PROGRAMS

Author Visits

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Grade school

Sticker Explosion: K-2

Dress to impress: K-2

If you can read, you can be anything: K-3

What do you see: K-3

My Bright Future picture book: 2-5

What do you see: A play about your bright future. 4-8

My voice matters: 5-8

High School

The expression of your own voice:
Show me your diversity:
Your story matters:

Adult Workshop

How to write for the black character:

How to include diversity in your story:

Writing for a character that doesn’t represent you:

Why diversity matters and how you can change the world:

Why indie-publishing was the only choice:

Own Voices:

The Publishing Journey

How to pick the right artist for your diverse book:

The marketing race:

My journey from idea to book:

Featured Programs

Lunch with the Author:

Black Boy Joy: A Celebration of Black Boys:

This program will focus on the expression of oneself through stickers. In this 45 minute class, we will read the books and talk about diversity and owning your voice through custom stickers provided by the author.

This program will focus on students empowering themselves to see what the future holds for them. In this 45 minute class, we will read the book, discuss the power of the book and allow the students to dress up in their future-self. And take pictures that can be featured on the book’s social media page.

This program focuses on the book itself. In this 45 minute program, we will read the book, the inspiration for the book, and a few of my nephews favorite books. We will have question and answer time, and a coloring book marathon.

This program will be focused on self-acceptance and empowerment. In this 45 minute program, we will focus on challenging students to see their difference and how those differences make them uniquely them through the expression of art.

This program will focus on how students see themselves in the world. In this 45 minute program, we will explore the student’s personal identities through the creation of picture books.

This program focuses on the student’s view of the future. In this 45 minute class, we will write a play about the bright future one can have and act it out with props and costume.
This program focuses on diversity and representation. In this 45 minute program will we discuss diversity and what it means to be represented in the world. The students will choose an art form to express how they view themselves in the world.
This program focuses on understanding the power of your voice. In this 45 minute interactive game, PowerPoint, we will participate in activities that give power to the student’s voice. We will also discuss how owning your voice can change the world.
This program focuses on self-expression. In this 45 minute program, we will have a TikTok battle. Students will make a song about their diversity self, based off of the Black Boy, Black Boy song and beat.

This program focuses on owning one’s voice. In this 45 minute program, we will make picture books that highlight the unique and diverse voice of each student in the class. The books will be a representation of what makes that student uniquely them.

This program focuses on the complexity of writing for the black character. In this 90 minute class, we will discuss the common stereotypes that are used to describe the black character in literature. We will also break down those stereotypes and identify the other ways to represent the black character.

This program focuses on the understanding of the diverse world in which we live. In this 90 minute class, we will discuss the different ways you can incorporate the ever-changing diverse world into your writing while being respectful and conscious of the culture and beliefs.
This program focuses on the delicate art of writing a character that doesn’t represent your life and/or beliefs. In this 90 minute class, we will ask the hard question that comes with writing for a character that doesn’t share your race and/or struggle. This class will be an open space to talk about race in literature and how stereotypes of the unknown can damage the representation of others.
This program focuses on the importance of representation in books. In this 90 minute class, we will discuss why diversity and representation in literature matters. We will also discuss how you can be the change, and how including diversity could change the world
This program focuses on the need for diverse books. In this 90 minute program, we will discuss the demand for diverse books and how that demand is not being met. We will also discuss traditional publishing houses and how they still stifle the diverse voice with control.
This program focuses on owning your diverse voice. In this 90 minute class, we will discuss the importance of getting your unique voice out into the world, why it is important and how to fight for your voice.
This 45-90 minute PowerPoint program details my journey to the perfect artist. In this class, we will discuss the dos and don’ts. What to look out for when searching for the perfect artist. How to spot the con-artist. Websites, and how to market yourself for the best outcome. How to manage your artist to achieve the best author/artist relationship.
This 45-90 minute PowerPoint presentation details the need to know about marketing your indie book for success. In this class, we will discuss what you need and when you need it. You will learn about writing a press release. Building a website. How to build your mailing list and all the little details in-between.
This 45-90 minute PowerPoint presentation details my journey from idea to book. In this class, we will discuss how I came up with Black Boy, Black Boy, and my journey from a cute song with my nephews to an empowerment book for a lifetime. In this class, I will discuss the good, the bad and the ugly of publishing my first book.
This 45-minute experience includes a private lunch for 5 to 10 selected students. With goodie bags and tailor surprise for the students.
This 90-minute party will celebrate Black Boy Joy. 10 to 15 boys will be selected to enjoy a catered meal and a tailored program that centers around celebrating the uniqueness of being a black boy.

Contact

Kara Cisco

TiArra Shepherd served as an Artist-in-Residence for my Ethnic Studies course during a one-week children’s book workshop. Ms. Shepard guided students in the work of researching, writing, designing, drawing and ultimately creating a children’s book regarding a topic centered around black history in MN. Students ultimately read their children’s books to district elementary schools. Over our week together, I found Ms. Shepard to be relatable with the students, building meaningful relationships which she leveraged to motivate reluctant learners to complete beautifully designed books. Ms. Shepard’s expertise in the work of both engaging with students and with crafting a well-designed story was apparent, and I would invite her back into my classroom anytime.

Broderick Williams

When Crown came and read to the scholars of Freedom Schools at the Friendship Academy School site she welcomed us with great energy and smile! I invited her to come read to our scholars that range from 5yrs to 13yr old scholars and she brought more than just a reading! She presented us with “Black Boy” key chains that came in all sorts of colors, even Pink and Purple were included! I do not remember the book she read but the questions that came after what she read really intrigued our scholars. Questions like “How could I be an author” “How many books are you going to create?” All these questions and dialogue really encourage our students to follow their dreams and live up to their purpose. She will always be invited to read to our scholars because she really made an impact on the young boys because of the memorabilia, and to the young girls because they seen a strong black woman come in and really manifest her dreams

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