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November 12, 2020

Virtual Media Event: Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A national conversation about race and educational equity with author and Emmy award winner, Jeffrey Blount 


On November 18, Reading Partners and its new CEO, Adeola (Ola) Whitney, will host Reading Empowers: A Conversation About Race & Educational Equity With Jeffrey Blount.

The free, virtual event will examine the interplay between race and educational equity in America. Jeffrey, an accomplished author and Emmy award-winning director, will explore themes highlighted in his latest novel, The Emancipation of Evan Walls, such as the complexities of being “young, gifted, and Black” in America.


Wednesday, November 18, 7:00 pm EST (4:00 pm PST)


General registration, media registration and additional information


In the United States, only 21 percent of students experiencing economic disadvantages are reading proficiently by the fourth grade. Students who read proficiently by fourth grade are significantly more likely to earn a high school diploma.

June 2020 report from McKinsey and Company projected significant learning loss due to COVID-19-related school closures. McKinsey’s report anticipates that, in a scenario where school closures and part-time schedules continue intermittently through the 2020–21 school year, and in-school instruction does not fully resume before January 2021, most students will lose an average of 7 months of learning due to COVID-19. The forecasted impact is over 12 months of learning loss for students experiencing economic disadvantages.

“I’m honored to be part of Reading Partners’ virtual community event because it is an organization that believes in the empowerment of our youngest generation through education, and specifically literature,” remarked Jeffrey Blount. “Reading Partners’ dedication to helping all students reach their awesome potential in school and beyond resonates with me personally as much as it would with Evan Walls, the central character of my book.”

For anyone wanting to read The Emancipation of Evan Walls prior to the virtual event on November 18, copies can be ordered from independent bookstores such as Politics & Prose, and Kramerbooks, among other outlets.


Julia Strasdauskas
Managing Director, Collins + Co. (PR partner for Reading Partners)


About Reading Partners

For over 20 years, Reading Partners has empowered students to succeed in reading and in life by engaging community volunteers to provide one-on-one tutoring. Since its founding, the national nonprofit organization has mobilized nearly 70,000 community volunteers to provide proven, individualized literacy tutoring to more than 65,000 elementary school students in nearly 450 under-resourced schools across ten states and the District of Columbia. Visit to learn more about our program impact, or connect with us on FacebookLinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Jeffrey Blount

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