Midtown Scholar hosts free author events in May with Silvia Vasquez-Lavado, Will Jawando, DeRay McKesson | Entertainment

Harrisburg’s Midtown Scholar Bookstore will host two free events featuring authors in conversation in May.

Both events are free to attend and are open to the public. There are a limited number of free tickets available; once those are claimed, tickets with signed copies of the books must be purchased to attend in-person. Seating is general admission, and registration is required. There are also virtual ticket options.

“An Evening with Silvia Vasquez-Lavado” takes place at 7 pm on May 5 at the bookstore and café’s 1302 N. Third St., Harrisburg location. The in-person and virtual event is free to attend with registration, but a signed book option is available for $29.67 and a $3.44 fee. A virtual ticket with a signed book is $38.15 with a $3.96 fee.

Vasquez-Lavado, a 1996 Millersville University graduate, is an acclaimed mountain climber and humanitarian. Vasquez-Lavado will discuss her memoir “In the Shadow of the Mountain” with award-winning journalist Karen Hendricks and sign copies of her book.

Vasquez-Lavado is one of the few women, and the first openly gay woman, in the world to complete the Seven Summits – a mountaineering challenge to ascend the tallest peak on each continent that includes Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro and Mont Blanc. She is also a dedicated humanitarian. Vasquez-Lavado launched her Courageous Girls nonprofit in 2014, which works to help survivors of sexual abuse and human trafficking.

Her memoir “In the Shadow of the Mountain” follows the Peruvian-American’s journey as she leads a group of young women survivors to the Mount Everest base camp. The powerful memoir also tackles issues like addiction, sexuality and abuse.

According to a 2020 article by the Hollywood Reporter, Selena Gomez will play Vasquez-Lavado in a movie based on the memoir.

Author and activist, Will Jawando appears at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg on May 6.

The following evening, May 6, the Midtown Scholar features “Will Jawando with DeRay McKesson: My Seven Black Fathers” at 7 pm Again, the in-person and virtual event are free to attend (until a limited amount of free tickets are claimed) but there are ticket options that included signed copies of Jawando’s memoir “My Seven Black Fathers: A Young Activist’s Memoir of Race, Family and the Mentors Who Made Him Whole.” Tickets to the in-person event with a sign book are $29.68 with a $3.44 fee and virtual tickets with a signed book are $36 with a $3.82 fee.

Jawando, an activist and Montgomery County councilmember, will discuss his memoir with bestselling author and activist DeRay McKesson – founder of Campaign Zero and a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter movement. Jawando, whose writing has appeared in the Washington Post and the New York Times and who regularly appears on CNN and MSNBC, has worked with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Sherrod Brown and President Barrack Obama. The late congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis called Jawando “the progressive leader we need.”

Jawando’s memoir examines how seven different Black men helped shaped the person he is today. His mentors and father-figures include a grade school teacher, a coach and chorus director, a business man, former President Barack Obama and others.

Midtown Scholar requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination to attend in-person events. They accept physical vaccination cards, digital cards or photos of your card on your phone. Masks are required.

Find more information and register for the events at midtownscholar.com.


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