SPEAK is a lecture and discussion series that aims to bring in authors, thought leaders, and speakers each quarter. We hope to engage the youth of our community by bringing in at least one youth-oriented speaker per year.
Through the SPEAK initiative, EVPL hopes to further our vision of communities united through shared exploration and understanding by supporting and encouraging conversation. Empathy and compassion are grown through words, whether spoken or written.
SPEAK encourages our community to speak up and speak together.
The EVPL Foundation is our main sponsor for this series, but we hope you will consider giving to SPEAK.
Michael Twitty is a culinary historian who has explored African American foodways, traditions traced back to Africa, and the legacy that remains in the food culture in the American South. His book, The Cooking Gene, won the 2018 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Book of the Year in the category for writing.
Jay Coles is an author of young adult fiction, composer, and Indiana native. He studied at Vincennes University and Ball State University. His debut novel Tyler Johnson Was Here is inspired by events from his life and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Jacqueline Woodson is an author of books for children and young adults. She was named the National Ambassador for Young People’ Literature for 2018-19 by the Library of Congress. Her books touch on a variety of themes including: gender, African-American society and history, and economic status. Her several awards include: the Poetry Foundation’s Young People’s Poet Laureate, Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement, Newbery Honor Medal, Coretta Scott King Award, National Book Award, The Caldecott Medal, and Parents’ Choice Award. She has authored several books and poems including: This is the Rope, Each Kindness, Pecan Pie Baby, Coming On Home Soon, Brown Girl Dreaming, Beneath a Meth Moon, Locomotion, and Another Brooklyn.
Virginia Eubanks is a professor of political science and author. She is a New American Fellow and a founding member of the Our Data Bodies Project, a team concerned about the ways digital information is collected, stored, and shared by government and corporations. She has worked in community technology and economic justice for over twenty years. She authored Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor.
Robin DiAngelo, PhD is an author and professor in multicultural education. She has over 20 years of experience as a consultant and trainer on issues of racial and social justice and has worked with several organizations. Her area of research is in Whiteness Studies and Critical Discourse Analysis. She has authored three books: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism, What Does It Mean To Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy, and Is Everyone Really Equal? An Introduction to Key Concepts in Critical Social Justice Education.