For those of us that enjoy literature and believe books are vital catalysts to an informed community and to address complicated stories and emotional issues; Junot Diaz is at the top of a very special list including writers that are also a bit of heroes, sociologists, psychologists and platonic friends.
Junot has the courage to bring his perspective and struggles as an immigrant with a painful longing for what gets lost in the way of the journey for a better future in the US. His books allow for interesting social and political commentary and yes, they are also fun.
Junot is fantastic writer. Honest, raw, with an incredibly dark sense of humor; he is also an author whose work does not stay on the page; he is a “doer” in the larger sense of the word. He is the Honorary Chairman of the DREAM Project, a non-profit education involvement program in the Dominican Republic and a member of the Board of Advisors for the Freedom University, here in Georgia; a volunteer-driven organization that provides rigorous, college-level instruction to all academically qualified students regardless of their immigration status.
All of the above to say that Junot Diaz will be here in Atlanta on April 17th at Georgia Tech. The Dominican-American, Pulitzer Prize winner writer will be reading from his most famous works and will be available for Q&A. This event is available to Ga Tech students, faculty & staff. At 6:30pm and open to the general public, Junot will have a public lecture to discuss the role of education, public policy and activism in the improvement of Latino communities in the United States. A reception will follow.
If you are interested in attending, please RSVP at diversity.gatech.edu/jdReadingandlecture.
In my book this is one of those events that you definitely want to attend.
That week will be a extremely busy for all of us involved with the Hispanic/Latino community. Earlier on April 17th, the LAA hosts its Annual Companeros Awards luncheon, the day before, April 16th, the newly formed Chamblee Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Dekalb Chamber hosts an Executive Luncheon featuring Sam Zamarripa, the first Hispanic to serve on the GA State Senate speaking on the “Essential Economy” an occupational cluster that spans across six major economic sectors from agriculture and construction to hospitality and personal care with low-wage, limited skill workers that have a tremendous impact in the state economy. A highly relevant event since Chamblee has a majority of 58% Hispanic/Latino living within city limits.
On April 12th (tomorrow) the LAA in partnership with GALEO, AILA and NFBA are hosting a Citizenship Day (a naturalization drive and informative session)