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Celebrating 50 Years of Prize-Winning Editorial Cartooning 

Charlotte, March 9, 2016

Ed Williams

Ed Williams was editor of The Charlotte Observer’s editorial pages for 25 years before his retirement in 2008. His columns and editorials were part of Observer projects that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1981 and 1988. In 2003, the Mecklenburg County Bar Association gave him its Liberty Bell Award for community leadership and “willingness to take tough stands on tough issues.” Williams was the James K. Batten Visiting Professor of Public Policy at Davidson College in 2010, and he was inducted into the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame in 2011. In 1972, Williams was awarded a Nieman Fellowship for study at Harvard University. He worked briefly for the Ford Foundation before joining the Observer as an editorial writer in 1973.


Kevin Siers 

Kevin Siers is The Charlotte Observer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist. A native of Minnesota, he has been drawing for the Observer since 1987. Siers began his cartooning career by drawing editorial cartoons for his hometown community newspaper between shifts working in the local iron ore mines. While at the University of Minnesota, he joined the staff of the Minnesota Daily as editorial cartoonist where his work won top national honors, The John Locher Award and the Sigma Delta Chi / Society of Professional Journalists Award. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 2014. His cartoons are distributed nationwide by King Features Syndicate and have also been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek and USA Today.


Taylor Batten  

is the editorial page editor at The Charlotte Observer, where he leads an award-winning team of writers, editors and cartoonists. The Observer’s editorial pages have been named the best in the state multiple times in North Carolina Press Association competitions. NCPA has also named Batten and his colleagues as the top editorial writers in the state. Working with Siers is a highlight of his job, and he’ll never forget when he got the phone call telling him that Kevin had won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize. Batten joined the Observer in 1995 as a business reporter. He covered local and state government before holding a series of editing and management positions, and became editorial page editor in 2008.


Truth to Power – Democratizing Information

Charlotte, March 15, 2016

Hodding Carter III  

Hodding Carter III was a journalist for 32 years with his family’s daily newspaper in Greenville, Mississippi and later as a prize-winning documentarian, commentator and columnist in Washington, DC. He was involved in politics and civil rights at state and national levels, and served as assistant secretary of state for public affairs and State Department spokesman for President Carter. After eight years as president and CEO of the John S. and James T. Knight Foundation, Carter became professor of leadership and public policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill until his retirement in 2014. A graduate summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1957, Carter served in the US Marine Corps. He has written or contributed to ten books and many magazine and newspapers. 

Charles Thomas  

Charles Thomas, an experienced social entrepreneur and civic innovator, is the Charlotte program director for John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. He is the former executive director of Queen City Forward (QCF), a hub for entrepreneurs whose businesses balance a triple-bottom-line of people, planet and profit. Thomas launched the organization and built programs to catalyze and support social entrepreneurship, college entrepreneurship and civic innovation. Prior to leading QCF, Thomas was Director of Education of The Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography and Film. After graduating from Duke University, he began his career with Andersen Consulting (Accenture). Thomas serves on the boards of The Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library and East Mecklenburg High School Foundation, and is a member of the New Generation of African American Philanthropy (NGAAP). He was also on the founding steering committee of TEDxCharlotte. 


A Study of Paul Green's Pulitzer Prize in Drama: In Abraham's Bosom

Chapel Hill, April 4


Dr. Laurence Avery 

Dr. Laurence Avery had a decades-long career as teacher and scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he served as chairman of the English department. He has published numerous articles on British and American playwrights and six books, among them A Southern Life: Letters of Paul Green, 1916-1981, winner of the C. Hugh Holman Award for distinguished contributions to the study of Southern literature. Avery also published the definitive edition of Green’s The Lost Colony, the play that launched the nation-wide outdoor drama movement. In 2006 he received the NC Literary and Historical Association’s R. Hunt Parker Award for significant contributions to North Carolina literature. Mountain Gravity, his first book of poetry, appeared in 2014.


