National Antiracist Book Festival

National Antiracist Book Festival

On Saturday, April 27, 2019, The Antiracist Research and Policy Center will host the 1st Annual National Antiracist Book Festival at American University in Washington, DC. It will take place on AU’s Law School campus near the Tenleytown-AU metro station on the red line. Nearby Politics and Prose Bookstore will be the official bookseller.

The #Antiracist Bookfest is the first and only book festival that brings together, showcases, and celebrates the nation’s leading antiracist writers and helps to prepare the writers of tomorrow. This year’s festival primarily features authors of anti-Black racism and its intersections. Panels are topically organized with two authors and a moderator, and are followed by book signings. There is also a course of workshops for aspiring writers with leading book editors and literary agents. Free workshops will be held for educators and youth, and on photography and self-care. 

The National Antiracist Book Festival is a ticketed event. All proceeds from ticket sales for the Antiracist Bookfest will go toward the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. 

Media Contact: Event is by RSVP. Media members are required to RSVP with Rebecca Basu, American University Communications, 202-885-5950,


National Book Critics Circle Award winning historian Carol Anderson

National Magazine Award winning reporter Shane Bauer 

Bancroft Prize winning Yale historian David Blight

“Must-read” new author Austin Channing Brown

Critically acclaimed essayist and sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom

New York Times bestselling author Robin DiAngelo 

National Book Award Finalist Erica Armstrong Dunbar

Well-Read Black Girl Founder Glory Edim 

Award-winning Harvard professor and filmmaker Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Award-winning Harvard historian Elizabeth Hinton

New York Times bestselling author Morgan Jerkins

Pulitzer Prize winning poet Tyehimba Jess

Award-winning John Hopkins historian Martha Jones 

Award-winning UC Berkeley historian Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers

National Book Award winning historian Ibram X. Kendi

Award-winning Washington Post editor Steve Luxenberg

Nationally renowned Campaign Zero Co-Founder DeRay McKesson

Columbia University writer-in-residence Darnell Moore

New York Times bestselling author Ijeoma Oluo

Award-winning Princeton scholar Imani Perry

New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds

Award-winning poet and writer Clint Smith 

National Book Award honoree Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

PEN Open Book Award winner Nafissa Thompson-Spires 

The Witness President Jemar Tisby 

New York Times bestselling author D. Watkins

National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jacqueline Woodson

Very Smart Brothas Cofounder Damon Young 


Anthony Arnove, Founding Editor, Haymarket Books

Georgia Bodnar, Editor, Viking Books, Penguim Random House 

Carl Bromley, Editorial Director, The New Press

Jaya Chatterjee, Editor, Yale University Press

Chris Jackson, Vice President/Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, One World/Random House

Marita Golden, Award-winning writer and writing coach 

Rachael Marks, Editor, Beacon Press

Tanya McKinnon, Co-Founder, McKinnon McIntyre Literary Agency

Katy O’Donnell, Senior Editor, Bold Type Books, Hachette Book Group

Ayesha Pande, Ayesha Pande Literary

Tracy Sherrod, Editorial Director, Amistad, HarperCollins Publishers

Anjali Singh, Ayesha Pande Literary

Howard Yoon, Ross Yoon Agency


9 a.m.

On the history and persistence of racism in the Christian church with Jemar Tisby and Austin Channing Brown. Grossman Hall A. 

Jemar Tisby is the author of the critically acclaimed new book, THE COLOR OF COMPROMISE: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE AMERICAN CHURCH’S COMPLICITY IN RACISM. It is an acclaimed, timely narrative of how people of faith have historically–up to the present day–worked against racial justice, and a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response. Tisby is president of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective, and the cohost of the Pass The Mic podcast. His writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and CNN.

Austin Channing Brown is the author of the widely acclaimed book, I’M STILL HERE: BLACK DIGNITY IN A WORLD MADE FOR WHITENESS. From a powerful new voice on racial justice, I’M STILL HERE is an eye-opening account of growing up Black, Christian, and female in middle-class white America. The book has been featured in Religion News Service, On Being, Chicago Tribune, Shondaland, Popsugar, Relevant, BitchMedia, WNYC and more. Brown has worked with nonprofits, churches, and universities for the advancement of racial justice and reconciliation, and her writing can be found in Sojourners Magazine and Relevant Magazine, among other outlets.

On the production of Whiteness with Robin DiAngelo and TBA. Grossman Hall B.

