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Fox Cities Reads

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Matthew Desmond will make his way to the Fox Cities on April 11 and 12 to share his experiences with homelessness, poverty and the affordable housing debate during this month’s Fox Cities Reads panel hosted by the Fox Cities Book Festival.

The presentation will focus on Desmond’s New York Times nonfiction Bestseller “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” which examines poverty on state and local levels from the perspectives of eight Milwaukee families.

“Evicted” was chosen for this month’s presentation to get readers in the community thinking about how poverty impacts individuals and families.

“Matthew Desmond’s presentation will offer participants an opportunity to hear stories about real-life people and will show how these statistics translate to hope, loss and the importance of home,” says Ashley Thiem-Menning, Fox Cities Book Festival President. “His book challenges readers to think about eviction, the poverty cycle, homelessness and whether or not housing is a right.”

Community-centered themes and the Milwaukee setting are at the forefront of “Evicted,” and that’s why the Book Festival hopes the presentation will also spark discussions and action on solving our own poverty issues as a community.

In preparation for Desmond’s presentation, the Fox Cities Book Festival teamed up with Celebrate Diversity to offer a number of facilitated discussions over the past few months which discuss “Evicted” and how the book’s concepts apply to our community.

“[The discussions] will help participants talk about what they learned in the book, how their perception on these issues have been impacted, and how they can help,” Thiem-Menning says. “Reading about these issues and then discussing them helps us to more closely examine what is happening locally.”

The Book Festival has also partnered with service organizations like Pillars, Project RUSH, the POINT Project and United Way Fox Cities to help solve community issues such as poverty and homelessness.

Desmond will present on April 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Menasha High School and again on April 12 at the Lawrence University Chapel at 10 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.

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