Dr. Reginald Hildebrand  

Dr. Reginald Hildebrand is Associate Professor of African American Studies and History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He authored The Times were Strange and Stirring: Methodist Preachers and the Crisis of Emancipation, and is working on a collection of essays entitled Engaging Blackness: Body, Mind, and Spirit; the Perspectives of Malcolm X, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Howard Thurman. Hildebrand’s extensive leadership experience has included interim director of both the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History and Institute of African American Research at UNC-Chapel Hill; North Carolina Freedom Monument Project co-chair; North Carolina Humanities Council trustee; Paul Green Foundation board member; the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission member; A.M.E. Church Review book review editor; and North Carolina Historical Review advisory board member. Hildebrand received his BA and MA from Howard University and his PhD from Princeton.


Joseph Megel  

Joseph Megel is an artist in residence in Performance Studies at UNC’s Department of Communication. He founded and is artistic director of the “Process Series: New Works in Development,” and is also artistic director of StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance and co-executive director of Harland’s Creek Productions. Megel has spent the last 30 years directing and developing new works for theatre, film and video. His most recent direction credits include: Howard L. Craft’s Freight:  The Five Incarnations of Abel Green for StreetSigns Center in New York City at HERE Arts Center and in Chapel Hill, which received critic’s pick in the New York Times and year end rave reviews, The Tramp’s New World adapted from James Agee’s screenplay by Rob Jansen at the Diogenes Theatre in Cincinnati and at ManBites Dog in Durham, and Silhouettes of Service by Gregory DeCandia as part of the Veterans and their Families Series at Swain Hall for the Department of Communication.  Megel holds an MFA from the University of Southern California’s Peter Stark Program in Motion Picture Producing, an M.A. from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and a BS from Northwestern, School of Speech.


Samm-Art Williams 

Samm-Art Williams is an American playwright, screenwriter and actor whose work focuses on the African-American experience. His honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, Outer Critics Circle Award, John Gassner Playwriting Award, Tony Award for Best Play, Drama Desk Award and two Emmy nominations. A sampling of Williams’ works that have been produced include The Montford Point Marine (The Black Rep of St. Louis, Missouri); Welcome to Black River (Negro Ensemble Company (NEC) at St. Mark's Playhouse); The Coming and Do Unto Others (Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn); A Love Play (NEC); The Last Caravan; and Brass Birds Don't Sing (New York City's Stage 73). 

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An Evening with Paul Muldoon

Hickory, April 15, 2016

Paul Muldoon  

Paul Muldoon, Lenoir Rhyne University’s first visiting writer, is Princeton University professor and Lewis Center for the Arts founding chair. Between 1999 and 2004, he was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford. Since 2007 he has served as poetry editor of The New Yorker. Muldoon’s most famous collections of poetry are New Weather, Mules, Quoof, Meeting The British, Madoc: A Mystery, The Annals of Chile, Poems 1968– 1998, Maggot, and One Thousand Things Worth Knowing. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was elected a member of the American Academy in arts and Letters in 2008. His recent awards include the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the 2003 International Griffin Prize, the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award, and the 2004 Shakespeare Prize.


Bringing News to Light – Prize Winning Investigative Reporting 

Charlotte, April 19, 2016

Charles L. Overby 

Charles L. Overby is the former chairman and CEO of the Freedom Forum, Newseum and Diversity Institute, a non-partisan foundation that educates people about the press and the First Amendment. He is chairman of the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics and is an adjunct instructor in Journalism at Ole Miss. Overby has traveled to six continents speaking about media issues and promoting First Amendment freedoms. Before joining the Freedom Forum, he was a reporter and editor for 17 years and covered Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the White House and presidential campaigns for Gannett Co., the nation’s largest newspaper company. Overby was the top editor at Florida Today in Melbourne, Fla., and the executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger and Jackson Daily News in Jackson, Miss. He supervised the news and editorial coverage that led the Clarion-Ledger to win a Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 1983. Overby also served as vice president of news and communications for Gannett and was a member of the management committees of Gannett and USA Today. He served two brief stints in government, as press assistant to Sen. John Stennis, D-Miss., and special assistant for administration to Gov. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. 