Robin DiAngelo is the author of WHITE FRAGILITY: WHY IT’S SO HARD FOR WHITE PEOPLE TO TALK ABOUT RACISM, a New York Times bestseller. This book explores the counterproductive reactions White people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality. DiAngelo has been a consultant and trainer on issues of racial and social justice for more than over 20 years. She formerly served as a tenured professor of multicultural education at Westfield State University.

10 a.m.

On homophobia, transphobia, and their intersections with racism with Darnell Moore and TBA. Grossman Hall A

Darnell L. Moore is the author of NO ASHES IN THE FIRE: COMING OF AGE BLACK AND FREE IN AMERICA, a New York Times Notable Book of 2018. Moore is the head of Strategy and Programs at BreakthroughUS. He is also a columnist at and, and a former editor at large at CASSIUS and senior editor at Mic, where he hosted their widely viewed digital series The Movement. He writings have been published in Ebony, Advocate, Vice, Guardian and MSNBC. Moore is a writer-in-residence at the Center of African American Religion, Sexual Politics, and Social Justice at Columbia University.

On new research on enslavers, runaways, and women with Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers. Grossman Hall B.

Erica Armstong Dunbar is the author of NEVER CAUGHT: THE WASHINGTONS’ RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF THEIR RUNAWAY SLAVE, ONA JUDGE, a finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction. Dunbar is the Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History at Rutgers University. She also serves as Director of the Program in African American History at the Library Company of Philadelphia. Her first book, A FRAGILE FREEDOM: AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN AND EMANCIPATION IN THE ANTEBELLUM CITY, was published in 2008.

Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers is the author of the widely reviewed and acclaimed new book, THEY WERE HER PROPERTY: WHITE WOMEN AS SLAVE OWNERS IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH, based on her award-winning dissertation. It is a bold and searing investigation into the role of White women in the American slave economy that profoundly reshapes the history of slavery. Jones-Rogers is a historian at the University of California, Berkeley.

11 a.m.

On the lives of urban low-income Black people with Damon Young and D. Watkins. Grossman Hall A.

Damon Young is the author of the new book, WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU MAKES YOU BLACKER: A MEMOIR IN ESSAYS, a provocative and humorous memoir-in-essays that explores the ever-shifting definitions of what it means to be Black (and male) in America. Young is the cofounder and editor in chief of VerySmartBrothas, a senior editor at The Root, and a columnist for GQ. His work has appeared in outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, Al-Jazeera, Slate, Salon, The Guardian (UK), New York magazineJezebel, Complex, EBONY, Essence, USA Today, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

D. Watkins is the author of the new book, WE SPEAK FOR OURSELVES: A WORD FROM FORGOTTEN BLACK AMERICA. From the row houses of Baltimore to the stoops of Brooklyn, Watkins lays bare the voices of the most vulnerable and allows their raw, intimate stories to uncover the systematic injustice threaded within our society. D. Watkins is editor-at-large for Salon and the New York Times bestselling author of THE COOK UP and THE BEAST SIDE. He’s a professor at the University of Baltimore and founder of the BMORE Writers Project. His work has been published in The New York TimesGuardianRolling Stone, and other publications. 

On the contours and impact of racism and sexism on Black women, popular culture, and society with Morgan Jerkins and Tressie Cottom. Grossman Hall B.

Morgan Jerkins is author of THIS WILL BE MY UNDOING: LIVING AT THE INTERSECTION OF BLACK, FEMALE, AND FEMINIST IN (WHITE) AMERICA, a New York Times bestseller. Jerkins’ highly-anticipated collection of linked essays interweaves her incisive commentary on pop culture, feminism, black history, misogyny, and racism with her own experiences to confront the very real challenges of being a Black woman today. Jerkins is a former Associate Editor at Catapult and currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s MFA Nonfiction program. She has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, and ELLE, among many others.

Tressie McMillan Cottom is the author of the new book, THICK: AND OTHER ESSAYS, a book recommended by New York Times, the Washington PostChicago TribuneEntertainment WeeklyBustleBook RiotBuzzFeedBUSTLit HubThe Millions, and Well-Read Black Girl. THICK waxes poetically on self and society, serving up a healthy portion of clever prose and southern aphorisms as she covers everything from Saturday Night Live, LinkedIn, and BBQ Becky to sexual violence, infant mortality, and Trump rallies. Cottom is a sociologist at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work has been featured by the Washington Post, NPR’s Fresh AirThe Daily Show, the New York TimesSlate, and The Atlantic, among others outlets.

