Lectures and Discussions
Author Ronald M. Gauthier will read from, and discuss, his most recent novel, "Prey for Me: An New Orleans Murder Mystery."
Ronald M. Gauthier is a life-long resident of New Orleans. Before he became a novelist, he worked as a social services counselor, an adult education instructor, and a library branch manager. In each role, he served his fellow New Orleanians by bringing them knowledge that might otherwise have passed them by whether performing literacy instruction for prisoners or connecting a community to the world of information.
Gauthier's novels, "Prey for Me" and "hard Time on the Bayou," are shaped by more than two decades of public service and love for his home city. His experience as an educator in Louisiana's prisons brings a realism to his storytelling in "Hard Time on the Bayou" in particular, while his life in New Orleans' African-American community informs both works.
Holding an MA in Counseling from Xavier University, and a MLS from Louisiana State University, Gauthier currently resides in Atlanta where he is completing his next work based on events surrounding Hurricane Katrina.
Dr. Charles V. Willie will present a public lecture entitled "To Whom Does the Mainstream Belong: Minorities or the Majority? Women or Men?"
Dr. Charles Vert Willie is the Charles William Eliot Professor of Education, Emeritus, at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is a sociologist whose areas of research include desegregation, higher education, public health, race relations, urban community problems, and family life. Before coming to the Harvard Graduate School of Education, he was chairman of the Department of Sociology and vice president of student affairs at Syracuse University.
He was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the President's Commission on Mental Health and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Social Science Research Council. He has served as vice president of the Amercian Sociological Association and president of the Eastern Sociological Society. He has also served as consultant, expert witness and court-appointed master in major school desegregation cases in larger cities such as Boston, Hartford, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Little Rock, Milwaukee, San Jose, Seattle, and St. Louis; and in other municipalities such as St. Lucie County and Lee County, Florida and Somerville, Cabridge, and Brockton, Massachusetts.
Willie is the author or editor of over 100 articles and 30 books on issues of race, gender, socioeconomic status, religion, education, urban communities, and family relations. Willie identifies himself as an applied sociologist who is concerned with solving social problems. He was recently awarded the Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award from the American Sociological Association.
Author Jacqueline T. Small will read from, and discuss, her debut work, "Freedomtown: A Novelette."
This is Jacqueline T. Small's debut work. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Temple University, and a Master's in Education degree from Cheney University of Pennsylvania. She currently resides in Pennsylvania.
Author Leslie E. Banks will read from, and discuss, her most recent novel "The Forbidden."
Ms. Banks is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton undergraduate program, and alumna of Temple University's Master of Fine Arts in filmmaking program. Ms. Banks began her career in corporate marketing for several Fortune 100 firms and worked as an executive for over a decade at Xerox, Hewlett Packard, and Digital Equipment Corporation. She then subsequently converted her veteran marketing experience into a solid entrepreneurial career as a marketing consultant within the economic development and community-based organization environment.
In 1992, Banks added another facet to her career, entering the publishing industry. She writes under the pseudonyms L.A. Banks, Leslie Esdaile, Leslie E. Banks, and Leslie Esdaile Banks. She has won several literary awards and has penned over 20 novels and 8 novellas in genres as diverse as romance, women's fiction, crime suspense, and dark fantasy/horror.
She has contributed to magazines, newspaper columns, and has written commercial fiction for five major publishers simultaneously: St. Martin's Press (NYC), Simon and Schuster (NYC), Kensington Publishing (NYC), BET/Arabesque (NYC), and Genesis Press (MS.)
Banks's writing career took a new twist in 2000 when she won the coveted contract with Paramount/Showtime in collaboration with Simon & Schuster/Pocketbooks to write a book series for the popular cable network television series, Soul Food. From there, Banks transitioned into another hot genre--the world of vampire fiction, where she is currently penning a six book series for St. Martin's Press: "Minion," (June 2003), "The Awakening," (January 2004), "The Hunted," (June 2004), "The Bitten," (January 2005), "The Forbidden" (June 2005), and "The Damned" to be released in January 2006.
Banks's other works include a crime thriller with Kensington/Dafina released in November 2004 (Betrayal of the Trust) and numberous romances and women's fiction works with BET/Arabesque, Kensington Publishing, and Genesis Press. Banks also contributed her inspirational personal story of triumph over tragedy "Chicken Soup for the African American Soul."
Ms. Banks is a native West Philadelphian and entrepreneur, who is fervently committed to her community. She writes and lives in University City, Philadelphia, with her husband and blended family of four children.