Sonali Kolhatkar, in conversation with Luis Rodriguez, discusses Rising Up: The Power of Narrative in Pursuing Racial Justice

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Rising Up offers a timely exploration of how truthful narratives by and about people of color can be used to advance social justice in the United States.

While people of color are fast becoming the majority population in the United States, the perspectives of white America still dominate the vast majority of the media created and consumed every day. Media makers of color, long shut out of the decision-making process, are rising up to advance a set of different narratives, offering stories and perspectives to counter the racism and disinformation that have long dominated America's political and cultural landscape.

In Rising Up, award-winning journalist Sonali Kolhatkar delivers a guide to racial justice narrative-setting. With a focus on shifting perspectives in news media, entertainment, and individual discourse, she highlights the writers, creators, educators, and influencers who are successfully building a culture of affirmation and inclusion.

"Sonali Kolhatkar reminds us we are the stories we tell. Our stories can cast a spell of hate, division, and fear, or they can break the powerful grip of racial injustices that have held us since our country's beginning. With personal and collective wisdom, Kolhatkar guides us in the storytelling that liberates."--Luis J. Rodríguez, author of Always Running: La Vida Loco/Gang Days in L.A.


Luis Rodríguez is a novelist/memoirist/short story writer/children's book writer/essayist as well as a community & urban peace activist, mentor, healer, youth & arts advocate, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

He has 16 books in all genres (poetry, children's books, fiction, and nonfiction), including the best-selling memoir, "Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A." His latest memoir is the sequel, "It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing." His last poetry book is 2016's "Borrowed Bones" from Curbstone Books/Northwestern University Press. In 2020, Seven Stories Press released his first book of essays, "From Our Land to Our Land: Essays, Journeys & Imaginings from a Native Xicanx Writer.”

Among his many awards and fellowships, in 2022 Luis was given a California Arts Council Legacy Fellowship and a Los Angeles Times' Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award.

Luis is founding editor of Tia Chucha Press and co-founder with his wife Trini of Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore in the San Fernando Valley. Luis and Trini have a podcast called "The Hummingbird Cricket Hour"-- Luis is also founding director of Barking Rooster Entertainment, producing content for the Internet, TV, film, and books.

In late 2021, Luis embarked on a campaign for California governor as "Imagine a New California for Shared Well-Being... Then Let's Build it." Find out more about his work here.

Event date: 
Wednesday, July 19, 2023 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101
Rising Up: The Power of Narrative in Pursuing Racial Justice (City Lights Open Media) By Sonali Kolhatkar, Rinku Sen (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Sonali Kolhatkar, Rinku Sen (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780872868724
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: City Lights Books - June 27th, 2023
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