In 2023, we have hosted a number of meaningful conversations about social justice and community-building. We believe that by learning from one another, from seeing our stories reflected, and by hearing about experiences different than our own, we are all enhanced. Some of the events we have held or attended in 2023 are below. Please click the links, when available, to check out the conversations we've had.
December 6th, 2023 - In partnership with Prince George’s County Memorial Library System we welcome editors Rebecca Gayle Howell & Ashley M. Jones as we discuss, "What Things Cost: An Anthology for the People" which is the first major anthology of labor writing in nearly a century.
Join us for this conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rgmf_-Rvs1I
December 5, 2023 - In partnership with Prince George’s County Memorial Library System join our "Does Your Zip Code Impact Your Whole Life?" series for "The Injustice of Place: Uncovering the Legacy of Poverty in America," with Three of the nation’s top scholars: Kathryn J. Edin, H. Luke Shaefer, and Timothy J. Nelson.
Join us for this conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m9-np56-R4
November 30th, 2023 - In partnership with Prince George’s County Memorial Library System we had the pleasure of welcoming Ellen Ann Fentress to discuss "The Steps We Take: A Memoir of Southern Reckoning."
Watch this interesting conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04TN8SJ14-0
November 16th, 2023 - In partnership with Prince George’s County Memorial Library System we welcomed Dr. Kris Marsh from the University of Maryland as we discussed, Social Justice in Community: "Singlehood is a Human Right."
Watch this great conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6xkIolFQwM
November 2nd, 2023 - In partnership with Prince George’s County Memorial Library System we launched our Social Justice in Community series. The Social Justice in Community series brings human rights scholars into conversation about how their work illuminates human rights struggles around us today and what we can do about those struggles. We kicked off with Dr. Nicole DeLoatch from the University of Maryland discussing "The Intersectionality of Illness."
Watch this interesting conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q22hxVF1LE
October 25th, 2023 - In partnership with Prince George’s County Memorial Library System, we will welcomed Renée Battle-Brooks, Gabriel Christian, and F. Michael Higginbotham in discussion with a deep look at the effects of the recent Supreme Court decisions on democracy!
Watch this important conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uan-i0IQO2k
October 24th, 2023 - We hold "The Elephant We Don't See: A Diversity Dialogue" every last Tuesday of the month. In partnership with Prince George’s County Memorial Library System staff, we discussed equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism with books as a launch point. This Diversity Dialogue kicked off our celebration of Native American and Indigenous Persons Heritage Month with Tommy Orange's book, "There There."
Watch this conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqXO9AAjQ8w
October 12th, 2023 - Lacrosse leaders Chloë Johnson, Alexis Joseph, Tari Kandemiri, and Patricia A. Thomas joined us in partnership with Prince George’s County Memorial Library System for a live panel conversation, Empowering the Game – Lacrosse Edition. This event discussed such topics as social issues, underrepresentation of women of color in college athletics, socioeconomic barriers in sports, and the importance of being an advocate for others. Watch that conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgIoeryoZoY
October 10th, 2023 - We partnered with PGCMLS and had the pleasure of welcoming "Daughters of Latin America" editor Sandra Guzmán and contributor Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa in conversation about an incredible collection of intergenerational voices of Latina women. Watch that conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePll4T1zPsY
October 5th, 2023 - As part of our Hispanic Heritage Month highlight we had the honor of welcoming Rayne Rivera-Forbes, Ofelia Montelongo, and Jorge Benítez-Perez for our Celebrating Latino Achievement event. We discussed their impact in the Prince George's County Region to excel and inspire others. Watch this wonderful conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RAYsTVdJkw
September 19th, 2023 - We partnered with PGCMLS in welcoming Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky for our Women in Faith Diverse Voices Speak: Exploring Jewish High Holiday Season. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wZI2JuLlIY
The Prince George's County Office of Human Rights was a part of hosting a Hate Bias Reporting Forum on Tuesday, September 19, 2023. The Hate Bias Reporting Forum provided community leaders and members of law enforcement with important information in response to the 2021 Hate Bias Report for the State of Maryland. The forum engaged local law enforcement, elected officials, and community leaders in discussions and information sharing on methods to facilitate more effective reporting as well as responding to bias incidents and hate crimes.
September 5, 2023 - We joined PGCMLS in hosting breakout Mississippi writer Exodus Oktavia Brownlow in conversation about her new essay collection, I'm Afraid That I Know Too Much... . See that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVtMPcimWcU.
