Toward the end of the year, Lit Youngstown's board selects a literary arts nonprofit and we send a modest donation. It lifts us up to learn about the incredible work being done in this community, and we appreciate the opportunity to give back, grateful for the support we receive year-round.
This year we selected Freedom Reads, an organization started by MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient Reginald Dwayne Betts. From their website:
Alone in solitary confinement, a teenager called out to the men in the hole with him: “Somebody, send me a book!” Moments later, Dudley Randall’s The Black Poets was slid under his cell door. Those pages, in that funky and desperate place, were the start of his own transformation to poet and lawyer and promoter of the rights of people still inside. Now, 23 years after his release from prison, Reginald Dwayne Betts and his team have built Freedom Reads, a way to slide books like that one — books that open worlds and change lives — to readers in prison across the country.
It is a remarkable story and mission, and we encourage you to learn more about them, as well as previous Lit Youngstown donation recipients:
2021: Black Boys Read
2018: Lake Erie Ink
Whatever way you are working to raise quality of life, thank you.