Author and scholar Paula Giddings will converse with Christa Caceres, Monroe County NAACP Chapter President, as part of the Salon segment of the Milford Readers and Writers Festival on Sept. 18. Giddings wrote Ida, A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching, which received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award. It was deemed one of the best books of 2008 by the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune.
Festival organizers expect this session to be co-sponsored by several regional NAACP chapters and the Robert Lewis group in Port Jervis, a plan not yet finalized. Michael Worden, who recently wrote a book about the Robert Lewis lynching in Port Jervis, is expected to attend the session and be recognized.
In addition to Ida, A Sword Among Lions, Giddings is the author of: When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America; In Search of Sisterhood, Delta Sigma Theta and the Challenge of the Black Sorority Movement; Burning All Illusions, (editor) and an anthology of articles on race published by the Nation magazine from 1867 to 2000.
Giddings is the Elizabeth A. Woodson 1922 Professor of Africana Studies (Emerita) at Smith College. While at Smith, Giddings was the editor of Meridians, feminism, race, transnationalism, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. Previously she had been a book editor at Howard University Press; a magazine editor at Encore American and Worldwide News, where she was the Paris Bureau Chief; and a journalist who has written extensively on international and national issues for the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jeune Afrique (Paris), and The Nation among other publications.
Giddings has been awarded fellowships by the Guggenheim Foundation; the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (unfulfilled). She has also been awarded Honorary Doctorates from Wesleyan University, Bennett College, and Howard University, and was named a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar. She is on the board of Nation Institute and the Authors League Fund and is a member of PEN. Ms. Giddings was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017.
Christa Caceres is President of the NAACP Monroe County Chapter. She holds a B.A. in Jurisprudence and M.S. in Law and Public Policy from the California University of Pennsylvania. Christa’s leadership and advocacy activities include service on the board of directors for The Greater Pike Community Foundation, Pocono Mountains United Way, Emerge Pennsylvania and the newly formed Seven Oaks Collective. In 2021, Christa was the recipient of the prestigious MLK Community Member Award from East Stroudsburg University.
Following calls for reform in law enforcement, Christa has taken a proactive approach and formed the Monroe County Community Roundtable which unites the leaders of local and state law enforcement with Monroe County NAACP to find strategic and creative ways to make lasting community changes collaboratively.