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On South African Human Rights Day (21.03.23), Beverley Naidoo and Sita Brahmachari will explore how to engage young learners in thinking about human rights & social justice

Join us as we host award-winning authors Beverley Naidoo and Sita Brahmachari for an online conversation that will explore how to engage young learners in thinking about human rights and social justice, using their published works as a springboard. Sita and Beverley will mainly base their conversation around their books pictured above, Children of the Stone City (2022) and Where The River Runs Gold (2019).  They will also include reference to other relevant works such as Sita’s When Shadows Fall (2022) and Red Leaves (2014) and Beverley’s Journey to Jo’burg (1985), The Other side of Truth (2000; International Women’s Day edition 2023) and Out of Bounds: stories of conflict and hope (2001, Foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu).
Beverley and Sita’s conversation will include the following:
  • we’ll share the inspirations for our stories and why we both centre stage the voices of young people who are marginalised
  • we’ll talk about how we each related to the anti-apartheid movement and how this, and other movements for social justice, have impacted our writing (Sita growing up in UK and Beverley in SA)
  • we’ll talk about how we’ve each reflected the power of the arts within our books and why we associate the arts with freedom and justice
  • we’ll suggest creative ways for educators to enable young people to engage with our stories
  • we’ll discuss the importance of communicating resilience, hope and the importance of communities on the journey to social justice

About the authors:

Beverley Naidoo is the Carnegie award-winning author of The Other Side of Truth and other award-winning books for children and young adults. She was brought up during the apartheid years in South Africa and much of Beverley’s writing reflects crossing boundaries and unpicks what is at the core of injustice whilst providing hope and pathways for change, often through the eyes and minds of young characters. Beverley’s first novel, Journey to Jo’burg, was banned in South Africa until 1991 and has never been out of print in the UK since publication in 1985. It is frequently read in schools worldwide.
Visit Beverley Naidoo’s website for more information about Beverley and her writing.
Image credit Linda Brownlee.
Children of the Stone City (HarperCollins, 2022)
“Is Justice sleeping or is it a dream? If Justice is sleeping, who will wake Justice up?” How do you answer such questions which contain such huge shadows? My young questioners came from refugee families. Although long ago, I’ve never forgotten them. In the end, I decided I needed to write a novel to explore how it might feel to wonder whether Justice is only a dream or sleeping… and, if it’s sleeping, “who will wake Justice up?” Beverley Naidoo
Sita Brahmachari’s celebrated, internationally award-winning novels focus on equality and children’s right to have a safe place to call home.  Sita’s work is grounded in her work with diverse communities and has been endorsed by Amnesty International.  An associate Lecturer on the MA in Children’s and Young Adult Literature at Goldsmiths University, Writer in Residence at Islington’s Centre for Refugees and Migrant and a ‘Get Islington Reading’ Ambassador. Sita’s latest Carnegie nominated novel When Shadows Fall was a Guardian and Times book of 2022. In 2023, Sita has been shortlisted for the Ruth Rendell Prize for Services to Literacy.
Visit Sita Brahmachari’s website for more information about Sita and her writing. Image credit Dannie Price.
Where The River Runs Gold (Hachette, 2019)
The young protagonists you’ll discover in my work are full of heart and empathy. They dare to ask the big questions facing our world today. They are seeking answers and are not afraid to challenge injustice.” Sita Brahmachari
Event logistics:
The event is free to attend and will be hosted online via Zoom. Whilst we think this event will be of great value to KS2 and KS3 teachers, learning support staff, libraries staff and volunteers, all are welcome to join. Registered guests will receive Zoom log in details 48 hours prior to the event. Guests will be able to ask questions following Beverley and Sita’s conversation, if you’d like to send these ahead, please email us on [email protected]
Time: 4 – 5.15pm
Date: Tuesday 21st March
Venue: Online (guests will receive log in details prior to the event)
Free to attend but advance registration is required. Please register your attendance on Eventbrite : click here to book

Written by Caroline Kamana, Director, February 2023

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