What if leaving poverty means abandoning your family, and yourself? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Andrea Elliott of The New York Times shares an unforgettable story of a girl whose indomitable spirit is tested by homelessness, poverty, and racism in an unequal America. Elliott’s latest work, Invisible Child, follows eight dramatic years in the life of a girl whose imagination is as soaring as the skyscrapers near her Brooklyn shelter. Dasani was named after the bottled water that signaled Brooklyn’s gentrification and the shared aspirations of a divided city. As Dasani comes of age, the homeless crisis in New York City has exploded, and she must guide her siblings through a city riddled with hunger, violence, drug addiction, homelessness, and the monitoring of child protection services. Out on the street, Dasani becomes a fierce fighter to protect the ones she loves. When she finally escapes city life to enroll in a boarding school, she faces an impossible choice between staying back to help her family or moving away for a chance at a better future. Join ALOUD for a conversation about the power of resilience, the importance of family, and the cost of inequality as Elliott discusses this remarkable portrait of survival.
Dr. Robin J. Hayes is a staff writer on the forthcoming series Sandokan (from the producers of Transformers, The Shield, and Devils). After completing her studies at Yale and NYU and working as a human rights activist in Chiapas, Central America, and Cuba, she directed, wrote, and produced the award-winning documentary Black and Cuba and produced the prize-winning play 9 Grams (directed by S. Epatha Merkerson). A recipient of funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Tides Foundation, Robin recently authored the critically acclaimed book Love For Liberation: African Independence, Black Power, and a Diaspora Underground.