Candler School of Theology’s Laney Program in Moral Leadership will sponsor two discussions focused on civil rights and anti-racism at this year’s Decatur Book Festival. Both events are part of the Laney Program in Moral Leadership’s fall series “1968: Lessons from Fifty Years of Change.” The book festival will take place September 1-2 in locations around downtown Decatur, Georgia. All events are free and open to the public.

“Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement”
Saturday, September 1, 12:30-1:15 p.m.
Decatur Presbyterian Church sanctuary  

Laney Professor of Moral Leadership Robert M. Franklin Jr. will be in conversation with Janet Dewart Bell, author of Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement (New Press, 2018). A groundbreaking collection of narratives based on oral histories, the book shines a light on the leadership of African American women in the 20th century fight for civil rights and what ignited and fueled their activism that resulted in profound social change—stories that are still relevant today. 

Bell is a social justice activist and award-winning television and radio producer with a doctorate in leadership and change from Antioch University. She founded the Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society series at the New York University School of Law.

“Raising Kids in White Supremacist America”
Sunday, September 2, 2:30-3:15 p.m.
Decatur Presbyterian Church sanctuary

How can we support children of color as they confront everyday racism? How can we help white children understand the opportunity and responsibility they have to help dismantle racist structures? Join three authors whose work engages questions of race, privilege, and dismantling racism for a conversation about the ways that parents, teachers, and anyone who cares for children can help them flourish and empower them to work for a more racially just America.

Ijeoma Oluo is the author of So You Want to Talk About Race (Seal, 2018), which explores the complex reality of today’s racial landscape—from white privilege and police brutality to systemic discrimination and the Black Lives Matter movement—offering straightforward clarity that readers need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide. Oluo is a Seattle-based writer and speaker whose work focuses primarily on issues of race and identity, feminism, social and mental health, social justice, and the arts. She has been named one of 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 American Humanist Society’s 2018 Feminist Humanist Award. Her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, NBC News, Elle Magazine, TIME, The Stranger, and The Guardian.

Jennifer Harvey is the author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America (Abingdon, 2018), which asks the complicated questions involved in raising children to be active and able participants in a world of racial tensions. Harvey is a writer, speaker, and professor at Drake University whose work focuses on racial justice and white anti-racism. She is also the author of Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation(Eerdmans, 2014). An ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches (U.S.A.), her writing has appeared in the New York Times and Huffington Post

Beverly Daniel Tatum is the author of “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” And Other Conversations About Race (Hachette, 1997, 2017). In the recent 20th anniversary edition, she reflects on the evolution of the discussion around race in America since the book’s original release. Tatum is President Emerita of Spelman College and a clinical psychologist widely known for her expertise on race relations. In 2013, she was recognized for her leadership at Spelman with the Carnegie Academic Leadership Award. In 2014, Tatum received the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology, the highest honor presented by the American Psychological Association.

The 2018 Decatur Book Festival will also feature Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling Gregory C. Ellison II, who will present on his latest book Fearless Dialogues: A New Movement for Justice (Westminster John Knox, 2017) on Saturday, September 1 from 1:45 to 2:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of Decatur First Baptist Church. Learn more.

Now in its 13th year, the AJC Decatur Book Festival takes place annually over Labor Day weekend. It is the largest independent book festival in the United States.

Photo, clockwise from top left: Bell, Tatum, Harvey, Franklin, Oluo