12 p.m.

On sharing and complicating the stories of Black women with Imani Perry and Glory Edim. Grossman Hall A.

Imani Perry is the author of LOOKING FOR LORRAINE: THE RADIANT AND RADICAL LIFE OF LORRAINE HANSBERRY, the winner of the 2019 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography and a New York Times Notable Book of 2018. Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, where she also teaches in the Programs in Law and Public Affairs, and in Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is the author of several books, including VEXY THING: ON GENDER AND LIBERATION and MAY WE FOREVER STAND: A HISTORY OF THE BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM.

Glory Edim is the author of WELL-READ BLACK GIRL: FINDING OUR STORIES, DISCOVERING OURSELVES, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. It is an inspiring collection of essays by Black women writers, on the importance of recognizing ourselves in literature. Edim is the founder of Well-Read Black Girl, a Brooklyn-based book club and digital platform that celebrates the uniqueness of Black literature and sisterhood that has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair, and NPR, among other outlets. In fall 2017 she organized the first-ever Well-Read Black Girl Festival. She has worked as a creative strategist for over ten years at startups and cultural institutions.

On hope, resistance, and redemption in the face of White Supremacy with DeRay McKesson and Margaret Wilkerson Sexton. Grossman Hall B.

DeRay Mckesson is the author of ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FREEDOM: THE CASE FOR HOPE, named one of the best books of 2018 by NPR and Esquire. The book is a meditation on resistance, justice, and freedom, and an intimate portrait of a movement from the front lines. McKesson is a civil rights activist, community organizer, and the host of Crooked Media’s award-winning podcast, Pod Save the People. He came to prominence for his participation in, and documentation of, the Ferguson protests and the movement against police violence and mass incarceration. Named one of Time‘s 30 Most Influential People on the Internet and #11 on Fortune’s World’s Greatest Leaders list, he is leading voice in the Black Lives Matter movement and the co-founder of Campaign Zero, a policy platform to end police violence.

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton is the author of A KIND OF FREEDOM: A NOVEL, a 2017 National Book Award nominee and winner of the Crook’s Corner Prize. Sexton’s debut novel was named one of the Best Books of 2017 by the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Ebony, BBC Culture, Southern Living, and Chicago Public Library. It explores the legacy of racism in the South through a poignant and redemptive family history. Born and raised in New Orleans, Sexton studied creative writing at Dartmouth College and law at UC Berkeley. She was a recipient of the Lombard Fellowship and spent a year in the Dominican Republic working for a civil rights organization and writing.

1 p.m.

On opening up the racial dialogue with Ijeoma Oluo and Nafissa Thompson-Spires. Grossman Hall A.

Ijeoma Oluo is the author of SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE, a New York Times bestseller. She guides readers of all races through a wide range of subjects in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism. Oluo is a Seattle-based writer and speaker whose work on race has been featured in The Guardian, New York magazine, xoJane, Jezebel, and more. She is also an editor-at-large at The Establishment. She was named one of the The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2017, one of the Most Influential People in Seattle by Seattle Magazine, one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Seattle by Seattle Met, and winner of the of the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award by the American Humanist Society.

Nafissa Thompson-Spires is the author of HEADS OF COLORED PEOPLE: STORIES, nominated for the National Book Award. It was a PEN Open Book Award Winner, finalist for the Kirkus Prize and Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and nominated for the Aspen Words Literary Prize and PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize. This book of short stories fearlessly shines a light on the simmering tensions and precariousness of Black citizenship. She earned a doctorate in English from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois. Her work has appeared in Story Quarterly, Lunch Ticket, and The Feminist Wire, among other publications. She was a 2016 fellow of the Callaloo Writer’s Workshop.

On racism’s strangehold on American democracy and antiracist resistance for survival with Carol Anderson and Ibram X. Kendi. Grossman Hall B.

Carol Anderson is the author of ONE PERSON, NO VOTE: HOW VOTER SUPPRESSION IS DESTROYING OUR DEMOCRACY, a finalist for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction and National Book Award for Nonfiction nominee. The book is a startling–and timely–history of voter suppression in America. Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University. She is also the author of WHITE RAGE, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, BOURGEOIS RADICALS, and EYES OFF THE PRIZE. She was recently named a Guggenheim Fellow for Constitutional Studies.

