National Book Foundation On Social Responsibility & Literary Activism

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How do we inspire people to pick up a book? How do we start reading initiatives that empower a diverse population and affect real change? How do we take an already successful initiative and make it bigger and increase its impact? These questions and more will be answered at “Why Reading Matters,” a live panel event hosted by the National Book Foundation, featuring The NBF’s 2015 Innovations in Reading Prize Honorees to be held February 11, 2016 at the Ford Foundation. Lunch will be served.

The keynote speaker for this event will be the NBF’s 2015 IIR winner Mark Hecker, executive director of Reach Incorporated, a non-profit that hires struggling teen readers as reading tutors for elementary school students with life altering results. After the keynote address, Kyle Zimmer, President and CEO of First Book, will moderate a panel discussion with Mark and the founders of African Poetry Book Fund, Call Me Ishmael, Lambda Literary, and Motionpoems, our IIR honorable mentions who represent emerging and established forms of reading activism on a local, national, international, and digital scale. To register:

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