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"Illuminating Black Lives" Fellowship Recipient, Janel George, Plans July Residency

Will present "Story as Memorial" Writing to Remember" workshop in collaboration with the Washington County Community Remembrance Project ant the Fayetteville Public Library on July 10


Janel George, a recipient of the “Illuminating Black Lives" fellowship” from the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow, in collaboration with the Washington County Community Remembrance Project, will facilitate a writing workshop examining issues of race and history. “Story as Memorial: Writing to Remember” will encourage attendees to reflect upon people and experiences from their past as they learn about memorializing through writing. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in different forms of writing to explore memories, including journaling, personal narrative/essay and poetry. Participants will also explore issues of race and remembering and learn how writing can be a vehicle for healing, truth-telling and community-building. The workshop will be held at the Fayetteville Public Library at 401 W. Mountain Street from 2:00 – 4:00 pm on Saturday, July 10. Register at www.faylib.org/event/5227908.


The “Illuminating Black Lives” fellowship invited writers to explore the African American experience in any literary genre. It was developed and sponsored by Fayetteville author and Writers’ Colony alumna, Linda Leavell, and her husband, Brooks Garner. No specific attitude or type of experience was sought, however, George’s proposed writing project demonstrated insight, honesty, literary merit, and the likelihood of publication. She was selected from over 50 applications received from writers across the US and will receive a two-week residency at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in July. While in residence, George will be working on a collection of essays exploring issues of race and American life from her point of view as a civil rights lawyer, educator, and writer. The collection will include essays about teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT), advocating for Black lives, and working to maintain wellness in the face of systematic racism.


Janel George is a Senior Policy Advisor from Arlington, VA. She works on issues related to educational equity and access. George has over a decade of experience working on legislative and policy advocacy and analysis, including as Legislative Counsel in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. She also worked as an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, including work on reforming discriminatory school discipline practices. She also taught self-designed courses, including a course focused on racial justice in k-12 public education law and policy, with Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy. George received a B.A. in English from Spelman College, where she was inspired by the work of Black women writers and was a member of the Toni Cade Bambara Writers. She received a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School.


The Washington County Community Remembrance Project is a program of the Northwest Arkansas African American Heritage Association working in alignment with the principles and guidelines of the Equal Justice Initiative. The project is about involving the African American community and others in establishing a memorial marker for Aaron, Anthony and Randall — three historic victims of racial terror in our area of Washington County. Engaging the community in deliberate and organized acts of remembrance is a way to disrupt habits of ignorance and complacency so we can acknowledge the injustices of the past and present, and work together with greater understanding, honesty, and courage to create a fully just community. Learn more at https://washingtoncountyremembers.org.


The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to nurture writers of all backgrounds, genres, and levels of experience in a supportive environment that builds community, stimulates new thinking, energizes creative expression, and optimizes productivity. Since opening its doors to writers in 2000, the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow has made a lasting impact on the arts and literary communities hosting over 1,600 writers from 48 states and 13 countries. For more information, please visit www.writerscolony.org or call Michelle Hannon at (479)253-7444.

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