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Sonali Kolhatkar in conversation with Cat Brooks

June 28, 2023 @ 6:30 pm

Presented by KPFA and the Berkeley Public Library

City Lights celebrates the publication of

Rising Up: The Power of Narrative in Pursuing Racial Justice
by Sonali Kolhatkar
Foreword by: Rinku Sen
Published by City Lights Books

This event will be held at the North Branch of the Berkeley Public Library, 1170 The Alameda, Berkeley CA 94707. Tel. 510-981-6250. This event is free to the public. No reservations required.

Author, journalist and nationally syndicated TV and radio host Sonali Kolhatkar visits North Branch for a conversation with activist, organizer and radio host Cat Brooks to celebrate the release of her new book Rising Up, available June 27th from City Lights. Copies of the book will be available for sale at the event from local bookseller Pegasus Books. This event will be recorded for broadcast on KPFA radio.

Rising Up offers a timely exploration of how truthful narratives by and about people of color can be used to advance social justice in the United States.

While people of color are fast becoming the majority population in the United States, the perspectives of white America still dominate the vast majority of the media created and consumed every day. Media makers of color, long shut out of the decision-making process, are rising up to advance a set of different narratives, offering stories and perspectives to counter the racism and disinformation that have long dominated America’s political and cultural landscape.

In Rising Up, award-winning journalist Sonali Kolhatkar delivers a guide to racial justice narrative-setting. With a focus on shifting perspectives in news media, entertainment, and individual discourse, she highlights the writers, creators, educators, and influencers who are successfully building a culture of affirmation and inclusion.

“Sonali Kolhatkar reminds us we are the stories we tell. Our stories can cast a spell of hate, division, and fear, or they can break the powerful grip of racial injustices that have held us since our country’s beginning. With personal and collective wisdom, Kolhatkar guides us in the storytelling that liberates.”–Luis J. Rodríguez, author of Always Running: La Vida Loco/Gang Days in L.A.

Rising Up challenges the reader to not only rethink their assumptions, but to understand the critical importance of the creation of progressive narratives as an instrument in the struggles for human liberation.”–Bill Fletcher, Jr., author of The Man Who Fell From the Sky

Sonali Kolhatkar is the host and producer of Rising Up with Sonali, a weekly television and radio program that airs on Free Speech TV and on Pacifica Radio station affiliates around the United States. Winner of numerous awards, including Best TV Anchor and Best National Political Commentary from the LA Press Club, she is currently the Racial Justice editor at Yes! Magazine and a Writing Fellow with the Independent Media Institute. Co-author of Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence with Jim Ingalls, Kolhatkar is Co-Director of the Afghan Women’s Mission. She resides with her husband and two sons in Pasadena, California.

Cat Brooks is an award winning actress and playwright. In her role as an artivist, she is also the host of “Law & Disorder” on KPFA and resident playwright and actress with The Lower Bottom Playaz in Oakland and 3Girls Theatre in San Francisco. As an organizer, she played a central role in the struggle for justice for Oscar Grant, and spent the last decade working with impacted communities and families to rapidly respond to police violence and radically transform the ways our communities are policed and incarcerated. She is the co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP) and the Executive Director of the Justice Teams Network. Cat was also the runner-up in Oakland’s 2018 mayoral election, facing incumbent Libby Schaaf.


City Lights Bookstore
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North Branch of the Berkeley Public Library
1170 The Alameda
Berkeley, CA 94707 United States
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