Booksellers + Community Activism
UMD Center for Literary and Comparative Studies + The Georgetown Humanities Initiative (co-sponsors)
Antiracism: Communities + Collaborations
“Booksellers + Community Activism” featuring Ramunda Lark Young and Angela Maria Spring
Ramunda Lark Young is an entrepreneur, speaker, and community advocate. She and her husband are the owners and co-founders of the nationally-recognized Mahogany Books, a bookstore focused on books for, by, and about people of the African Diaspora in Washington, DC. Young has successfully worked with celebrity authors like ballet icon Misty Copeland, R&B legend Charlie Wilson, Civil Rights leader Congressman John Lewis, award-winning actor Omar Epps.
Angela Maria Spring is a poet, journalist, and editor. She has worked in bookstores in New Mexico, New York City, and D.C. for almost two decades. In 2017 she decided to create a flexible, financially viable bookstore model that empowered and embraced diversity in bookselling, writing/art, and in our communities. She hence launched Duende District Bookstore, a unique pop-up boutique bookstore run by people of color for people of color.
Diana Proenza is a second-year Ph.D. student in the English department of the University of Maryland, College Park and a graduate of the New College of Florida with a B.A. in English Literature and Art History. Her research focuses on 20th and 21st century book history, archival studies and visual culture. She works primarily within the critical theories of gender and race and trauma/memory studies.
Chanel Williams is in the Georgetown Master’s Program in the Engaged and Public Humanities. She has used her career as a public relations professional to center her passion for making arts and culture institutions more accessible and inclusive through storytelling. Having supported the mission, vision, and values at both the Smithsonian Institution and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, she often embraces the themes of empathy and equity in her PR practice. As a native of the DMV, she knows the impact that D.C. memorials, museums, performing arts venues, and cultural institutions have on enriching the lives of native Washingtonians and the nation more broadly.