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Celebrating Diversity: Sharing Our Stories -- Annual Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth

Posted Mar. 28, 2012

The 28th Annual Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth will take place at Kent State University on Thursday, April 12, and Friday, April 13, 2012, in the Kent Student CeAlma-Flor-Adanter.

The Virginia Hamilton Conference is the longest-running event in the United States to focus exclusively on multicultural literature for children and young adults.

Celebrating Diversity: Sharing Our Stories is the theme for the 2012 conference, which features the remarkable Alma Flor Ada, the talented Lisa Yee and the amazing illustrator E. B. Lewis. The incredible Julius Lester also will be honored at this year's event, but will not be in attendance.

The Thursday evening program includes a keynote address by the 14th Annual Virginia Hamilton Literary Award winner Alma Flor Ada, renowned author of The Gold Coin (Christopher Medal) and Under the Royal Palms (Pura Belpré Medal), followed by a multicultural storytelling performance.

Friday's highlights include keynote addresses by E.B. Lewis, acclaimed illustrator of Alice Schertle's Down the Road (ALA Notable Book), Tolowa M. Mollel's My Rows and Piles of Coins (ALA Notable Book, Coretta Scott King Honor Book); and Garvin Curtis' Bat Boy and His Violin (Coretta Scott King Honor Book); and Lisa Yee, whose debut novel Millicent Min, Girl Genius, won the Sid Fleischman Humor Award and has been recommended by NPR, and whose other awards and accolades include Thurber House Children's Writer-in-Residence, Fox Sports Network "American in Focus," and Publishers Weekly Flying Start, plus USA Today Critics' Top Pick and ALA Notable. Lee has more than one million books in print, including Warp Speed, about a Star Trek geek who is bullied every day at school. 

This year's workshops include local and national speakers on such topics as The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece; Negotiating Understanding Through the Young Literature of Muslim Culture; The Religious Aspects in Virginia Hamilton's The People Could Fly, and an update on the newest multicultural picture books, to name a few. Friday's conference agenda will again include a "conversation" session with the three featured presenters and reflections by Jaime Adoff.

Register now as the conference reaches capacity quickly. Contact the Office of Continuing and Distance Education at 330-672-3100 or register online.

The Virginia Hamilton Conference is sponsored by Kent State University's School of Library and Information Science and College of Education, Health and Human Services and through the Office of Continuing and Distance Education. Honoring author Virginia Hamilton, the conference reflects a commitment to promoting cultural awareness and affirming cultural pride while addressing the array of issues which surround the concept of culture. It is held each April at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

Media Contact:
Flo Cunningham,, 330-672-0003