Visiting Authors

March 25, 7 pm | Minda Harts in Conversation with Tianna Mañón

Book Launch: The Memo: What Women of Color Need To Know To Secure A Seat At The Table | Free & Open to the Public

Drawing on her entrepreneurial experience as CEO of The Memo, as well as her past career as a fundraising consultant, Minda Harts’s Memo acknowledges the “ugly truths” that keep women of color from getting the proverbial seat at the table in corporate America: micro-aggressions, systemic racism, and white privilege. With wit and candor, Hart gives straight talk on how to address these issues head on and provides a roadmap to help women of color and their allies make real change to the system. 

Minda Harts is the CEO of The Memo LLC,  a career development platform for women of color, and  an Assistant Professor at NYU Wagner. She has been featured on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and in Fast Company, The Guardian, and Time Magazine; and hosts a weekly podcast, “Secure The Seat.”

Tianna Mañón is the Editor in Chief of Open Mic Rochester. She has written about such issues of policy and politics as the Family Leave Act and how it helps single mothers, Rochester’s status as a food swamp, and the ongoing housing crisis in the city. Her priority is ensuring that news is accessible and readers feel empowered to make the changes they want to see in their communities.

March 31, 7 pm | How to Unravel a Buried Story: Re-Discovering Martha Matilda Harper, with Jane Plitt 

Talk & Book Signing | Free & Open to the Public

Jane Plitt stumbled on the name “Martha Matilda Harper” and the fact that she was the first woman member of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Yet the Chamber knew nothing about her. Ultimately, Plitt spent six years criss-crossing the United States and Canada piecing together Harper’s forgotten business and human achievements.

Jane Plitt is the author of three books about Martha Matilda Harper, most recently, Martha Matilda Harper and the American Dream: How One Woman Changed the Face of American Business (Syracuse University Press, 2000), a biography of the first woman member of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Prior to becoming a visiting scholar at the University of Rochester, Plitt led a 12-person business marketing and economic development firm that earned her recognition as Small Business Advocate by the U. S. Small Business Administration, and won the Small Businessperson of the Year in 1986. Jane has been widely published in business, national and local publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Chicago’s Sun Times, Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle, Sarasota’s Herald-Tribune, and History News. Plitt has been a life-long advocate for civil rights and was the National Organization for Women’s first Executive Director. 

April 4 | Gary Copeland Lilley

11 am – 12:30 pm: Special Topics Workshop: Writing a Personna Poem

1 pm: Reading
Gary Copeland Lilley is the author of eight books of poetry, including Alpha Zulu (Copper Canyon Press) and, most recently, The Bushman’s Medicine Show (Lost Horse Press, 2017). Blue Horse Press published his chapbook, The Hog Killing, in 2014. A Cave Canem Fellow, he has received the DC Commission on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry and is published in numerous anthologies and journals, including The Best American Poetry 2014, Willow Springs, The Swamp, Waxwing, Taos Journal of Poetry and Art, and African American Review.