Highlights of the Activism and Empathy 2019 Conference

2019 Conference OrganizersWe were so grateful to welcome ChLA friends, old and new, to our wonderful city of Indianapolis in June!  We hope you enjoyed the River Walk, the IUPUI campus close-by, the Statehouse across the street, and the various museums and libraries throughout the city when you needed some down-time.  We hope you enjoyed the conference itself and aspects of it that were unique and hopefully very meaningful for everyone as we united around the concepts of Activism and Empathy for all.  For one, Accessibility activism needs to be prioritized even more in our world today, and we took the lead in foregrounding that at this conference.  So, too, is Sustainability activism if we are to save our planet, and we appreciated you working with us to reduce, re-use, refuse or recycle everything at this conference!  Inclusion and diversity have always been hallmarks of ChLA and we were pleased to expand that at this conference: for the first time, children were a part of the CHILDREN’s Literature Association, through the Richmond children’s Band of Mercy choir and the Indianapolis Boys and Girls’ Club children who attended our Phoenix Panel and book-reading! It was amazing to welcome authors Francesca Zappia, Floyd Cooper, Connie Porter, and Christopher Myers,the latter our keynote at the Awards Reception. The Awards Reception was now open to all, whether one is on a restricted income or not, and almost 300 members were able to attend free this year.  Michelle Martin gave one of the most inspired, songful Butler lectures we have ever heard. We appreciated the Membership Committee’s Listening Tables to hear your thoughts on the conference and our field.  We certainly could not have done as much without the guidance of President Kate Capshaw, conference liaison Annette Wannamaker, or graduate student Kathryn Hampshire.  But most credit goes to Jamie Reed, Association Manager, who handled every detail with insight and grace.  Finally, YOU all contributed to the empathy and activism of this conference by providing some of the most socially challenging, politically focused papers ChLA has ever seen.  We look forward to ChLA in Seattle, Washington, as we take up ecological-political issues in 2020.  See everyone there!  --Alisa Clapp-Itnyre, Megan Musgrave, and Carrie Sickmann

Christopher MyersBands of MercyBoys and Girls Club Butler Lecture

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