Ibram X. Kendi is the author of the forthcoming book, HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST, and STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING: THE DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF RACIST IDEAS IN AMERICA, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the National Book Award for Nonfiction. He is the founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. A professor of history and international relations and frequent public speaker, Kendi is a columnist at The Atlantic. He is also the author of The Black Campus Movement, which won the W.E.B. Du Bois Book Prize.

2 p.m.

On the endurance of mass incarceration with Elizabeth Hinton and Shane Bauer. Grossman Hall A.

Elizabeth Hinton is the author of FROM THE WAR ON POVERTY TO THE WAR ON CRIME: THE MAKING OF MASS INCARCERATION, the co-winner of the Thomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize. It was named one of the most notable or favorite books of 2016 by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Choice, and Publishers WeeklyHinton examines the implementation of federal law enforcement programs beginning in the mid-1960s that made the United States home to the largest prison system in world history. Hinton is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department History and the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. 

Shane Bauer is the author of AN AMERICAN PRISON: A REPORTER’S UNDERCOVER JOURNEY INTO THE BUSINESS OF PUNISHMENT, which the New York Times named one of the 10 Best Books of 2018. It was one of President Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2018. AN AMERICAN PRISON is a ground-breaking and brave inside reckoning with the nexus of prison and profit in America: in one Louisiana prison and over the course of our country’s history. Bauer is a senior reporter for Mother Jones. He is the recipient of the National Magazine Award for Best Reporting, Harvard’s Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, Atlantic Media’s Michael Kelly Award, the Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism, and at least 20 others. Bauer is the co-author, along with Sarah Shourd and Joshua Fattal, of a memoir, A Sliver of Light, which details his time spent as a prisoner in Iran.

On writing to capture the hearts and minds of youth with Jason Reynolds and Jacqueline Woodson. Grossman Hall B.

Jason Reynolds is the New York Times bestselling author of LONG WAY DOWN, a winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature and the Walter Dean Myers Award. It was also nominated for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. His many works of fiction include WHEN I WAS THE GREATEST, BOY IN THE BLACK SUIT, ALL AMERICAN BOYS (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), AS BRAVE AS YOU, FOR EVERY ONE, MILES MORALES: SPIDER MAN, and the Track series (GHOST, PATINA, SUNNY, and LU). Reynolds is a National Book Award Honoree, a Kirkus Award winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. Reynolds was named the American Booksellers Association’s 2017 and 2018 spokesperson for Indies First, and served as the national spokesperson for the 2018 celebration of School Library Month in April 2018, sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).

Jacqueline Woodson’s latest children’s picture book is THE DAY YOU BEGIN, which was a #1 New York Times bestseller. Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and received the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the 2018 Children’s Literature Legacy Award. She is the 2014 National Book Award winner for her New York Times bestselling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, which was also a recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor, the NAACP Image Award and a Sibert Honor. She receive the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a three-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. Her many books include THE OTHER SIDEEACH KINDNESSCOMING ON HOME SOONFEATHERSSHOW WAYAFTER TUPAC AND D FOSTER, and MIRACLE’S BOYS. She received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement for her contributions to young adult literature.

3 p.m.

On using the lyric and the poem to blend the past and present with Tyehimba Jess and Clint Smith. Grossman Hall A.

Tyehimba Jess is the author of OLIO, which won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, the Anisfield-Wolf Award in Poetry, and the Society of Midland Authors Award in Poetry. Part fact, part fiction, OLIO weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I. His first book of poetry, leadbelly, won the 2004 National Poetry Series. Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.” Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004-2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is a professor of English at College of Staten Island.

Clint Smith is the author of COUNTING DESCENT, winner of the 2017 Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Award and finalist for the 2017 NAACP Image Awards. A “One Book One New Orleans” 2017 Book Selection, Smith’s debut poetry collection is a coming of age story that seeks to complicate our conception of lineage and tradition. Smith is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University and has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, and the National Science Foundation. He is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion and was a speaker at the 2015 TED Conference. His writing has been published in The New YorkerThe GuardianThe American Poetry ReviewBoston ReviewHarvard Educational Review and elsewhere.

On the nineteenth century fight of African Americans for freedom and civil rights with David Blight and Martha Jones. Grossman Hall B.

David W. Blight is the author of FREDERICK DOUGLASS: A PROPHET OF FREEDOM, which was named one of the top 10 books of 2018 by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Time. He is Class of 1954 Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. He is the author or editor of a dozen books, including American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era; and Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory; and annotated editions of Douglass’s first two autobiographies. He has worked on Douglass much of his professional life, and been awarded the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize, among others.

