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Tough Talks Made Easier Through Storytelling with Cheryl Wills ’89

Wednesday, February 24, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

book covers of Emma and The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy WillsTalking with children about social justice issues isn’t easy. With the books of the Emmy-winning Cheryl Wills ’89 (Newhouse School of Public Communications) as example, this event will provide parents, educators, grandparents and caregivers with strategies for discussing race and historical inequity with children. Set in the time period surrounding the Civil War, these books feature important themes detailing slavery in the United States. As the great great great granddaughter of enslaved people, one a Civil War veteran, Cheryl Wills has shared her genealogical research journey before a General Assembly of the United Nations and the National Archives. She has shared the stories from The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wills and Emma with students from elementary schools all over New York City.

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Also featuring:

  • Petrina Jackson, Director of the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Libraries
  • Dr. Jeff Mangram, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Social Studies Education in the School of Education
  • Dr. Chandice Haste-Jackson, Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science at Falk College

Author Cheryl Wills ’89 has received awards from The Associated Press, New York Press Club, Newswomen’s Club of NY Front Page Award, as well as a medal of excellence from the prestigious United Nations Correspondents Association. In recognition of her career, the veteran journalist received an Honorary Doctorate from New York College of Health Professions in May of 2005. Wills was the first journalist invited to speak before the General Assembly of The United Nations in March of 2011 about the impact of slavery on her family during the UN’s International Remembrance of Victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. To read more about Cheryl Wills’ background and story, read this interview from a Newhouse student.

Sound Beat: Access Audio has turned Wills’ works into two family-friendly audiobooks, available as a gift from the Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center. Links to the free materials, including educational resources and discussion questions, are available on the Sound Beat website.

Presented by the Syracuse University Libraries and SoundBeat: Access Audio
In collaboration with the Office of Multicultural Advancement and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion


Wednesday, February 24
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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