Auditorium Speakers

ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) curated this list for conference attendees who may be interested in sessions targeting equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). The sessions are grouped by session type with definitions to guide attendees through the selections. Please note that this information was curated by ODLOS specifically, there may be some flexibility in each session’s categorization and/or level of understanding. 


Auditorium Speakers: A conversation that's available to a large amount of participants. Typically in one of the main conference halls.


Auditorium Speakers
 

Wes Moore
Link: https://2020.alamidwinter.org/speaker/wes-moore
Level of Understanding: Introductory Level
January 24, 2020 4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

"Westley "Wes" Watende Omari Moore is an American author, social entrepreneur, television producer, and decorated US Army combat veteran. He grew up in Baltimore and the Bronx, raised by a single mom.  Despite childhood challenges, Moore graduated Phi Theta Kappa from Valley Forge Military College in 1998 and Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 2001. He earned a Master of Letters in International Relations from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar in 2004, served as a captain and paratrooper with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne, including a combat deployment to Afghanistan, and he worked as a White House Fellow to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In his first book, The Other Wes Moore, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, Moore ponders the profound question of two alternating narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption. Two kids named Wes Moore, born blocks apart within a year of each other. Both grew up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods; both hung out on street corners with their crews; both ran into trouble with the police. How then, did one grow up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader, while the other ended up a convicted murderer serving a life sentence?  The book has been optioned for a movie, to be executive-produced by Oprah Winfrey and HBO.

Other bestsellers authored by Moore include The Work, Discovering Wes Moore, and This Way Home. His forthcoming book, Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City, available Spring 2020, is a kaleidoscopic account of five days in the life of a city on the edge after Freddie Gray’s death.  It is told through seven characters on the frontlines of the uprising that overtook Baltimore and riveted the world.  The book is co-authored by Erica Green, a rising star in journalism and a member of the Pulitzer-winning team that covered the Baltimore protests for the Baltimore Sun. Green currently reports on education for The New York Times, where she's written numerous, page-one stories.

Before becoming CEO at Robin Hood, one of the largest anti-poverty organizations in the country, Moore was the founder and CEO at BridgeEdU, an innovative tech platform addressing the college completion and job placement crisis, reinventing the freshman year for underserved students. He remains chairman of BridgeEdU's board of directors.

Moore completed a stint in finance as an investment banker with Deutsche Bank in London and with Citigroup in New York. He was featured on “Oprah's SuperSoul Sunday” and appears regularly as a commentator on NBC News. Moore proclaims his proudest accomplishments are his two children with his wife, Dawn Moore."

 

Echo Brown
Link: https://2020.alamidwinter.org/speaker/echo-brown
Level of Understanding: Introductory Level
January 25, 2020 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Echo Brown is a visionary storyteller from Cleveland, Ohio, who strives to inspire and provoke. Her first solo show, nominated as one of the top ten best shows of 2015 by the San Francisco Chronicle, "Black Virgins Are Not for Hipsters" was nominated as one of the top ten best shows of 2015 by the San Francisco Chronicle and ran for two years to sold-out crowds both nationally and internationally.  Written, produced, and performed by Brown, the success of the show led to invitations to speak at Facebook, Google, Dropbox, and TedX Talks.

A graduate of Dartmouth College, Brown took an unusual path into the arts. She began her career as an investigator, examining allegations of misconduct against members of the New York City Police Department. She went on to study investigative journalism at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism before moving to California to work for Challenge Day, an award-winning nonprofit that provides transformational workshops in high schools. While there as a motivational speaker, she created and performed dynamic and moving stories for high school audiences across the country. The response led Brown to become a full-time storyteller.

Brown’s search for creative expression continues with her first book, Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard, available January 2020. The book is an attempt to come to terms with Brown’s difficult and traumatic childhood and to make meaning out of incomprehensible experiences. Heavily autobiographical yet infused with magical realism, Black Girl Unlimited fearlessly explores the intersections of poverty, sexual violence, depression, racism, and sexism—all through the arc of a transcendent, coming-of-age story."
 

Julia Alvarez
Link: https://2020.alamidwinter.org/speaker/julia-alvarez
Level of Understanding: Introductory Level
January 25, 2020 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.

"Poet, novelist, and essayist Julia Alvarez left the Dominican Republic for the United States in 1960 at the age of ten. When she arrived in New York City, it was clear that American English would be a hill to climb. “I couldn’t tell where one word ended and another began,” she says. This, she believes, is what led her to become a writer as she paid close attention to every word (great training for a writer). She also discovered the welcoming world of the imagination and a love for books.  She is the author of six novels, three books of nonfiction, three collections of poetry, and eleven books for children and young adults.

Alvarez taught and mentored writers in schools and communities across America and, until her retirement in 2016, was a writer-in-residence at Middlebury College. Her work has garnered wide recognition, including a Latina Leader Award in Literature from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature, the Woman of the Year by Latina magazine, and inclusion in the New York Public Library’s program “The Hand of the Poet: Original Manuscripts by 100 Masters, from John Donne to Julia Alvarez.” In theTime of the Butterflies, with over one million copies in print, was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for its national Big Read program, and in 2013 President Obama awarded Alvarez the National Medal of Arts in recognition of her extraordinary storytelling. Afterlife, Alvarez's newest book, will be available Spring 2020.
 

21st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observance and Sunrise Celebration
Link: https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=665019
Level of Understanding: Introductory Level
January 27, 2020 6:30 a.m. - 7:30 a.m.

The 21st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observance and Sunrise Celebration commemorates Dr. King's legacy and recognizes the connection between his life's work and the library world. The event will feature selected passages from the works of Dr. King, a keynote address by Dr. Imani Perry, Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies and faculty associate in the Program in Law and Public Affairs and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton University and author of Breathe: A Letter to My Sons (Beacon Press, 2019), and a call-to-action delivered by ALA Immediate Past-President, Loida Garcia-Febo.