D.C. Teens Examine the Intersection of Journalism, Sports and Race

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D.C. Teens Examine the Intersection of Journalism, Sports and Race

Library and The Undefeated partner to launch “Black History Always”

Black History isn't limited to February. It is a year-long celebration of joy, triumph and beating unimaginable odds. On Tuesday, Feb. 23, District teens will talk with Soraya Nadia McDonald, culture editor at The Undefeated and Ariel Atkins, guard for the Washington Mystics about claiming your voice, taking risks and becoming the change they want to see in the world as part of a new series called, “Black History Always.”

The Undefeated, the premier news platform for exploring the intersections of race, sports and culture, has partnered with the DC Public Library to create Black History Always. This series encourages teens to engage in discussions about politics, racial and social justice, popular culture and whatever else interests teens. By providing a platform for teens to see themselves as activists and change agents, this series encourages teens to become Black History makers of today and tomorrow. 

The first event will feature members of the Library's Teen Council in conversation with McDonald and Atkins. They will discuss their origin stories, who they were as teens, their careers and how they use their platforms as journalists and athletes to help create a better world. 

Soraya Nadia McDonald is the culture critic for The Undefeated. She writes about pop culture, fashion, the arts, and literature. She is the 2020 winner of the George Jean Nathan prize for dramatic criticism, a 2020 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism, and the runner-up for the 2019 Vernon Jarrett Medal for outstanding reporting on Black life.

Ariel Atkins is a guard for the Washington Mystics. Drafted by the Mystics in 2018, she helped lead them to their WNBA Championship win in 2019. An outspoken advocate for racial justice, Atkins uses the platforms she has available like interviews and her social media presence to bring attention to systemic racism, police violence and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Teen Council is DC Public Library's paid leadership opportunity for teens. The Council is made up of eight members, one for each ward in the District. Members' duties include advising the Library on teen services and initiatives, working on projects relating to teen events across the city and writing website and/or social media posts for the blog, Teen's Corner.

Other topics and speakers will be scheduled throughout the year with input from teens. The discussion will premiere at 4 p.m. on the Library’s Youtube page. To learn more about the program, visit dclibrary.org/blackhistoryalways