ABOUT THE SPEAKERS & MODERATOR
DERRICK BARNES wrote the New York Times bestseller The King of Kindergarten as well as the critically acclaimed picture book Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut (illustrated by Gordon C. James), which received a Newbery Honor, a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, the 2018 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, and the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Young Readers. He also wrote the bestselling chapter book series Ruby and the Booker Boys. He owns the copywriting company Say Word Creative Communications and created the popular blog Raising the Mighty, where he “chronicles the experience of bringing up four beautiful Black boys in America.” He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife and their four sons.
GORDON C. JAMES illustrated the critically acclaimed picture book Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut (by Derrick Barnes), which received a Caldecott Honor, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, an Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Honor, the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Young Readers, and a Society of Illustrators Gold Medal. He also illustrated Let ‘Er Buck! George Fletcher, the People’s Champion (by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson). He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife and two children.
DR. KIMBERLY N. PARKER currently prepares preservice teachers as the assistant director of the Teacher Training Center at the Shady Hill School in Cambridge, MA. Kim taught in public schools, universities, and graduate schools for 18 years and served on several committees for the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the New England Association of Teachers of English (NEATE). As a Heinemann Fellow (2016–2018), Kim documented her successful work de-tracking her ELA classroom for students of color. Her continuing scholarship is focused on the literacy lives of Black youth, particularly those of Black boys. She is a co-founder of #DisruptTexts. You can follow her on Twitter at @TchKimpossible.