Two Days, 15 Authors Champion Truth, Justice and Diversity

Cleveland Public Library is helping families talk about race and acceptance of other cultures. We’re hosting two back-to-back events featuring authors who champion diversity and foster a love for knowledge.


Registration is now open for the CLEReads Young Adult Book Festival on Friday, December 4 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. via Hopin. This year’s event is virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hosted in partnership with College Now, the daylong festival consists of live panel discussions with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of Stamped, co-authors of Punching the Air Ibi Zoboi and one of the Exonerated Five Dr. Yusef Salaam, Kim Johnson who wrote This is My America, Angie Thomas known for the New York Times bestseller The Hate You Give and Cleveland’s own Justin Reynolds who penned Early Departures.

“Everyone is invited to join us for the CLEReads Young Adult Book Festival,” said Erica Marks, Youth Outreach and Programming Coordinator at Cleveland Public Library. “It’s a time for young readers to see themselves in books and get inspired by the characters and the bestselling authors who brought them to life.”

Book lovers will also enjoy music provided by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Festival lineup:

9:45 a.m.Musical Performance
10 a.m.Welcome to #CLEReads
10:30 a.m.A Conversation with Jesse Ann Foley and Friends
11:25 a.m.TO BE HONEST: The Politics of Blending Fact and Fiction
authors: Jasmine Warga, Randy Ribay, Adib Khorram
12:20 p.m.YES, IT’S A TROPE AND I LOVE IT: An Exploration of our Favorite Cliches, Characterizations, and Conflicts
authors: Noni Ramos, Aida Salazar, Dhonielle Clayton, Sarah Enni
1:15 p.m.LOW-KEY LEVITY: Infusing Love, Laughter, and Light into Difficult Storytelling
authors: Justin A. Reynolds in Conversation with Angie Thomas
2:10 p.m.Tackling Racism in Young Adult Literature
authors: Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Kim Johnson, Ibi Zoboi, Dr. Yusef Salaam
2:55 p.m.Closing Remarks


Image by Paper Monday

One day after the CLEReads Young Adult Book Festival, Cleveland Public Library will host a conversation with social justice fighter Bryan Stevenson. Tickets are now available to hear the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) address issues affecting America on Saturday, December 5 at noon via Zoom. Stevenson’s book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption is on the New York Times bestseller list and is now a major motion picture. He has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned. Stevenson’s conversation will touch on racial bias in the criminal justice system, why it’s still happening in 2020 and what we – as a society – can do to change it.

“2020 has brought to light centuries of racial inequality. Cleveland Public Library invited Bryan Stevenson to help our community heal and seek truth and justice,” remarks Dr. Sadie Winlock, Chief Equity, Education & Engagement Officer of Cleveland Public Library. “We hope people gain tools to fight for change in their neighborhoods.”

For images and photos, visit here. Interested readers can find information on the CLEReads Young Adult Book Festival and Bryan Stevenson under the Democracy 2020 tab on

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