January 30, 2013
Best-selling author and award-winning journalist Alex Kotlowitz will speak about race, poverty and human rights in two daytime talks, and screen his new documentary film, "The Interrupters," at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 at UNC Asheville.
Kotlowitz is best known for his best-seller, "There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America" (Doubleday, 1991), which sold 700,000 copies and was made into a TV movie starring Oprah Winfrey. This unflinching portrait of two boys growing up in a Chicago public housing project won the Carl Sandburg Award and was named one of the 150 most important books of the 20th century by The New York Public Library.
Kotlowitz is co-producer of the new documentary film, "The Interrupters" – a collaboration with "Hoop Dreams" director Steve James – which examines the stubborn persistence of urban violence. The film, which tells the story of three Chicago neighborhood "violence interrupters," was a Sundance Festival selection and appeared as a two-hour special on PBS' Frontline.
Kotlowitz is also the author of "The Other Side of the River: A Story of Two Towns, a Death and America's Dilemma" (Anchor Press, 1999), which examined the mysterious death of a black teenager in a primarily white town across the river from his home in primarily black Benton Harbor, Mich. The book, which explores the myths and misperceptions about race in America, won The Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prize for Nonfiction.
On February 21, Kotlowitz will appear in three public events at UNC Asheville, all free and open to the public:
- "The Things They Carry: Growing Up Poor in the World's Richest Nation," a talk by Alex Kotlowitz, 12:15 p.m. in Highsmith University Union Mountain Suites 223-224
- "Bearing Witness: Storytelling and Human Rights," a talk by Alex Kotlowitz at 4 p.m. in Highsmith University Union Alumni Hall.
- Film screening of "The Interrupters," followed by Q&A with co-producer Alex Kotlowitz, at 7 p.m. in Highsmith University Union Alumni Hall.
Kotlowitz's visit to UNC Asheville is co-sponsored by UNC Asheville's Belk Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities, the university's departments of education, sociology, economics, and political science, the UNC Asheville Key Center for Community Citizenship and Service Learning, and the Center for Diversity Education.
For more information, call the Department of Political Science at 828.251.6634.