advance – which makes the fact that there was a “reveal” video pretty amazing. It was all thanks to an undercover web of elaborate lies from Lewis Brissman at the Richmond Times Dispatch, who I now know has the ultimate poker face. Photo credit: Alexa Welch Edlund/Richmond Times-DispatchPhoto credit: Clement BrittPhoto credit: Clement BrittPhoto credit: Clement Britt Prev 1of4 Next It’s safe to say that 2019 has been one of the most memorable of my entire professional life. It began in January with the Newbery Award and now winds down with this beautiful show of respect from my hometown. Thank you, Times-Dispatch, for the recognition and for the terrific event at the...
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What an honor!

By Awards and news, Community work
Wow, wow, wow! This year has been something else. And now I am delighted to share that the Richmond Times-Dispatch has included me alongside a number of other Richmond citizens, as an honoree for their Person of the Year! Every year, the newspaper selects servant-leaders and others who strengthen and highlight the Richmond region. Wow. I am delighted to share this space with so many wonderful people and am grateful to the Richmond Times-Dispatch for acknowledging my work. Meanwhile, I am off on a much needed vacation and will look forward to celebrating with everyone once I am back home! Until then, all my love.  
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