NEA Big Read: Greensboro Kick-Off Event September 15, 2020

Join us on September 15, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom as we kick off a community Big Read of the novel Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones. Keynote speakers include state representative and UNC Greensboro alumna Dr. Ashton Clemmons and Dr. Sharon L. Contreras, superintendent of Guilford County Schools. 

Register today for this virtual event! After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

Clemmons was born in Alamance County, North Carolina, and after graduating from UNC Chapel Hill as a NC Teaching Fellow, she taught school in Durham and Guilford counties and went on to earn a master's degree in school leadership from Harvard University. Most recently, Clemmons received her doctorate of education from UNCG. Her commitment to education led her to serve as principal of schools in Rockingham and Guilford counties, where she led the turn-around of one of the state’s lowest performing schools. While serving as assistant superintendent of the Thomasville City Schools, Clemmons was selected as one of the Triad Business Journal’s “40 Leaders under 40." Clemmons was elected to serve in North Carolina’s 57th House District on November 6, 2018 and sworn into office on January 9, 2019. During her time in Raleigh, Clemmons has been appointed to the Commerce, Education K-12, Education-Universities and Finance Committees. She also serves as the House Democratic Freshman Caucus Co-Chair. 

Contreras is an award-winning educator who has spent nearly 30 years dedicating her life to ensuring every student graduates college, is career ready and able to fully participate in our democracy. She began her career as a high school English teacher in Rockford, Illinois, and has since served as a principal, area superintendent, assistant superintendent and chief academic officer, serving children and families across five states. In her role as superintendent of Guilford County Schools, she leads one of the nation’s largest school systems with more than 10,000 employees and 73,000 preK-12 students. She is a member of numerous national, state and local organizations. In 2019, Contreras was recognized by the North Carolina Parent Teacher Association (PTA) as the Superintendent of the Year. Recently, she was recognized by the Triad Business Journal as a 2020 C-Suite Award recipient. Contreras was also recognized as the 2020 Piedmont Triad Superintendent of the Year. 

The event is sponsored by UNCG's African American and African Diaspora Studies Program, the Arts and Letters Committee of the Greensboro Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Greensboro Public Library and University Libraries

About NEA Big Read

The NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The program broadens our understanding of our world, our communities and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book and aims to inspire conversation and discovery. The community read will include free panel discussions, speakers and family-oriented activities taking place between September 2020 – May 2021. Click here to see more events and request a copy of the book.

About Silver Sparrow

Named a “Most Anticipated Book for 2020” by The Guardian and other news outlets, Silver Sparrow is a novel told from the perspectives of two maturing daughters of a man who has two families — one public, one private.

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