- April 30, 2019
- 7:00 pm
California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Critically lauded author D. Watkins is pleased about the number of books exploring issues of race that are being published, but he feels that there’s one crucial aspect of contemporary black life that doesn’t get enough attention: the hood. As a Baltimore native, he knows firsthand what it means to live in poverty, where violence and drugs are inescapable. As he sees it, the perspective of people who live in poor black communities is largely absent from the work of many of the top intellectuals who speak and write about race.
Now, D. Watkins is here to tell his truth. Building upon his own experiences, he eases us into the bigger conversation about race and the various issues affecting poor black neighborhoods in America. His latest book, We Speak for Ourselves identifies and addresses a range of issues affecting these low-income communities—such as the trouble with misrepresentation and why we need more than one black voice—and sheds light on the harsh realities of daily life. Watkins also examines various crucial activist movements and asks what it means to be a model activist in today’s world.
Join diversity solutions expert Y-Vonne Hutchinson for a conversation with D. Watkins about his journey illuminating the lessons he’s learned navigating through two very distinct worlds—the hood and the elite sanctums of the prominent black thinkers and public figures—in hopes of providing actionable solutions.
D. Watkins is editor-at-large for Salon. He’s also a college professor at the University of Baltimore and founder of the BMORE Writers Project. His work has been published in The New York Times, Guardian, Rolling Stone, and other publications. Watkins is the author of The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir and The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America. He lives in East Baltimore.
Y-Vonne Hutchinson is the founder of Ready Set, a diversity solutions firm based in Oakland, and a co-founder/advisor of Project Include. Prior to launching Ready Set, she worked as an international labor and human rights lawyer for nearly a decade. She has worked with foreign national governments, the US Department of State, and the UN. She is a member of Harvard Law’s Institute for Global Law and Policy network and an expert on labor relations and diversity in the workplace. She’s presented on diversity, inclusion, and labor issues at Harvard Law, MIT Sloan, and UC Berkeley, as well as conferences around the globe. She holds a JD from Harvard Law School. She also serves on the Women of Color Council for the Anita Borg Institute and the board of the San Francisco New Leaders Council.