Speakers and Workshops

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Speakers and Workshops


We are delighted to offer several outstanding speakers and workshop leaders to explore MARCH through many different lenses.

Robin Brenner: Graphic Novels 101
October 14, 2:00pm, BFPL Meeting Room

  • Librarian and blogger (No Flying, No Tights) Robin E. Brenner brings her expertise about graphic novels to Bedford, in a introductory workshop about the graphic-novel form. If you haven’t read a comic book since you were a kid — or ever! — this is the place for you to start.Ms. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee.  She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

Click here to access Robin’s slides from her talk: tinyurl.com/bedfordplcomics
A video of her talk will be linked here as soon as it’s ready on the Bedford TV YouTube channel!

Professor Dan Breen: The Civil Rights Era
October 15, 2:00pm, BFPL Meeting Room

  • In MARCH: BOOK ONE, John Lewis describes the events that led him, at grave personal risk, to oppose the murderous cruelty of southern segregation in the 1950s. This lecture will offer a glimpse into the immensity of the obstacles Lewis and others would face as they took that system on, not only by describing the system of Jim Crow into which Lewis was born, but also by tracing some of the earlier efforts by African-Americans to challenge it. Professor Breen is a regular lecturer at BFPL on a wide range of topics in history.Dr. Daniel Breen is a professor of Legal Studies at Brandeis University. He has led many history discussion series at BFPL, including series on World War I, World War II, the Great Depression, the American Revolution, Prohibition, Supreme Court cases, and the Civil War. Dr. Breen has both a JD from the University of Georgia and a PhD in History from Boston College.

Click here to watch Prof. Breen’s talk, courtesy of our friends at Bedford TV! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rLCk4ef_W4

Rev. Irene Monroe
November 4, 2:00pm, Town Hall Multipurpose Room

  • Reverend Irene Monroe is a speaker, writer, activist, and theologian whose work spans issues of civil rights, human rights, religion, queer theory, feminist studies, and more. Her talk for MARCH will bring the issues and events of MARCH into the present day, providing spiritual and personal guidance to help promote social activism. Rev. Monroe will look at holistic and inclusive approaches to work on multiple issues — racism, xenophobia, misogyny, et al, with a particular focus on the African American experience — by addressing their complexity and intersectionality, and developing strategies and tactics that are just as important as understanding the issues. Rev. Monroe is perhaps best known locally for her Monday segment, “All Revved Up!” (which is also now a podcast) on WGBH 89.7 FM, a Boston member station of National Public Radio (NPR). She is also a weekly Friday commentator on New England Channel NEWS (NECN).As an activist Monroe has received numerous awards: the 2015 Top 25 LGBT Power Players of New England Award by Boston Spirit Magazine and the Open Door Award for work with HIV/AIDS, Black Church and LGBTQ community; 2013 Bayard Rustin Service Award recipient, and GLAD 2012 Spirit of Justice awardee. She appears in the film For the Bible Tells Me So and was profiled in the Gay Pride episode of In the Life, an Emmy-nominated segment. She received the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching several times while serving as head teaching fellow for the Rev. Peter Gomes. Her papers are at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College’s research library on the history of women in America. You can find out more about Monroe at www.irenemonroe.com.


Robert Parris Moses, director of SNCC’s Mississippi Project
November 5, 2:00pm, JGMS Auditorium

  • An in-person interview with Robert Parris Moses, former SNCC coordinator and Civil Rights activist, and founder of The Algebra Project. The Citizen’s own Julie McCay Turner will talk with Mr. Moses about his experiences during the Civil Rights movement, some of which are covered in MARCH: BOOK THREE. In his young adult life, Dr. Moses was a pivotal organizer for the civil rights movement as field secretary for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and was director of SNCC’s Mississippi Project. He was a driving force behind the Mississippi Summer Project of 1964 in organizing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), which challenged the Mississippi regulars at the 1964 Democratic Convention. From 1969-1976, he worked for the Ministry of Education in Tanzania, East Africa, where he was chairperson of the math department at the Samé school. Dr. Moses returned to the USA in 1976 to continue to pursue doctoral studies in Philosophy at Harvard. A MacArthur Foundation Fellow from 1982-87, Dr. Moses used his fellowship to develop the concept for the Algebra Project, wherein mathematics literacy in today’s information age is as important to educational access and citizenship for inner city and rural poor middle and high school students as the right to vote was to political access and citizenship for sharecroppers and day laborers in Mississippi in the 1960s. As founder and president of the Algebra Project Inc., Dr. Moses also serves as director of the project’s materials development program. Dr. Moses has received several college and university honorary degrees and honors, including the Heinz Award for the Human Condition and the Nation/Puffin Prize for Creative Citizenship.


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