August 15, 2023 we hosted Andrew Aydin, co-author of John Lewis's March, in celebration of its 10th anniversary and the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. We talked about Congressman Lewis, social justice, book bans, and young people and activism. Check out this amazing and wide-ranging conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFAW1uT4Z1A.
Throughout the 2023 year, the Office of Human Rights will partner with PGCMLS to host a monthly book club to explore the top 10 challenged books of 2022. The following dates and books for these event are:
August 9, 2023 - "Flamer" by Mike Curato (Bowie Library)
September 13, 2023 - "All Boys Aren't Blue" by George M. Johnson
October 11, 2023 - "Lawn Boy" by Jonathan Evison"
November 8, 2023 - "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie (Accokeek Library)
December 13, 2023 - "Crank" by Ellen Hopkins
January 10, 2024 - "Out of Darkness" by Ashley Hope Perez
February 14, 2024 - "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison (Spauldings Library)
March 13, 2024 - "A Court of Mist and Fury" by Sarah J. Maas
April 10, 2024 - "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" by Jesse Andrews
May 8, 2024 - "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky
June 12, 2024 - "This Book is Gay" by Juno Dawson
July 13th-18th, 2023 and July 24th-29th, 2023 - Our Youth Leadership Academy and PGCMLS' Social Justice Camp came together and developed an in-depth week learning about social justice and activism for the Greenbelt and Spaulding's Branch Library community.
July 18th, 2023, we joined PGCMLS in welcoming Elizabeth Wilkinson in conversation about Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and the Battle for Truth, in-person at the Hyattsville Branch Library, the event was followed by a book-signing.
Learn more about the event here:
June 21st, 2023, we joined WETA and PGCMLS in a film-screening of Making Black America: Through the Grapevine followed by a panel discussion at the Greenbelt Branch library.
Learn more about the event here: https://www.pgcmls.info/event/8505160
June 17th, 2023, we participated in Creative Suitland's Juneteenth Arts and Cultural Festival as Executive Director Battle-Brooks moderated Honoring Our Ancestors: Healing Through Reparative Justice, Art, and Community Activism.
Learn about the entire line-up of events held here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/creative-suitland-presents-juneteenth-arts-and-cultural-festival-tickets-619501253927
July 12th, 2023, we helped welcomed authors Yseult P. Mukantabana and Hannah Summerhill in conversation about their smash new book, Real Friends Talk About Race. Brought to you in partnership with PGCMLS and the EEOC, with special appreciation to Tonya Lennox from the EEOC's Philadelphia office who co-hosted this event with OHR Executive Director Battle-Brooks.
Watch this interesting and important conversation with the authors about their intentions, insights, and hopes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8aAjhZ6SaI
June 10th, 2023, our staff had a great time out at the Women Veterans Recognition and Resource Fair, sharing information about civil and human rights and the work of the Office of Human Rights. Pictured here is Investigator Clay with Dr. Dula from the Office of Veteran's Affairs.
June 10th, 2023, we had a great time at EDMONSTON DAY, celebrating Edmonston's 99th anniversary and getting to meet so many awesome residents from around the region. We hope to see you there next year!
June 9th, 2023, Prince George's County Office of Human Rights and the Prince George's County Memorial Library System hosted a Community Conversation with three young Prince Georgian entrepreneurs, recent winners of Towson University's College Cup, about their plans for Everybody Eats, a food truck with a mission to fight food insecurity around the region.
Bruno Verdonk, Bryce Carter, and Jared Hamlin talk about their vision and efforts here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX9kQoJh0fc
June 8th, 2023, Prince George's County Office of Human Rights and the Prince George's County Memorial Library System hosted a Community Conversation with Prince George's County Rodeo star Morissa Hall, 2x Rodeo Queen.
Check our interview with this amazing, accomplished, and inspiring young Prince Georgian here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmEu57AZaDA
June 7th, 2023, we joined PGCMLS and the US Attorney's Office for a special hate crimes forum featuring speakers from the FBI, Department of Justice, Office of Human Rights, State's Attorney's Office, and more. This was a great learning opportunity for community members to learn about how to identify hate crimes and bias incidents and why it is so important to report them when they occur. Learn more about this event here: https://www.pgcmls.info/event/8557153
June 6, 2023 - We joined PGCMLS for an in-person event with author Jeffrey Dale Lofton at the Laurel Branch Library where we discussed his book, "Red Clay Suzie". This was a fantastic conversation about a warm-hearted book and a wonderful Pride Month event!
