Maryland Humanities Welcomes Authors Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal for Conversation on Race and Equity

March 1, 2021

(Baltimore) – Maryland Humanities hosts authors Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal on March 16 from 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m. for “Why It Matters: Reckoning with Race. Equity. Allyship.” The authors will discuss their best-selling book, I’m Not Dying With You Tonight, inspired by the death of Baltimorean Freddie Gray. Jones and Segal will touch on the recent resurgence of our country’s reckoning with racial inequity, a video of Jones that went viral after the death of George Floyd, and reaching beyond platitudes to work together on issues of common concern. The conversation will be moderated by Christine Platt, author and Managing Director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University. A Q&A session will follow the conversation. The free virtual event is for teens and adults: registration is required. Register now or learn more.

I’m Not Dying With You Tonight follows two teen girls—one black, one white—who do not know each other yet must  confront their own assumptions about racial equality when violence and chaos erupts in their city. The book received an NAACP Image Award nomination.

The conversation is part of Maryland Humanities’ Voices and Voters Electoral Engagement Project (VVEEP). VVEEP also consists of an oral history program as well as a series of grants to Maryland organizations producing projects around civic and electoral engagement.

 Voices and Votes Electoral Engagement Project is supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation administered through the Federation of State Humanities Councils for its new initiative entitled “Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation.”

Maryland Humanities’ promotional partners for this event are Alleghany County Library, Anne Arundel County Public Library, Baltimore County Public Library, Carroll County Public Library, Charles County Public Library, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Harford County Public Library, Prince George’s County Memorial Library System, St. Mary’s County Library, and Talbot County Free Library. The book is available through Maryland Humanities’ official event bookseller, A Very Likely Story.

About the Book
An NAACP Image Award Nominee, I’m Not Dying With You Tonight follows two teen girls—one black, one white—who have to confront their own assumptions about racial equality as they rely on each other to get through the violent race riot that has set their city on fire with civil unrest.

Lena has her killer style, her awesome boyfriend, and a plan. She knows she’s going to make it big. Campbell, on the other hand, is just trying to keep her head down and get through the year at her new school.

When both girls attend the Friday-night football game, what neither expects is for everything to descend into sudden mass chaos. Chaos born from violence and hate. Chaos that unexpectedly throws them together.

They aren’t friends. They hardly understand each other’s point of view. But none of that matters when the city is up in flames, and they only have each other to rely on if they’re going to survive the night.

About the Authors
Kimberly Jones (right) is a former bookseller, and now she Hosts the Atlanta Chapter of the popular Well Read Black Girl book club, as well as the infamous, viral sensation the YA Truth or Dare author panel at the Decatur Book Festival. She has worked in film and television with trailblazing figures such as Tyler Perry, Whitney Houston, and 8Ball & MJG. Currently, in addition to writing YA novels, she is a director of feature films and cutting-edge diverse web series. She also regularly lectures on working and succeeding in the Atlanta film market.

Gilly Segal (left) grew up in Florida, came of age in Israel, where she served in the IDF and graduated from Hebrew University, and finally decided to call Decatur, Georgia home. By day, she’s a lawyer for an advertising agency. By night, she is a caped crusader! No, just kidding (she wishes). Her real not-actually-secret identity is writer. She’s been writing in one form or another since she wrote her first young adult novel – a Sunfire YA romance fanfic – typed out on an electric typewriter. Although she will confess it was titled CLAUDIA, she will neither confirm nor deny that any copies still exist. Whatever you do, don’t ask her mom if it’s in those boxes still stored in the closet of her childhood room.

About the Moderator
Christine Platt is a passionate advocate for social justice and policy reform. She holds a B.A. in Africana Studies from the University of South Florida, M.A. in African and African American Studies from The Ohio State University, and J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. A believer in the power of storytelling as a tool for social change, Christine’s literature centers on teaching race, equity, diversity and inclusion to people of all ages. She currently serves as the Managing Director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University.

About Maryland Center for the Book
The Maryland Center for the Book (MCFB)—an affiliate of the national Center for the Book in the Library of Congress—develops and supports literary programs and outreach activities that engage citizens across Maryland in literature and reading. As a program of Maryland Humanities, MCFB highlights our region’s literary heritage and calls attention to the importance of books, reading, literacy, and libraries. Connect with the Maryland Center for the Book on Facebook.

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