Editor’s note: A new speaker has been announced for the 2023 MLK Convocation. Nic Stone, a best-selling author, has been selected to give the address.
TheNew York Times bestselling-author Kimberly Jones will be the featured speaker at the 2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation on Friday, Jan. 20, at 12:45 p.m. in the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Ballroom in the Tinkham Veale University Center.
In addition to writing several books addressing prejudice and racial tension—including I’m Not Dying With You Tonight and Why We Fly—Jones gained attention from a viral video that inspired her most recent book, How Can We Win. Posted during the George Floyd protests, the seven-minute video features Jones’ usage of a Monopoly analogy in her explanation of the history of racism and its impact on Black Americans. The video’s combination of pointed truth and accessibility was shared widely by Trevor Noah, LeBron James, Madonna and others while also being featured on shows like Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
“We are extremely excited to have Kimberly Jones serve as our MLK Convocation speaker,” said Robert Solomon, vice president for the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity. “Kimberly is an eloquent and passionate voice of a younger generation of civil rights advocates who is mobilizing a new generation of social justice allies. She will enlighten and engage our community, and she reminds us why we must stay committed to the fight for equity and justice for the sake of our democracy.”
As an author, Jones’ literary roots run deep. She served on the selection committee for the Library of Congress’ 2016-2017 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, the 2015 Children’s Choice Illustrator committee for The Children’s Book Council and the advisory board that created the Creative and Innovative Education Master’s Degree program at Georgia State University. She has been featured in Ms. Magazine, Seventeen, Paste Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly and more.
Most recently, Jones’ bestselling novel, I’m Not Dying With You Tonight, co-authored with Gilly Segal, was nominated for an NAACP Image award, Georgia Author Of The Year award and the Cybils Awards. The book was also selected as the September 2019 book club pick for the Barnes & Noble YA book club and Overdrive’s Big Library Read.
Jones resides in Atlanta and is the proud mother of a gifted boy. Most recently, she has been heavily involved in campaigning and voter registration efforts in the highly contested Georgia senate race.
Her books will be available for purchase and a reception and book signing will be held immediately following the event.