Book club inspiration

An Evening with Jamila Lyiscott and A.T. McWilliams

Dec 14, 2020



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Anderson Smith

Join us on Wednesday, December 16th, at 6pm EST for the season finale of “Advancing Antiracism Through Literature Speaker Series.” This monthly panel discussion/lecture series is an exploration of the use of literature to dismantle racist ideology and attempt to heal a troubled world. The series explores, in particular, what it means for people to practice antiracism beyond a book club experience, to learn, educate, activate and dismantle systemic racism. Joining us this month is Dr. Jamila Lyiscott, author of Black Appetite. White Food: Issues of Race, Voice, and Justice Within and Beyond the Classroom, and Pushcart prize nominated poet + writer, A.T. McWilliams. Moderated by Rolling Stone, Vox, The New York Times contributor, Tre Johnson.



December’s Theme: (Un)clenching the Fist: Harnessing the Power of Literature and Community

Description: A conversation among activists and scholars centered on the power of literature and community when used in service to combat racism.


Moderator: Tre Johnson

Tre Johnson is a freelance writer on race and culture and a longtime career educator. His freelance career as a cultural critic and essayist has included appearances on CNN Tonight w/ Don Lemon; CBS This Morning; PBS NewsHour and NPR Morning Edition. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, New York Times, Vox, San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post and several other outlets. He's served on panels for the NY TV Festival, Black Star Film Festival and others, speaking on race, popular culture, identity. He's also given keynote addresses and lectures at University of Pennsylvania, St. Mary's College of Southern Maryland, and Lewis & Clark College. Tre is a graduate from the University of Maryland, proudly born and raised in Trenton, NJ and currently lives in Philadelphia, PA.



Dr. Jamila Lyiscott

Jamila Lyiscott aka, Dr. J, is a community-engaged scholar, nationally renowned speaker, and the author of Black Appetite. White Food: Issues of Race, Voice, and Justice Within and Beyond the Classroom. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is the co-founder and co-director of the Center of Racial Justice and Youth Engaged Research. Dr. J is most well known for being featured on where her video, '3 Ways to Speak English,' has been viewed over 4.5 million times, and for her commissioned TED Talk, '2053' in response to the inauguration of the 45th occupant of the white house. She has been invited to over 100 institutions throughout the nation where she works closely with youth, educators, and communities to disrupt racial inequities and enact a vision-driven justice.


Dr. J's scholarship and activism work together to explore, assert, and defend the value of Black life globally. As a testament to her commitment to educational justice for youth of color, she is the founder and co-director of the Cyphers For Justice (CFJ) program, apprenticing NYC high school youth, incarcerated youth, and educators into research and activism through hip-hop, spoken word, and media literacy.


Dr. J serves as co-editor of the highly acclaimed journal of Equity & Excellence in Education, and holds faculty fellowships at the University of Notre Dame, and Teachers College, Columbia University. She is the recipient of the 2019 AERA Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award and the 2019 Scholar-Activist & Community Advocacy Award. In her active efforts to disrupt the bounds of the academy, she has also been featured in Spike Lee's "2 Fists Up," on NPR, Cosmopolitan, NowThis, and many other media outlets nationally and internationally.


A.T. McWilliams

A.T. McWilliams is a writer living in Brooklyn, NY. His essays

have appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, the

Guardian, Slate, Mic, Complex, VICE and elsewhere.

Moreover, A.T.'s poems have (or will soon) appear in Southern Humanities Review, the Missouri Review, Prelude Magazine, Main Street Mag, and elsewhere online. In 2016, A.T. received a nomination for the national Pushcart Prize for poetry. In 2019, A.T. was named a finalist in the Write Bloody book publishing contest.



Check out our past events on YouTube:

Date: Wednesday, October 28, 6 – 7:15 pm

Theme: Being Culturally Responsive Through Literary Selection


Moderator: Tre Johnson

Speakers: Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz Dr. Gholdy E. Muhammad Gabriel Bump


Date: Thursday, November 19, 6 – 7:15 pm

Theme: Social Transformation Through Community


Moderator: Tre Johnson

Panelists: Mark Nowak, Kaitlyn Greenidge