YOU DOWN FOR THE CAUSE OR WHAT? Writers of color discuss allyship, featuring Sehba Sarwar, Tanya Ko Hong, Lisbeth Coiman, and Chris L. Terry

The Black Lives Matter uprising has inspired people around the world to take to the streets and demand justice and transformational change. Companies and organizations are issuing statements of support. Social media is deluged with posts in support of the movement.

As writers, it’s imperative that we pose penetrating questions not just to others but within ourselves and strive toward honesty and change, even when issues are hidden and obscured.

At this gathering, writers will share their work and create space to discuss questions such as: Has the US has entered a new era of allyship? Has a new generation committed to an anti-racist future? Or are we seeing performative allyship that will fade away with the next news cycle?

In a literary reading featuring Sehba Sarwar, Tanya Ko Hong, Lisbeth Coiman, and Chris L. Terry will raise questions and reflect on what it means to be an ally and how writers of color can generate and examine their work in the context of a larger movement. Audience members are encouraged to bring quotes from Black authors to share in the chat.

The event is free to attend via Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube. All proceeds from pay-what-you-will Eventbrite tickets will be dispersed to Black Lives Matter LA. In addition, the organizers will share direct links to donate to a short list of other social justice organizations.

About the BookSwell Read and Relate series
To keep connections alive between readers and writers during troubled times, BookSwell is organizing Read & Relate, a virtual video chat salon celebrating books, writers, and the literary life.

We’ll be using Zoom to conduct the salon and the feed will also be shared via Facebook Live and YouTube. Audio and video may be recorded and re-shared via BookSwell’s social media channels.

The Exposition Park – Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Regional Library of the Los Angeles Public Library system is a collaborating partner on the BookSwell Read & Relate series. The library hosts events online in support of the Library at Home program of the Los Angeles Public Library.


This event raised $400 for Black Lives Matter LA.


Allyship Resources