Martha S. Jones is the author of BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENS: A HISTORY OF RACE AND RIGHTS IN ANTEBELLUM AMERICA, a highly acclaimed book that shows how African American activists radically transformed the terms of citizenship for all Americans. Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University. She also authored ALL BOUND UP TOGETHER: THE WOMAN QUESTION IN AFRICAN AMERICAN PUBLIC CULTURE 1830-1900 and co-edited TOWARD AN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY OF BLACK WOMEN. Jones has written for the Washington Post, the AtlanticUSA TodayPublic Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Time.

4 p.m.

On the rise of Jim Crow and its relevance today with Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Steve Luxenberg. Grossman Hall A.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the author of the new book, STONY THE ROAD: RECONSTRUCTION, WHITE SUPREMACY, AND THE RISE OF JIM CROW. Gates is Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. An award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder, Professor Gates has authored or coauthored twenty-four books and created twenty documentary films, including Finding Your Roots and Reconstruction: America after the Civil War. His six-part PBS documentary, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, earned an Emmy Award for Outstanding Historical Program-Long Form, as well as a Peabody Award, Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, and NAACP Image Award.

Steve Luxenberg is the author of the new book, SEPARATE: THE STORY OF PLESSY V. FERGUSON, AND AMERICA’S JOURNEY FROM SLAVERY TO SEGREGATION, which won the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed ANNIE’S GHOSTS: A JOURNEY INTO A FAMILY SECRET. During his thirty years as a Washington Post senior editor, he has overseen reporting that has earned numerous national honors, including two Pulitzer Prizes.

Editorial Workshops 

On the Book Idea & Proposal with Georgia Bodnar and Jaya Chatterjee

9 a.m.

Georgia Bodnar is an editor at Viking Books, a legendary imprint of Penguin Random House with a distinguished list of extraordinary Pulitzer Prize– and Nobel Award–winning writers in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. A “rising publishing industry star” (BuzzFeed), she is the editor of ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FREEDOM by activist DeRay McKesson, as well as forthcoming books from feminist and essayist Mikki Kendall and acclaimed scientist and Emory ethnobotanist Cassandra Quave. She is proud to have worked with many celebrated and bestselling writers including Nancy MacLean, Nancy Isenberg, Nathaniel Philbrick, Steven Hahn, and Steven Pinker.

Jaya Chatterjee is the editor for world history, geopolitics, and International Relations at Yale University Press. She was named in 2016 by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the handful of publishers “who are making a big splash early in their careers.” She commissions books from scholars, policy analysts at research centers and think tanks, and long-form journalists whose work is grounded in scholarship. Broadly speaking, her books are both timely, uncovering the rich history that undergirds our world today, and timeless—definitive works that will have longevity in libraries and college courses.

On Securing the Literary Agent with Tanya McKinnon and Ayesha Pande

10 a.m.

Tanya McKinnon is the co-founder of the McKinnon McIntyre Literary Agency where she represents New York Times bestselling non-fiction, award-winning public intellectuals, award-winning children’s books, and New York Times bestselling graphic novels. She specializes in non-fiction that addresses cultural issues as well as gender, race, class, ethnicity, and sexuality. She is most drawn to work that pushes political and cultural boundaries. Her authors include Michael Eric Dyson, Akiba Solomon, Damon Young, Brittney Cooper, and Patrisse Khan-Cullors. She teachers Writing for Children in the Publishing Certificate Program at City College of New York and has been a literary agent for sixteen years.

Ayesha Pande has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years. Before launching her boutique agency, Pande was a senior editor at Farrar Straus & Giroux. She has also held editorial positions at HarperCollins and Crown Publishers. Among her many wonderful clients are National Book Award winner Ibram X. Kendi, PEN/Bingham Prize winner Danielle Evans, PEN/Bellwether Prize winner Lisa Ko, New York Times bestselling author Shilpi Somaya Gowda and PEN/Hemingway finalist Patricia Engel. Her interests are wide-ranging and include literary as well as popular fiction, young adult, women’s, African-American and international fiction. She is also seeking authors of nonfiction, including biography, history, popular culture, cultural commentary, and memoir. She is particularly drawn to distinctive, original voices.

On Writing the First Book with Rachael Marks

11 a.m.

