Author and scholar Paula Giddings will speak with Monroe County NAACP Chapter President Christa Caceres as part of the Salon segment of the Milford Readers and Writers Festival on September 18. Giddings wrote Ida, A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching, which received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was considered one of the best books of 2008 by the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune.
Festival organizers expect this session to be co-sponsored by several NAACP regional chapters and the Robert Lewis Group in Port Jervis, a plan that is yet to be finalized. Michael Worden, who recently wrote a book about the lynching of Robert Lewis in Port Jervis, is expected to attend the session and be recognized.
In addition to Ida, A Sword Among Lions, Giddings is the author of: When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America; In Search of Sorority, Delta Sigma Theta and the Challenge of the Black Sorority Movement; Burning All Illusions, (editor) and an anthology of race articles published by Nation magazine from 1867 to 2000.
Giddings is Elizabeth A. Woodson 1922 Professor of Africana Studies (Emerita) at Smith College. While at Smith, Giddings was the editor of Meridians, feminism, race, transnationalism, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. Previously, she had been a book editor at Howard University Press; magazine editor at Encore American and Worldwide News, where she was Paris bureau chief; and a journalist who has written extensively on international and national issues for The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jeune Afrique (Paris), and The Nation, among other publications.
Giddings has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation; the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (unfilled). She has also received honorary doctorates from Wesleyan University, Bennett College, and Howard University, and was named a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar. She sits on the board of the Nation Institute and the Authors League Fund and is a member of PEN. Ms. Giddings was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017.
Christa Caceres is president of the Monroe County chapter of the NAACP. She holds a BA in Jurisprudence and a Masters in Law and Public Policy from the University of California, Pennsylvania. Christa’s leadership and advocacy activities include serving on the board of the Greater Pike Community Foundation, Pocono Mountains United Way, Emerge Pennsylvania, and the newly formed Seven Oaks Collective. In 2021, Christa received the prestigious MLK Community Member Award from East Stroudsburg University.
Following calls for law enforcement reform, Christa took a proactive approach and formed the Monroe County Community Roundtable which brings together local and state law enforcement leaders with the Monroe County NAACP to find strategic and creative ways to bring about lasting community change in collaboration.
Paula Giddings will be in conversation with Monroe County NAACP Chapter President Christa Caceres on Sunday, September 18 at 1:00 p.m. at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church Parish Hall. The Salon event is free.