Mark Ethridge 

Mark Ethridge, a native of Winston-Salem, NC, began his journalism career as a stringer for The Trenton (NJ) Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer while a student at Princeton. He began his fulltime career as a reporter in the Boston bureau of the Associated Press. In 1972, Ethridge joined The Charlotte Observer where he specialized in investigative reporting. As managing editor of the Observer from 1979-1988, he helped direct Pulitzer Prize-winning investigations of the textile industry and the PTL scandal involving Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. From 1989-1998, Ethridge was president and publisher of The Business Journal of Charlotte. He supervised a number of other business journals across the country and publications devoted to NASCAR racing for Newhouse/Advance. He was also president of Carolina Parenting, Inc. which publishes Charlotte Parent and the parenting magazines in Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point and Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill. Ethridge has written two journalism-based novels, one of which became a movie titled “Deadline.”

Karen Garloch  

Karen Garloch has been the medical writer at The Charlotte Observer since 1987. She was on a team of reporters and editors who were finalists for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting for the series "Prognosis: Profits" which looked at how the state’s major nonprofit hospitals generate large profits and contribute to the high cost of health care. She was also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her 2001 series, "Vernon's Goodbye," about a Charlotte-area man with advanced cancer who chose to end his life with at-home hospice care. A native of Indiana, Garloch graduated from Ball State University and previously worked for the Cincinnati Enquirer and daily newspapers in Middletown, O., Muncie, Ind., and Louisville, Ky.

Maria Henson  

Maria Henson, a native of Marion, N.C. who grew up in Raleigh, is associate vice president and editor-at-large at Wake Forest University. She oversees the award-winning Wake Forest Magazine, teaches News Literacy and blogs about the WFU community. Henson spent her career at newspapers throughout the country as a reporter, Washington correspondent, columnist, editorial writer, investigative editor and editor. She worked for four years writing editorials and op-ed columns in the 1990s at The Charlotte Observer. She won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing for her series about battered women in at the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky and edited the series about Yosemite National Park in The Sacramento Bee that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. She has served four times as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes. Henson was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, an Arthur Burns Fellow in Germany and a Jefferson Fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii, where she received a lifetime achievement award. Most recently she was deputy editorial page editor at The Sacramento Bee. In 2008 and part of 2009, she lived for 1½ years in Africa, mostly in the bush of Botswana. She returned to her alma mater in 2010, eager to mentor students.

Walker Lundy  

Walker Lundy retired in 2003 from the editorship of the Philadelphia Inquirer and after editing stints at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Arkansas Gazette, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Tallahassee Democrat, The Charlotte Observer, Detroit Free Press and Atlanta Journal. Two of the eight papers no longer exist. All but one has sold the building where he worked. Highlights of his career involve investigating reporting pieces he conducted early in his career about children being kept with adults at what was then the largest mental hospital in the world in Milledgeville, Ga., and the racial divide in Atlanta, following Dr. Martin Luther Kind casket in his funeral procession in 1968, being part of a Pulitzer Prize investigation at the Pioneer Press and getting fired by two publishers. Lundy is a Florida native and a graduate of the University of Florida. 


The Future of the News

Charlotte, April 25, 2016

Ed Williams

Ed Williams was editor of The Charlotte Observer’s editorial pages for 25 years before his retirement in 2008. His columns and editorials were part of Observer projects that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1981 and 1988. In 2003, the Mecklenburg County Bar Association gave him its Liberty Bell Award for community leadership and “willingness to take tough stands on tough issues.” Williams was the James K. Batten Visiting Professor of Public Policy at Davidson College in 2010, and he was inducted into the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame in 2011. In 1972, Williams was awarded a Nieman Fellowship for study at Harvard University. He worked briefly for the Ford Foundation before joining the Observer as an editorial writer in 1973.


Tim Grieve

Prior to joining McClatchy in October 2015, Tim Grieve was editor-in-chief of National Journal, where he led the transformation of a 40-year-old media brand into a vibrant, multi-platform news source on politics and policy. Previously, Grieve served in a number of senior editorial leadership roles at POLITICO.  As editor-in-chief of POLITICO Pro, Grieve built, launched and ran a fast-moving, fast-growing, online subscription news service covering the politics of energy, health care, technology and other critical policy areas. Grieve is a graduate of Stanford University, where he was editor-in-chief of The Stanford Daily. He began his professional journalism career as a reporter at The Sacramento Bee, then attended law school at Georgetown University. He clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and practiced law in California for several years before returning to journalism as a senior writer at Salon. 