Rachael Marks is an editor at Beacon Press. She acquires in education, with a special interest in educational equality and democracy; cultural environments of urban, suburban, and rural educational settings; issues of difference, diversity, social justice, and alliance building. Here titles include: FOR WHITE FOLKS WHO TEACH IN THE HOOD…AND THE REST OF Y’ALL TOO: REALITY PEDAGOGY AND URBAN EDUCATION by Christopher Emdin and WHITE FRAGILITY: WHY IT’S SO HARD FOR WHITE PEOPLE TO TALK ABOUT RACISM by Robin DiAngelo.

On from Academic to Trade Book with Katy O’Donnell and Ibram X. Kendi

12 p.m.

Ibram X. Kendi is the author of the forthcoming book, HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST, and STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING: THE DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF RACIST IDEAS IN AMERICA, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the National Book Award for Nonfiction. He is the founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. A professor of history and international relations and frequent public speaker, Kendi is a columnist at The Atlantic. He is also the author of The Black Campus Movement, which won the W.E.B. Du Bois Book Prize.

On Fiction Writing with Anjali Singh and Marita Golden

1 p.m.

Anjali Singh is a literary agent at Ayesha Pande Literary. She started her career in publishing in 1996 as a literary scout. Most recently Editorial Director at Other Press, she has also worked as an editor at Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Vintage Books. She is is best known for having championed Marjane Satrapi’s PERSEPOLIS after stumbling across it on a visit to Paris. She has always been drawn to the thrill of discovering new writers, and among the literary novelists whose careers she helped launch are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Samantha Hunt, Preeta Samarasan, Zoe Ferraris, Victoria Patterson, Natalie Bakopoulos, Enid Shomer and Brigid Pasulka. 

Marita Golden is an award-winning author of 16 works of fiction and nonfiction. Her latest novel, THE WIDE CIRCUMFERENCE OF LOVE, was an NPR Best Book in 2017 and nominated for the NAACP Image Award. It was her second nomination for an NAACP Image Award. Golden has also been honored by the Association of Maryland Librarians, the American Library Association, the Authors Guild, Poets & Writers, Chicago State University, the University of Richmond, Zeta Phi Beta, and her alma mater, American University. Golden is a master instructor of writing, having taught writing and served as a writer in residence at George Mason University, University of District of Columbia, John Hopkins University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Emerson College, The University of Lagos (Nigeria), and American University. 

On the Author Platform with Howard Yoon

2 p.m.

Howard Yoon is a literary agent and principal of the Ross Yoon Agency. He started as a literary assistant in 1992 and over the years has served as an editorial director, ghostwriter, foreign rights manager, book consultant, and book editor. Yoon specializes in narrative nonfiction, history, memoir, science, current events, politics, and popular culture. Yoon has been an adjunct professor at the Masters of Journalism program at Georgetown University, where he has won awards teaching a narrative nonfiction writing class. He was a former contributor to’s food blog, “Kitchen Window.” He currently serves as the board chair of 826DC, the DC chapter of a nonprofit founded by novelist Dave Eggers to support public school students in areas of creative writing, reading, and learning.

On Non-Fiction Writing with Anthony Arnove and Carl Bromley

3 p.m.

Anthony Arnove is the co-founder and an editor at Haymarket Books, a radically independent press. Anthony has worked with many popular authors, including Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Rebecca Solnit, Angela Davis, Howard Zinn, Amy Goodman, Winona LaDuke, Dave Zirin, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Avi Lewis, and Naomi Klein. Anthony Arnove produced the Academy Award–nominated documentary Dirty Wars and wrote, directed, and produced The People Speak with Howard Zinn. He is the editor of several books.

Carl Bromley is the editorial director of the New Press, a publishing house most known for publishing THE NEW JIM CROW by Michelle Alexander. Bromley was previously the editorial director at Bold Type Books. Over the years, he was worked with many writers of serious non-fiction, including U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Juan Gonzalez, Raja Shehadeh, Kristina Rizga, Robert Scheer, Judith Nies, John Prados, and Jeremy Scahill.


The mission of The Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University is to produce knowledge for change’s sake. We engage in research of racial inequity and discrimination that leads to policy innovation and implementation. In its 125-year history, American University has established a reputation for producing changemakers focused on the challenges of a changing world. AU has garnered recognition for global education, public service, experiential learning and politically active and diverse students, as well as academic and research expertise in a wide range of areas including the arts, sciences, humanities, business and communication, political science and policy, governance, law and diplomacy.