June 4, 2023 - We joined the INAUGURAL NATIONAL HARBOR PRIDE WALK!
June 1, 2023 - We partnered with PGCMLS and had a wonderful conversation with Dr. Julia Lee about her recent book, The Racial Railroad. Watch it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obG3MplRJ2M.
May 25, 2023 - The final of our 2023 Prince George's County Reads book discussions considered Rabia Chaudry's Fatty Fatty Boom Boom through the lens of immigrant experiences. Join us in Fall 2023 as we kick of Prince George's County Reads 2024!
May 22, 2023 - Celebrating Asian American Women in Business. We celebrated and learned from Emily Fong Mitchell, Jennifer Li Dotson, and Eumnee Shim, three leaders in business. Brought to you in partnership with PGCMLS and the EEOC. This wide-ranging, fun conversation touched on mentorship, what "business" means, and some of the many amazing things being done around the world by Asian American women leaders. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpmYmKL14AI.
May 17, 2023 - The U.S. And The Holocaust Panel Discussion and Screening. We joined PGCMLS and WETA in-person at the Greenbelt Branch Library to watch a portion of the documentary, The U.S. And The Holocaust, and then joined special guests Rabbi Saul Oresky from Mishkan Torah Synagogue, Professor Jeff Richter from Georgetown University, and Esther Safron Foer, author of I Want You To Know We're Stlll Here in conversation moderated by Executive Director Battle-Brooks from the Office of Human Rights. Learn more about that amazing conversation here: https://ww1.pgcmls.info/event/8210474
May 16, 2023 - Celebrating Asian American Achievement. We joined the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in highlighting local artists and leaders for AAPI Heritage Month! We welcomed Amy Fry, councilmember for the Town of Cheverly and Councilmember Jolene Ivey's Chief of Staff; DIE Practitioner and filmmaker, Dr. Esther Castillo; and Coppin State University's Inaugural Title IX Coordinator, Katsura Kurita. Watch that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uva7yNUsX3Ahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uva7yNUsX3A
May 15, 2023 - We were delighted to table at PGCMLS' event with Mahogany Books in-person at Oxon Hill Branch Library as they hosted Vashti Harrison, author of Big, in conversation with Karine Jean-Pierre. Learn more about that event and the wonderful book here: https://www.pgcmls.info/event/8351904.
13 de Mayo 2023 - Tuvimos el honor de participar en el Foro Comunitario y Feria de Recursos del Distrito Tres con el concejal Olson en la escuela secundaria William Wirt, brindando información a los presentes en español sobre los varios servicios que ofrecemos a los miembros de la comunidad.
May 13, 2023 at 10 am - We joined Councilmember Olson at a Spanish-language Resource Fair at William Wirt Middle School in Riverdale.
May 2, 2023 - We joined PGCMLS and Maryland Public Television in hosting an NEA Big Reads Book Discussion on Ross Gay's Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude. A limited number of books were available for attendees. Learn more about NEA Big Reads and the event here: https://www.pgcmls.info/event/8368034.
April 25, 2023 - The Elephant We Don't See Diversity Dialogue series with PGCMLS continued as we read Edward Said's "Out of Place" for Arab American Heritage Month. What does it mean to be out of place? What can we learn from Said's concept of "othering"? See that conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Yp2ofLYQU0
April 20, 2023 - We partnered with PGCMLS and explored Access to Justice -what it is, what it isn't, who has it, who doesn't have it, and we can ensure greater equity. Featuring special guests Councilmember-at-Large Calvin Hawkins, Rachel Lindley from the State of Maryland Office of Public Defender, and attorney Anna Gold-Rand. Watch this important conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYIrS6hJDck.
April 17, 2023 - Social Determinants of Health.
What are the social determinants of health, what does it mean for us, and what should we do about it? The Prince George’s County Office of Human Rights and the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System held a converation with accomplished thinkers and practitioners from around our region: Dr. Sammi Areola, Prince George’s County Chief Administrate Officer for Health, Human Services; Robert Jepson– Washington Adventist White Oak Medical Center; Dr. Marissa Leslie, Medical Director – Adventist Healthcare Behavioral Health and Wellness Services; Dr. Eunmee Shim, President – Adventist Healthcare Fort Washington Medical Center; Dr. Ogechi Anyaoku, Doctor of Internal Medicine - Adventist Medical Group.
