Memoir: Finding Your Way as a Black Person in a White World

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Brian Broome
Punch Me Up to the Gods, Saturday, October 23 | virtual

Brian Broome is an award-winning writer, poet, screenwriter, and K. Leroy Irvis Fellow and instructor in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh, where he is pursuing an MFA. He has been a finalist in The Moth storytelling competition and won the grand prize in Carnegie Mellon University’s Martin Luther King Writing Awards. He lives in Pittsburgh.

Kim McLarin
James Baldwin's Another Country Bookmarked, Saturday, October 23 | virtual

Kim McLarin is the author of three critically acclaimed novels, the memoir Divorce Dog: Motherhood, Men, & Midlife, and the essay collection Womanish: A Grown Black Woman Speaks on Life and Love. Her most recent book is a critical study of James Baldwin's novel Another Country. McLarin's nonfiction writing has appeared in the New York Times, Glamour, the Washington Post, the Sewanee Review, the New England Review, The Root, and many other publications. She is a former staff writer for the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Greensboro News & Record, and the Associated Press. She is a professor of creative writing and graduate program eirector of the MFA in popular fiction at Emerson College.

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
The Disordered Cosmos, Saturday, October 23 | virtual

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy and core faculty in women’s and gender studies at the University of New Hampshire. She is also a columnist for New Scientist and Physics World. Her research in theoretical physics focuses on cosmology, neutron stars, and dark matter, and she is active in Black feminist science, technology, and society studies. Essence magazine recognized her as one of “15 Black Women Who Are Paving the Way in STEM and Breaking Barriers.” She has been profiled in several venues, including TechCrunch, Ms. Magazine, Huffington Post, Gizmodo, Nylon, and the African American Intellectual History Society’s “Black Perspectives”. A cofounder of the Particles for Justice movement, she has received the 2017 LGBT+ Physicists Acknowledgement of Excellence Award for her contributions to improving conditions for marginalized people in physics, as well as the 2021 American Physical Society Edward A. Bouchet Award for her contributions to particle cosmology. Her first book, The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred, has starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly.

Kelley Chunn is the principal of Kelley Chunn & Associates (KCA), an award-winning twenty-nine-year-old state-certified, collaborative consultancy based in Boston.  KCA provides culturally smart strategies to promote social change with a focus on equity and inclusion. A former broadcast journalist, Chunn graduated from New York University and the Simmons University School of Communications Management. Her journey has taken her from Boston to New York, to Nigeria and the White House. There she joined other community and business leaders to advise former President Barack Obama on small business and economic development. Chunn serves as vice president of the Roxbury Cultural District and is a member of the Board of the Public Relations Society of America, Boston Chapter. She is also a member of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA), the National Association of Black Journalists, and is a gubernatorial appointee to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. Kelley Chunn has served as associate professor and adjunct lecturer of public relations and marketing at various schools including Simmons University and Tufts University. 



Join three writers as they discuss their different, difficult, and fascinating paths. As one of the few Black women to obtain a PhD in physics in the United States, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein encountered more than a few bumps on the road to becoming a cosmologist. Her book, The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred, is described in a starred review in Publishers Weekly as “a resonant paean to the beauties of the cosmos and a persuasive appeal for solutions to injustices in science.” Brian Broome tells a raw coming-of-age story in Punch Me Up to the Gods. Described in numerous glowing reviews as “electrifying,” “staggering,” and “brilliant,” it creatively employs Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem “We Real Cool” as a framing device. Kim McLarin, in James Baldwin’s In Another Country Bookmarked, uses the themes of Baldwin’s novel to mirror her own experiences with life, love, and creativity. As Shelf Awareness writes in its starred review, McLarin “seamlessly traverses the boundaries of literary criticism, personal essay and cultural critique.” Kelley Chunn, principal of cause marketing firm Kelley Chunn & Associates, will lead the conversation. Sponsored by Arbella Insurance Foundation.