ITHACA, NY— Leaders from Ithaca College and the Ithaca City School District will be holding a virtual panel discussion tonight –– April 15 –– with author and antiracism advocate Jason Reynolds during which his book “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You,” and how its lessons can be applied to local educational institutions will be discussed.

Reynolds writes novels and poetry for young adult and middle-grade audiences. His most recent fiction work, “Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks,” was a National Book Award finalist and was named one of the best books of 2019 by NPR, The New York Times and School Library Journal, among others.

Dubbed “Critical Conversations with Jason Reynolds” the event is open to the public. The discussion starts at 7 p.m. and the Zoom link can be found here. 

Written with Ibram X. Kendi, “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You” is a sort of companion piece to Kendi’s National Book Award-winning “Stamped from the Beginning” which covers a comprehensive history of racism in the United States. The newer book looks to apply that history to contextualize society today, helping young readers to better understand themselves and their peers and how to combat racism in their own lives. 

The event comes at a time when American educators teaching students about racism has become an increasingly divisive issue at the same time racist violence and discrimination are dominating national headlines. Reynolds’ book, which “shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas, and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives” has even been listed as one of the American Library Association’s annual Top 10 ‘most challenged’ titles of 2020 –– books parents have asked to be removed from libraries –– joining the ranks of several other antiracism books. 

According to reporting in The Guardian, antiracism books have replaced the usual challenged theme of LGBTQ literature.

Luvelle Brown, superintendent of Ithaca City School District (ICSD), will moderate the panel discussion with Reynolds; Shirley M. Collado, president of Ithaca College; Sean Eversley Bradwell, assistant professor of Education at Ithaca College and vice president of the ICSD Board of Education and Ayisha Fullerton, principal of Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem, N.Y., a partner school of the Department of Education

The group of educators will, “explore how the book can be used in schools and communities to cultivate an understanding and action to disrupt systemic racism.”

Individuals requiring accommodations for the panel discussion can contact Sarah House in the Ithaca College Department of Education at shouse@ithaca.edu.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com