University of Northern Iowa's 15th Annual African American Read-in, 2021 - NCTE

Every year, hundreds of celebrations of the African American Read-In take place across the country and around the world. These events feature the texts, talks, and discussions by and about African American authors and serve as a way to recognize and amplify their work. 

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University of Northern Iowa’s 15th Annual African American Read-in, 2021

February 11, 2021 @ 9:30 am - 1:30 pm

For the 15th year, the UNI African American Read-In is part of National African American Read-In activities planned nationwide during Black History Month. In light of COVID-19 guidelines, this year’s event was held  on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with Waterloo and Hudson community school district first graders.

In 2020, nearly 1,000 first grade students from Waterloo and Hudson schools were among the more than one million readers from all races, ethnic groups and states celebrating African American authors, illustrators and literacy.

This year’s activities were held in partnership with area teachers, national and local African American authors,  and UNI faculty and students virtually with local students.

Nationally and locally recognized authors and celebrity readers lead the activities with readings planned throughout the day. They include:

  • Celebrated children’s African American book authors Ty Allan Jackson, who returns after headlining the 2020 event, and Crystal Swain-Bates
  • Rev. Abraham L. Funchess, Jr., local author of Rise!
  • Ryan Joiner, a UNI alum and teacher in Iowa
  • Celebrity readers Gabby Goodwin, a 13-year-old entrepreneur and CEO of Confidence, and Amber Collins, proprietor of the new Soul Book Nook in Waterloo


February 11, 2021
9:30 am - 1:30 pm