 Joe O’Connor 

Joe O’Connor is the current President and General Manager of Charlotte’s NPR News Station, WFAE, 90.7FM and WFHE, 90.3FM in Hickory which features an award winning newsroom and “Charlotte Talks” with Mike Collins. He started at WFAE on February 1st, and came from Rhode Island where he was the founding general manager of Rhode Island Public Radio. Previously, O’Connor was senior producer for the NPR program “On Point.” He began his career as a CNN producer, then spent 22 years at ABC News as a radio news writer, a producer for “Good Morning America,” Nightline and PrimeTime Live. In 1994, he became the Washington senior producer for “World News Tonight” with Peter Jennings, responsible for all news coverage in the nation's capital. O'Connor has worked on almost every story imaginable, from the democracy protests in Tianamen Square to the Persian Gulf War to home-equity fraud in South Central Los Angeles. He received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and his masters in broadcast journalism from Boston University. O'Connor has garnered five Emmys, two Columbia DuPont Awards and a Peabody Award.

Julie Szulczewski 

Julie Szulczewski has been the News Director at WSOC/WAXN in Charlotte for five years. Prior to that she was news director at KOB in Albuquerque. She has also worked at television stations in Orlando, Miami , St. Louis, and Fort Myers. She is a strong advocate for investigative journalism and is a member of Investigative Reporters & Editors. Szulczewski is also vice president of the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas.  A Florida State University graduate, she misses her home state of Florida, but has fallen in love with the Carolinas.

Rick Thames 

is the executive editor of The Charlotte Observer and With more than 150 journalists and correspondents, the Observer is the largest newsgathering organization in the Carolinas. Each month, the newspaper and its website reach more than three million readers, drawn to the Observer’s award-winning journalism. The paper has been honored with four Pulitzer Prizes, four Robert F. Kennedy awards for public service and dozens of other national awards. This year, the Observer earned 41 awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the most of any newspaper in the state. Thames has continued the Observer’s longstanding commitment to investigative and public service reporting and has led its transition to digital journalism. He grew up in eastern North Carolina and has been a journalist for 38 years. Thames began as a reporter at the Fayetteville Observer and later worked as a reporter and news editor at The Miami News before joining the Observer in 1989. In 1997, he became executive editor of The Wichita Eagle. In 2004, he returned to Charlotte to become the Observer’s executive editor. Thames is past president of the North Carolina Press Association, a member of the American Society of News Editors and a member of the board of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition. He is now part of a team of executives within the Observer’s corporate parent, The McClatchy Company, working in collaboration with professors from Stanford University’s Institute of Design to develop new strategies for innovation


Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors: Author Reading

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Alan Taylor

Alan Taylor, one of the nation’s premier experts in Colonial America and the early U.S. republic, has twice won the Pulitzer Prize. The honor first came for William Cooper’s Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early Republic, and the 2014 Prize was awarded for The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832. Taylor is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor in History at University of Virginia. His newest book is American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804.


Hashtag Activism: New Media Mobilizes Communities of Interest 

Charlotte, September 15

Cheryl Butler-Brayboy  

Cheryl Butler-Brayboy is a writer, television news reporter and professor who resides in Charlotte.  The Chicago native works as an associate professor of English in the Department of Languages & Literature at the Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC. Her research interests include African American, Latino and Caribbean non-fiction and cinematic texts. Butler-Brayboy is author of the book “Art of the Black Essay” and numerous articles on textual interpellation and race. She has a Ph.D. in English/Cultural Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in English/Spanish from Spelman College. Butler-Brayboy has conducted independent research in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and England. She spent more than a decade covering education, religion, crime and politics for Fox, NBC and CBS affiliates across the United States, and is currently producing a documentary on slavery and interracial sexuality in the American South.

