Muhammad Ali Center, Flyaway Books co-host ‘Believing in a Better World’ with creators of new picture book

Wednesday’s free virtual event celebrates ‘For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World’ and helps adults talk with children about race and racial violence

by Flyaway Books | Special to Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — The Muhammad Ali Center and Flyaway Books will co-host “Believing in a Better World: Talking with Children about Race and Racial Violence” from 7-8:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, September 23. The free, virtual event will celebrate the release of “For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World,” a timely picture book by author Michael W. Waters and illustrator Keisha Morris that tells the story of a boy named Jeremiah and his family who discover hopeful forms of activism and advocacy in response to racism and gun violence in their community. The picture book includes a discussion and activity guide (available here) created by the Muhammad Ali Center that adults can use with children to further discuss racism, gun violence and social change.

“Believing in a Better World” will be moderated by Emmy award-winning journalist Jean West of “Jean West’s Medical Digest.”

Panelists will include:

  • Michael W. Waters — Author of “For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World”
  • Keisha Morris — Illustrator of “For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World”
  • Erin E. Herbert — Director of programming at the Muhammad Ali Center and co-writer of the discussion and activity guide
  • Darryl Young Jr. — Manager of Programming at the Muhammad Ali Center and co-writer of the discussion and activity guide.

Together the panelists will discuss their inspiration for working on the picture book and guide, how adults can talk with children about race and racial violence within the context of “For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World,” and how the issues highlighted within the book tie into both historical and current events. There will also be a Q&A and a book giveaway, where five lucky attendees will win a free copy of “For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World.”

The event is free but registration is required for those wishing to attend the virtual event via Zoom. Register today here. “Believing in a Better World” will also be streamed on Facebook via the Muhammad Ali Center and Flyaway Books for attendees who want to host watch parties around the event.

“For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World” is available for preorder now wherever books are sold. It will also be available for purchase soon after its release at the Ali Center Retail Store and the Ali Center Online Store.

About “For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World”

Inspired by real-life events, “For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World,” by Michael W. Waters and illustrator Keisha Morris, offers an honest, intimate look at one family’s response to racism and gun violence and encourages hopeful forms of activism and advocacy. The picture book includes a discussion and activity guide by the Muhammad Ali Center and a portion of the publisher’s sales proceeds will be donated to nonprofit organizations that facilitate the empowerment of Black communities. The book will be available for purchase September 22 and it is ideal for children ages 6-10. For more information, or to watch a book trailer on “For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World,” click here.

About Flyaway Books

Flyaway Books is a picture book program dedicated to themes of diversity, inclusivity, compassion, and kindness. For more information, visit www.flyawaybooks.com.

About the Muhammad Ali Center

The Muhammad Ali Center, a 501(c)3 corporation, was cofounded by Muhammad Ali and his wife Lonnie in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The international cultural center promotes the Six Core Principles of Muhammad Ali (Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect and Spirituality) in ways that inspire personal and global greatness and provides programming and events around the focus areas of education, gender equity, and global citizenship. In 2020, the Ali Center became one of the newest stops on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail. The Center’s headquarters also contains an award-winning museum experience. For more information, visit www.alicenter.org.

About Jean West

Jean West is an Emmy award-winning journalist with more than 30 years of experience at WAVE-TV, WHAS-TV, and WFPL-FM, in Louisville, Kentucky. She broke the color barrier in Louisiana and Kentucky as the first African American to anchor prime time newscasts at network affiliates, and she is the proud owner of FacesWest Productions. West lives in Louisville. For more information, visit https://jeanwestsmedicaldigest.com/about.

About Michael W. Waters

Michael W. Waters is an award-winning author, activist, professor and pastor. A sought-after speaker to national and international audiences, he is a frequent social commentator for major media outlets. He was named one of America’s emerging leaders by Ebony magazine and has received multiple honors for his work in peace and justice. Waters lives in Dallas. For more information, visit www.michaelwwaters.com.

About Keisha Morris

Keisha Morris grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia, studied illustration in New York City, and now tells stories through pictures and words in Reno, Nevada. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. For more information, visit  www.keishamorris.com.

Erin E. Herbert is the Director of Programming at the Muhammad Ali Center, where she is responsible for the creation, development, and evaluation of education initiatives for local, national, and global audiences. Erin currently serves on the Templeton Scholars Advisory Board for Hanover College and on the Louisville Metro Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods Advisory Council. She lives in Louisville.

Darryl Young Jr. is the Manager of Programming at the Muhammad Ali Center, where he oversees youth initiatives, cultivates strategic community partnerships, and produces programming. He is heavily involved with various causes and organizations, including the Cities United Initiative, the National Black Male Achievement movement, and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated. Young lives in Louisville.

Note to the media:  Participants will be available for interviews after the event. Please make requests in advance.


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