Authors and Democracy

What Does it Mean to Be an Inclusive Democracy?

Cleveland Public Library series brings together authors, performers, journalists, activists, and educators to discuss the issues impacting our democracy. In conjunction with Democracy 2020, Cleveland Public Library welcomes authors who bring issues that matter most to voters to the forefront.

These events are free and open to the public, but attendees are encouraged to register. Due to precautions for COVID-19, all events will be held via Zoom.


Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a human rights organization in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Stevenson is a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults. Mr. Stevenson and his staff have won reversals, relief or release from prison for over 135 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row and won relief for hundreds of others wrongly convicted or unfairly sentenced. Mr. Stevenson has argued and won multiple cases at the U.S. Supreme Court, including a 2019 ruling protecting condemned prisoners who suffer from dementia and a landmark 2012 ruling that banned mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger. Mr. Stevenson has initiated major new anti-poverty and anti-discrimination efforts that challenge inequality in America. He led the creation of two highly acclaimed cultural sites which opened in 2018, The Legacy Museum and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. The new national landmark institutions chronicle the legacy of slavery, lynching and racial segregation and the connection to mass incarceration and contemporary issues of racial bias. Mr. Stevenson’s work has won him numerous awards including over 40 honorary doctorates, the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Prize and the ABA Medal, the American Bar Association’s highest honor. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government and the author of the award-winning New York Times bestseller, Just Mercy, which was recently adapted as a major motion picture.

Saturday, December 5, 2020 | 12-1pm

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

Ibram X. Kendi is one of America’s foremost historians and leading antiracist voices. He is a National Book Award-winning and his book How to Be an Antiracist is a #1 New York Times bestseller. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and the Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. Kendi is a contributor writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News correspondent. He will become the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for the Advanced Study at Harvard University.

This event is in partnership with College Now Greater Cleveland for the #CLEReads YA Book Festival.

Rescheduled to Friday, December 4, 2020 | 2pm

Cathy O’Neil

Cathy O’Neil is a regular contributor to Bloomberg View and wrote the book Weapons of Math Destruction: how big data increases inequality and threatens democracy. In Weapons of Math Destruction, Cathy speaks to the decisions that affect our lives—where we go to school, whether we get a car loan, how much we pay for health insurance—are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated. Unfortunately, the opposite is true.

Saturday, September 26, 2020 | 2pm

Robin DiAngelo and Jennifer Eberhardt

Authors Dr. Robin DiAngelo and Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt appear in conversation to discuss race, racism, and the power of bias. Dr. Eberhardt is the author of Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice that Shapes What We See, Think, and Do. Dr. DiAngelo is the author of White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.

Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 2pm
Berkman Hall Auditorium
Cleveland State University
1899 E 22nd St, Cleveland


College Now Greater Cleveland

Follow the Library