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Dr. Mohammed el-Nawawy 

Dr. Mohammed el-Nawawy is Charles A. Dana Professor of International Communication and Middle Eastern studies in the Department of Political Science and Sociology at Queens University of Charlotte. His areas of expertise and research interests are focused on the new media and their global impact, particularly in the Arab public sphere. He is also interested in public diplomacy and initiating dialogue between the East and the West. el-Nawawy has authored or co-authored six books and several articles in peer-reviewed national and foreign journals in the international communication field. His work on Arab media has attracted the attention of the popular press inside and outside the United States including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, CNN and NPR. el-Nawawy is the founding and senior editor of the peer-reviewed Journal of Middle East Media and serves on the editorial boards of Media, War and Conflict, Journalism Education and Global Media journals. He is also the president of the Arab-U.S. Association for Communication Educators, and previously worked for the Associated Press and The Baltimore Sun. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism and mass communication from the American University in Cairo, and a doctorate degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.


Old South/New South through Media 

Charlotte, September 27

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Anasa D. Sinegal  

Anasa D. Sinegal is Central Piedmont Community College’s Digital Media, Journalism and Communication Division Director.  She has completed doctoral coursework in Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism. There, she studied the homeless press and self-representation in mass media.  Sinegal earned a Master’s in Mass Communication at California State University, Northridge where her thesis focused on the public relations and media campaign to release her classmate from solitary confinement in Tehran, Iran.  The classmate was studying the women’s movement in Tehran for a documentary film and was silenced and arrested by the Iranian government in 2008. Prior to entering graduate school, Sinegal worked in television news as a producer in Texas and Rhode Island, winning a Boston Area Emmy Award for her coverage of a deadly nightclub fire.  She has also worked in the activist and ethnic press.

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Dr. Eric Freedman  

Dr. Eric Freedman is Dean of the School of Media Arts at Columbia College Chicago, and author of Transient Images: Personal Media in Public Frameworks (Temple University Press). He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of e-Media Studies, and holds a Ph.D. from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. Dr. Freedman is also an accomplished media artist and has been an active public access producer engaged with community media practices; his creative work has been exhibited at notable venues in the United States and abroad, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, the American Film Institute, MIX New York, and Ars Electronica.

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Rodrigo Dorfman

Rodrigo Dorfman is a North Carolina-based, award-winning filmmaker and multimedia producer who has worked with POV; HBO; Ventanazul, a production company partially owned and managed by actress Salma Hayek, and the BBC among others. His films have been screened at some of the top international film festivals in the world (Toronto, Full Frame, Edinburgh, Telluride, Human Rights Watch). With his father, Dorfman has won the award for best screenplay from the Writer's Guild of Great Britain for "Prisoners in Time" (1997). His short "One Night in Kernersville" won a jury award for best short at Full Frame (2011). Dorfman's latest work is "NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South," a national touring museum exhibit based on his documentary work and now at the Levine Museum of the New South. He is currently the editor and cinematographer of the documentary "Always in Season" about the impact of lynching on four different communities.



Mark I. West

Mark I. West is a Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he has taught since 1984.  In addition to performing administrative duties, he regularly teaches courses on children's and young adult literature.  He has written or edited fifteen books, the most recent of which is Walt Disney, from Reader to Storyteller, which he co-edited with Kathy Merlock Jackson.  His articles have appeared in various national publications, such as the New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, Americana, and British Heritage, as well as many academic journals.  Before entering academia, he worked as an early childhood educator and professional puppeteer.


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Ayad Akhtar at East Carolina University 

Greenville, October 12

Ayad Akhtar 

Ayad Akhtar is a Pakistani-American actor and writer born in New York City and reared in Wisconsin. His Pulitzer prize-winning play Disgraced (2012) dramatizes the tension in American multicultural society caused by the many racial and ethnic prejudices that have grown at an alarming rate in post 9-11 America, and offers the pathos necessary for change. Akhtar's parents, both doctors, migrated to the US from Pakistan in the 1960s, and most of his work in the past 10 years has examined his dual identity. He studied theater at Brown University, then traveled to Italy to study with Jerzy Grotowski (1933-1999), the Polish innovative director and Jungian theorist who has significantly influenced contemporary drama.  After returning to the United States, he taught acting classes with Andre Gregory while earning a Master of Arts degree in directing from Columbia University School of the Arts. While there, Akhtar also wrote the screenplay for The War Within, a 2005 film about an ordinary man radicalized into becoming a terrorist. Akhtar has also written the award-winning play The Invisible Hand (2014) and American Dervish (2012), a novel published by Little Brown. He is presently working on his second novel.


