Jonathan Kozol

Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation

Img: Jonathan Kozol

In the heat of the civil rights campaigns in the 1960s, Jonathan Kozol gave up the prospect of a promising and secure career within the academic world, moved into a poor neighborhood of Boston, and became a fourth grade teacher.

He has since devoted nearly his entire life to the challenge of providing equal opportunity within our public schools to every child, regardless of racial origin or economic level.

His book, Death at an Early Age, provides a description of his first year as a teacher and received the 1968 National Book Award in Science, Philosophy and Religion. It has sold more than two million copies since first being published.

Img: Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a NationHis other major works include Rachel and Her Children, Savage Inequalities, and Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation, which was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 1996 — an honor previously granted to the works of Langston Hughes and Dr. Martin Luther King.

In 2005, Kozol wrote a powerful exposé of conditions he found in nearly 60 public schools in 30 different districts, titled The Shame of the Nation. It was included on the New York Times best-seller list the first week of its publication.

He recently published Fire in the Ashes, a powerful and stirring culmination of stories about the children of the poorest urban neighborhoods in the United States. Fire in the Ashes follows these children from infancy, through the struggles of adolescence, and into young adulthood. Their stories are painful and heart-breaking at times, but others are thrilling and dramatic tributes to the courage and audacity of fascinating children who refuse to be defeated by the gross inequalities of U.S. education and, arrive at last at gloriously unpredictable and triumphal victories.

Visit Kozol's website: www.learntoquestion.com

This event is part of the 2012 Literary Festival.

This event is sponsored by the Holleran Center for Community Engagement and made possible by the support of the United Way of Berks County and The Wyomissing Foundation.

Start Date: 10/10/2012 8:00 pm
End Date: 10/10/2012 11:00 pm
Location: Physical Education Center
Price: Free
  • History: Established as a private four-year liberal arts college in 1958, Alvernia celebrated its 50th year by being awarded university status in 2008.
  • Heritage: Founded by the Bernardine Sisters, a Catholic religious order, the university embraces the Franciscan core values of service, humility, collegiality, contemplation and peacemaking.
  • Motto: “To Learn, To Love, To Serve”
  • Campus: The main campus in Reading is 121 acres, with two satellite campuses in Philadelphia and Pottsville (Schuylkill County).
  • Location: Our residential campus is situated three miles from center-city Reading, in the scenic Blue Mountain area of Eastern Pennsylvania.
  • Enrollment: 3,000 students attend Alvernia including 1,500 traditional undergraduates, 600 continuing education students, and 780 graduate students. Over 77% of first-year students live on campus.
  • Faculty: Our professors are accomplished scholars, experts in their fields, and supportive mentors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Most classes are 20 students or fewer.
  • Athletics: NCAA Division III, member of the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Athletic Corporation and member of Eastern College Athletic Conference, 8 men’s and 10 women’s intercollegiate sports.

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