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UCSB Reads 2021: Events

Author Talk

UCSB Reads Events


All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.
For questions or to participate in programming, please contact Alex Regan

All events will be presented online unless otherwise stated.

Related Campus Events

Wed. May 12, 5PM: UCSB Reads 2021 Author Talk: Patrisse Cullors UCSB Library is thrilled to present Patrisse Cullors, UCSB Reads 2021 author of When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir for a free online community talk. Artist, organizer, educator, and popular public speaker, Patrisse Cullors is a Los Angeles native, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, and Founder of grassroots Los Angeles-based organization Dignity and Power Now. (Online Event)

Thurs. May 13, 4PM: John Ware Reclaimed Is it possible to love someone who died before you were born? Cheryl Foggo believes so. John Ware Reclaimed (2020) follows filmmaker Foggo on her quest to uncover the complex story of John Ware, a Black cowboy and rancher who settled in Alberta prior to the turn of the Twentieth Century. As she endeavors to dig past the racist myths and mistellings surrounding Ware, she recalls her childhood in Calgary, Alberta, her own experiences of racism, and her family’s history as part of the 1910 migration to western Canada to escape violence in the southern United States.

Thur. May 20, 5:45PM: Virtual Social Justice Book Club Throughout the year the Social Justice Book Club will read books that will have us examine different social injustices, stereotypes, and prejudices that exist in our current world. This discussion will be around Patrisse Cullors's When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir and is in partnership with the UCSB Library as part of UCSB Reads. Please register to receive the Zoom link for the virtual event.Email with questions. (Online Event)

Thur. June 3, 8:30PM: We Are the Dream Every year, hundreds of school children participate in the Oakland MLK Oratorical Festival, a stirring public speaking competition featuring poetry and speeches inspired by the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This uplifting documentary directed by Emmy-winner Amy Schatz and executive produced by Academy Award-winner Mahershala Ali follows students from schools across the city as they hone their speeches, hoping for a coveted spot in the finals. Heartwarming and inspiring, We Are the Dream presents a portrait of passionate young people presenting speeches on issues they care about – racial injustice, immigration and more – and a community that celebrates their powerful voices.

More upcoming events can be found on the Spring 2021 Black Programming Calender


Fri. May 7, 12PM: Using Data to Fight Racism and Police Violence Samuel Sinyangwe, co-founder, We the Protestors (Anti-Blackness: Difficult Dialogues Online Event). In partnership with UCSB Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Tues. May 4, 5PM: The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together Heather McGhee’s specialty is the American economy – and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. She played a leadership role in steering the historic Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and was one of the key advocates credited for the adoption of the Volcker Rule. McGhee's compassionate and deeply-stirring New York Times bestseller, The Sum of Us, reveals the devastating true cost of racism for everyone and offers an actionable roadmap during one of the most critical – and most troubled – periods in history.

Fri. April 30, 5PM: American Injustice: Mercy, Humanity and Making a Difference One of the nation's visionary legal thinkers and social justice advocates, Bryan Stevenson has spent nearly four decades seeking to eradicate racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. A MacArthur Fellow, he is an attorney, human rights activist and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. He spearheaded Alabama’s Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the first national memorial to victims of white supremacy, which opened in 2018. Stevenson is the subject of HBO’s 2019 documentary True Justice, and his bestselling memoir Just Mercy was adapted into an acclaimed feature film of the same name.

Thur. April 29, 5PM: Theaster Gates An artist, social innovator, musician and cultural planner, Theaster Gates creates works that engage with space theory and land development, sculpture and performance. Drawing on his interest and training in urban planning and preservation, he redeems spaces that have been left behind, upturning art values, land values and human values. Gates is a professor at the University of Chicago and founder and president of Rebuild Foundation, which restores the cultural foundations of underinvested neighborhoods and incites movements of community revitalization.

Thurs. April 22, 6PM: “Diabetes is just a struggle”: Stress and type 2 diabetes self-management behaviors among African Americans The Center for Black Studies presents: Dr. Idethia Harvey and "Diabetes Is Just A Struggle": Stress and Type 2 Diabetes Self-Management Behaviors Among African Americans

Tues. April 20, 12PM: The Future is Black, The Future is Intersex - Sean Saifa Wall Sean Saifa Wall is a Black intersex and transgender activist known as the co-founder of Intersex Justice Project. The organization’s #EndIntersexSurgery campaign pressured Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago to become the first medical institution in the United States to denounce and further investigate intersex genital surgeries on infants. The Google/Stink Films documentary Stonewall Forever documents the campaign.

Wed. April 21, 5PM: The Quest for Environmental and Racial Justice “America is still segregated and so is pollution,” says Dr. Robert Bullard, Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University. With more than four decades of action advocating for racial equality and fair environmental and urban planning, Bullard is widely considered the father of the environmental justice movement. 