Carolina Mountains Literary Festival Pulitzer Keynote

Burnsville, September 10, 2016

David George Haskell  

David George Haskell’s work integrates scientific and contemplative studies of the natural world. His research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the World Wildlife Fund, among others. In addition to numerous scientific articles, essays, poems, and columns, Haskell authored The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature (Viking) winner of the 2013 National Academies Communication Award for Best Book, 2012 National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature, and 2013 Reed Environmental Writing Award, as well as a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction. His second book, Songs of Trees, will be released in 2017. Haskell is a 2014 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow in the Creative Arts category. In 2009, the Carnegie and CASE Foundations named him Professor of the Year for Tennessee; The Oxford American featured him in 2011 as one of the southern U.S.’s most creative teachers, and his teaching has been profiled in USA Today, The Tennesseean, and other newspapers. Haskell holds degrees from the University of Oxford (B.A. in Zoology) and Cornell University (Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology). He is Professor of Biology at the University of the South, where he has served as an Environmental Fellow with the Associated Colleges of the South.


Galway Kinnell: A Return to Black Mtn.

Asheville, October 21

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Laura Hope-Gill  

Laura Hope-Gill's life path has been intertwined with that of Black Mountain College. She attended square dances at Camp Rockmont, the final home of the college, as an elementary student, and later YMCA conferences at the Blue Ridge Assembly, the college's first home, before attending Rollins College. A resident of Asheville, she continues to feel connected to the institution, teaching creative writing as the director of Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative, Lenoir-Rhyne University. She has published two books of architectural history and one collection of poetry, “The Soul Tree,” inspired by the mountains of western North Carolina. Her poems, essays, and stories have appeared in Parabola, North Carolina Literary Review, Missouri Review, and others. She has worked with North Carolina Humanities Council for nearly a decade to develop the multicultural poetry festival, Asheville Wordfest. 

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Harlan Joel Gradin  

In addition to United States history, Harlan’s academic interests include anthropology, sociology, literary theory, and cultural and political theory. He is particularly interested in the relationship between culture, language, and community development. Throughout the 1980s, Gradin did research for community economic development organizations. While at the Council, he worked to connect these efforts with humanities scholarship in local communities throughout North Carolina. 
Gradin earned his Ph.D. And M.A. in History from UNC Chapel Hill, and an A.B., magna cum laude with distinction, in U.S. History from Duke University. He co-edited We the People: Conversations on Identity, Culture, and History in North Carolina (2005); Watching TV Off the Back of a Fire Truck: Voices from the Floyd Flood in Eastern North Carolina (2005); and Community Development Corporation Profile Book, National Congress for Community Economic Development (1985).

Gradin’s work helped the Council earn the Helen and Martin Schwartz Prize for Excellence in Public Programming from the Federation of State Humanities Councils. He is a William C. Friday Fellow in Human Relations, Governor Beverly Perdue awarded him the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2011. 
Originally from New York City, Gradin has lived in Durham since 1974. 


Faith in Literature

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Isabel Wilkerson

Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson devoted 15 years to the research and writing of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. She interviewed more than 1,200 people, unearthed archival works and gathered the voices of the famous and the unknown to tell the story of one of the largest migrations in American history and one of the biggest underreported stories of the 20th Century.

The book was named to more than 30 Best of the Year lists, won the National Book Critics Circle Award, among other honors, and made national news when President Obama chose it for summer reading in 2011. In 2012, The New York Times named The Warmth of Other Suns to its list of the best nonfiction books of all time.

Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African-American to win for individual reporting. She has appeared on national programs such as CBS' "60 Minutes," NPR's "Fresh Air" and PBS' "NewsHour" and "Charlie Rose Show." She has taught at Princeton University, Emory University and Boston University and has spoken at more than 100 universities in the United States and in Europe.