Arts & Humanities Speaker Series | Springfield College

Arts & Humanities Speaker Series

New York Times Best-Selling Author Jason Reynolds Highlights 11th annual Arts & Humanities Speaker Series Lecture

Thursday, Oct. 17, 2024 - 7:30 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public.
Book signing to follow the lecture.

11th annual

Springfield College will host New York Times best-selling author Jason Reynolds on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2024, at 7:30 p.m. The evening is part of the college’s endowed Arts and Humanities Speaker Series, made possible through the generosity of Carlton ’63 and Lucille Sedgeley.

This event is free and open to the public. There will be a book-signing following Reynolds’ presentation.

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Reynolds has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Late Night with Seth Meyers, CBS Sunday Morning, Good Morning America, and various media outlets.

Reynolds first found inspiration in rap and published several poetry collections before publishing his first novel, When I Was the Greatest, which won the Corretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent.

He has since written numerous award-winning novels, including: All American Boys, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), For Everyone, and Miles Morales-Spiderman. The novel, As Brave As You, won the Kirkus Prize, an NAACP Image Award, and the Schneider Family Book Award. He is also the author of Long Way Down, a novel in verse which was named a Newberry Honor book, a Printz Honor Book, and best young adult work by the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Awards. Reynolds was also the 2020-22 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

Reynolds’ novels and poetry are targeted for young adults and middle-grade audiences and have received many recognitions and awards. In 2019, Reynolds’ award-winning book, Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, was a National Book Award finalist, Carnegie Medal winner, and was named one of the best books by NPR. The novel is composed of interconnected stories, each centering on a different student from the same school, and tells what happens after the dismissal bell rings.

One of Reynolds’ most noted books, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, was written in collaboration with author and historian Ibram X. Kendi, PhD, who was the 2020 Springfield College Arts & Humanities speaker. The book, a re-imagining of Kendi’s groundbreaking Stamped from the Beginning, is a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative that illuminates the many insidious forms of racist ideas and gives readers the tools to identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their own lives.

Most recently, Reynolds’ published works have included Miles Morales: Suspended, the sequel to his first book in the franchise, and Ain’t Burned All The Bright, which was a Caldecott Honor winner made in collaboration with artist and good friend Jason Griffin. Including 300 pages of art, this book tackles police brutality and the COVID-19 pandemic in a gripping and accessible way.

Reynolds currently lives and writes in Washington, D.C., and is on the faculty of Lesley University’s Writing for Young People Master of Fine Arts program.

If you would like to support the Arts and Humanities Speaker Series, make your gift now.

The Arts & Humanities Speaker Series is supported by Carleton '63 and Lucille Sedgeley, whose generosity and vision makes possible this extraordinary series, which showcases the transformative cultural, social, and political potential of the arts and humanities. Drawing a broad audience from the city of Springfield and surrounding areas, together with our College community, this series began in 2014 with guest Richard Leakey, and succeeding speakers have been Sherman Alexie, Angelique Kidjo, Mitch Albom, Jessie Close and Calen Pick, Fabien and Celine Cousteau, Ibram X. Kendie, Celine Gounder, Anna Deveare Smith, and Jemele Hill. Visit the Past Speakers page

This lecture series has a compelling origin story. Carleton Sedgeley was a student at Springfield College, he attended a lecture that was not connected to his major and that he was not required to go to. That lecture changed him and the way he viewed the world – he remembers it as a transformative moment in his education. That speaker was famed anthropologist Margaret Meade, and the Sedgeleys went on to build a literary agency and speakers bureau. Their life’s work has been to connect writers, artists, and thinkers with audiences – to make it possible for more people to be transformed, through encounters with interpretations of the world as it is and dreams of the world as it should be.