Fri. April 23, 12PM: Intersectional Iconography: Promise, Peril, Possibility Jennifer Nash, Duke University (Anti-Blackness: Difficult Dialogues Online Event). In partnership with UCSB Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Thur. April 15, 5PM: Ranky Tanky Charleston’s Ranky Tanky exploded onto the music scene with their inspired take on the soulful songs of South Carolina’s Gullah culture, taking home the 2020 Grammy win for Best Regional Roots Music Album. With a name that translates loosely as “Get Funky,” Ranky Tanky is a relentlessly upbeat ambassador of Gullah, a culture known for retaining more African linguistic and cultural heritage than any other African-American community in the United States. Preserving and paying homage to a vanishing way of life, the dynamo quintet introduces audiences to the language, rhythm and music of the region with a distinctly American sound that incorporates jazz, blues, gospel and R&B.

Tues. April 6, 5PM: Advocacy and Equality in Sports and in Life The most decorated track and field Olympian in history, Allyson Felix is a nine-time Olympic medalist, six-time Olympic champion, world record holder and one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020. An outspoken critic of pregnancy discrimination in athletics, an advocate for underserved children and a proponent of maternity rights, Felix shares her experiences with racism and discrimination even as a professional athlete. As she gears up for the Tokyo Olympics, Felix remains at the forefront of the fight for equality for all – in sports and in life.

Thur. March 4, 5PM: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness A legal scholar, social justice advocate, and author of The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander explores the modern legal system, revealing how mass incarceration has come to replace segregation. This conversation with Victor Rios, UC Santa Barbara Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean of Social Sciences, will be followed by a Q&A.

Mon. March 8, 3:30PM: The Hidden Risks of AI: Discrimination, Disinformation and the Need for a New Public Policy In this talk, Professor Katyal explores the impending conflict between the protection of civil rights and artificial intelligence (AI). While both areas of law have amassed rich and well-developed areas of scholarly work and doctrinal support, a growing body of scholars are interrogating the intersection between them.

Wed. March 31, 12PM: We Charge Genocide!: The Mental and Physical Tolls of Racial Battle Fatigue among Black People William Smith, University of Utah (Anti-Blackness: Difficult Dialogues Online Event). In partnership with UCSB Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Tues. Feb 2, 7PM: Notes From the Field / Snapshots: Portraits of a World in Transition Anna Deavere Smith uses her singular brand of theater to explore issues of community, character, and diversity in America. 

Fri. Feb 5, 5PM: Return to Little Rock: A Seminal Moment in American Civil Rights and Education A living witness to history – and an active participant who has helped shape it – Minnijean Brown-Trickey delivers a fascinating exploration of the battle against racism throughout the decades.

Weds. Feb 10, 12PM: The Revolution Will Not Be Theorized: Cultural Revolution in the Black Power Era Errol Anthony Henderson, Penn State. (Anti-Blackness: Difficult Dialogues Online Event). In partnership with UCSB Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Thur. Feb 11, 5PM: Ending Racism in About an Hour A conversation with W. Kamau Bell, comedian, host of CNN's United Shades of America, and ACLU Celebrity Ambassador for Racial Justice. This conversation with Belinda Robnett, UC Santa Barbara Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be followed by a Q&A.

Tue. Feb 23, 5PM: Overcoming Obstacles, Breaking Barriers, and Reaching for the Stars Dedicated to building a world of opportunity and equality, physician and engineer Dr. Mae Jemison is a National Women's Hall of Fame inductee and the first woman of color to have traveled into space. Moderated by Susannah Scott, UC Santa Barbara Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, and of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

Fri. Feb 19 & 26, 11AM: Mindfulness for Social Justice is multiweek discussion series for QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) students. The current political climate can easily add stress and anxiety to an already challenging student schedule. Join us in an inspiring space of solidarity.

Thur. Feb 25, 5PM: Art as Transformation: Using Photography for Social Change MacArthur Fellow LaToya Ruby Frazier discusses the transformative power of images and how she uses photography to fight injustice and create a more representative self-portrait. This presentation will be followed by a Q&A moderated by Kim Yasuda, Chair of the UC Santa Barbara Department of Art.

Fri. Feb 26, 12PMHow ‘Diversity’ Underdeveloped Higher Education Joyce Bell, University of Minnesota (Anti-Blackness: Difficult Dialogues Online Event). In partnership with UCSB Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Tues. Jan 12 5PM: Ta-Nehisi Coates (Race to Justice Online Event). In partnership with UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Tues. Jan 13, 12PM: A Crucible Moment for Race in America: The Crisis of Racial Capitalism and the Challenge of the Movement for Black Lives Barbara Ransby, of University of Illinois, Chicago (Anti-Blackness: Difficult Dialogues Online Event). In partnership with UCSB Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Tues. Jan 26, 5PM: Isabel Wilkerson: Caste: The Origins of our Discontents (Race to Justice Online Event) In partnership with UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Tues. Dec 8 5PM: Nikole Hannah-Jones  (Race to Justice Online Event) In partnership with UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Thu. Nov 19 5PM: Sister Helen Prejean (Race to Justice Online Event) In partnership with UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Tues. Nov 17 5PM: John Lewis: Good Trouble: Screening and Conversation with Filmmaker Dawn Porter (Race to Justice Online Event) In partnership with UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Sun. Nov 15 11AM: Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi (Race to Justice Online Event) In partnership with UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Tue. Oct 27 5PM: Brittany K. Barnett (Race to Justice Online Event) In partnership with UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Mon. Oct 19 5PM: Dr. Ibram X. Kendi (Race to Justice Online Event) In partnership with UCSB Arts & Lectures.


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