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The Race Project KC Student Symposium is a day-long event that provides high school students with the opportunity to explore racism – it’s effects and potential solutions - using their minds, their hearts and their feet. Students from diverse schools and experiences will come together to reflect on Kansas City’s racial history, discuss racial equity and explore their own agency as they interact with local community change agents.
The 2019 event features best-selling authors:
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me, The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power) is the distinguished writer in residence at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and winner of the 2015 National Book Award.
  • Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming, Harbor Me, Each Kindness, and more) is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and winner of many awards including the 2014 National Book Award and the Coretta Scott King Award.
  • Tanner Colby’s book, Some of My Best Friends Are Black, The Strange Story of Integration in America was nominated for the 2013 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Non-fiction. He has been working with Race Project KC since its inception and his book is an important part of the students’ education about the history of race in Kansas City, and in America, since the Civil Rights Movement.

Session Registration
Please register for sessions you would like to attend by Sunday, April 21 and avoid signing up for the same session twice in a row. If you are not registered on that date, you will be randomly assigned workshops for the day. (So pick them yourself and have way more fun!)

Photo Disclaimer: The Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center is a public building, by attending this event you agree that your image may be used for promotional purposes by Johnson County Library, Johnson County Parks and Recreation and their partners.

Johnson County Library and its board members, officers and employees may disclaim any responsibility for the content of workshops offered by third party facilitators; they are not an expression of Library policy.
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Thursday, April 25

8:00am CDT

Attendees will check in as they arrive and enjoy breakfast snacks and conversation as we prepare for our day.

Thursday April 25, 2019 8:00am - 8:40am CDT

8:45am CDT

Join us for a welcoming activity that will help you meet others from different schools, and discover what you already have in common. 

Thursday April 25, 2019 8:45am - 9:20am CDT
Event Space 1

11:20am CDT

Food and drinks with friends!
Please notify jcl-raceproject@jocogov.org if you have a dietary restriction we should know about as we place our order for lunch.

Thursday April 25, 2019 11:20am - 11:50am CDT
Event Space 1

12:00pm CDT

Author Panel: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jacqueline Woodson and Tanner Colby
Join National Book Award winners, Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me, 2015) and Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming, 2014), as they discuss race and diversity inclusion in America.  This discussion will be moderated by author Tanner Colby whose book Some of My Best Friends are Black takes an in depth look at the history of segregation in Kansas City.  Be prepared to ask questions surrounding the topic.

avatar for Tanner Colby

Tanner Colby

After writing a biography of Chris Farley and a biography of John Belushi, Tanner Colby knew that if he didn't want to be known only as the guy who writes about dead fat comedians, his next project had better be very different. At the same time, he and his friends were watching the... Read More →

avatar for Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates grew up in Baltimore and attended Howard University. He is the distinguished writer in residence at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and a winner of the National Book Award. Coates' book Between the World and Me began as a letter to his teenage son about... Read More →
avatar for Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson, the award winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming, is currently serving as the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Her platform is, "Reading = Hope x Change - what's your equation? She once said, " I think young people should not be judged by the level... Read More →

Thursday April 25, 2019 12:00pm - 1:15pm CDT
Black Box Theater

2:10pm CDT

Come together one last time as we close out our day. 

Thursday April 25, 2019 2:10pm - 2:30pm CDT
Black Box Theater
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