Watch that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsEZMCeBtf4
April 13, 2023 - The Office of Human Rights, the Prince George's County Human Trafficking Task Force, and Marietta House, hosted Giving Voice Initiative - Slavery's Human Trafficking Legacies Then and Now. The hybrid event offered both in-person and online participation and featured Prince George's County Office of Human Rights Executive Director Battle-Brooks, historian David Armanti, and poet and creator Marcia Cole.
April 12, 2023 - We joined Councilmember Eric Olson's Town Hall Resource Fair at William Wirt Middle School in Riverdale, Maryland, where participants heard from Prince George's County Chief Administrative Officer Tara Jackson, Councilmember Olson, and learned about some of the many resources available in the County.
April 3, 2023 - We joined PGCMLS and the Prince George's County Human Trafficking Task Force in welcoming Denny Abbott in conversation about his work fighting against institutionalized slavery and his book They Had No Voice: My Fight for Alabama's Forgotten Children. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2vl6_BX2P8
March 30, 2023 - Prince George's County Reads continued for our second discussion on Rabia Chaudry's Fatty Fatty Boom Boom, this time through the lens of women's rights. Learn more about Prince George's County Reads here: https://www.pgcmls.info/event/7406194
March 29, 2023 - We welcomed Maribel Rodriguez, founder of Love 4 Immigrants, in conversation about the initiative and their upcoming art exhibition in DC. We featured some of the guest artists. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbUj-L74WXQ.
March 28, 2023 - Our Elephant We Don't See Diversity Dialogue series honored Women's History Month as we discussed Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong. Joy Hollenbach joined us on behalf of PGCMLS. Check out the conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSUlcDwW6f0.
March 15, 2023 - We helped host alongside PGCMLS and Mahogany Books in welcoming Nic Stone in conversation about Chaos Theory in-person at Oxon Hill Branch Library.
March 7, 2023 - Voting: Democracy in Action continued as we considered What is Democracy? Panelists Dr. David Crocker, Dr. Stacy Kosko, and Theo Doran discussed what democracy means, where are its strength and weaknesses, and what we can do to - and why we should - fight to preserve it. Watch this interesting and dynamic conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN_X2WgX-3Y. In partnership with PGCMLS.
March 1, 2023 - We hosted local author and University of Maryland scholar Dr. Kris Marsh in conversation about her new book, The Love Jones Cohort, in person at the Greenbelt Branch Library, in partnership with PGCMLS. Learn more about Dr. Marsh and her work here: drkirsmarsh.com.
February 28, 2023 - Our Elephant We Don't See Diversity Dialogue series with PGCMLS kicked off 2023 celebrating Black History Month looking at "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave." Watch it here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17yluszNLZk
February 23, 2023 - As part of our Black History Month programming, we joined PGCMLS in welcoming local author Courtney Duke Foster in conversation about her new book Passing Notes, a dynamic study on friendship, colorism, and life in the 1950s. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJB_SUc3DcQ
February 7, 2023 - Our Black History Month special event with PGCMLS and Joe's Movement Emporium celebrated the impact Black musicians have made in classical music and the arts. Featuring celebrated composers and musicians Nevilla Ottley, George Shirley, Alexander Strachan, and Lelia-Michelle Walker. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlNLRZiC1Tc
The Prince George’s County Human Trafficking Task Force held a two-day virtual regional conference from January 25, 2023, to January 26, 2023, in recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Month. The Conference included several collaborative bodies and task forces from within the State and region with the goal of identifying human trafficking trends, learning what others are encountering, and developing best practices for combating human trafficking. Presentations from several regions covered important topics such as child sex trafficking multi-disciplinary teams, race and human trafficking service provision, coordinating an effective hospital response, and human trafficking data and analytics across disciplines.
January 17, 2023 - Women in Faith, Diverse Voices Speak: Faith and Politics. Feedback on this event included "this is the best one yet!" Listen as our special guests discussed what role, if any, faith should play in politics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTF1muCkHi0.
January 14, 2023 - Our Freedom Stories initiative continued with a staged reading of Out of the Vineyard at PGCC Center for the Performing Arts followed by a panel discussion featuring A Question of Freedom author Dr. William G. Thomas, playwright Psalmayene 24, director Tony Thomas, and Office of Human Rights Executive Director Battle-Brooks. Learn more about Freedom Stories: here.