First Lecture - University of Houston
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First Lecture is UH College of Education Dean Bob McPherson’s signature event, designed to give students, faculty, staff and guests a memorable and motivational first lecture to start the academic year.
Nic Stone

First Lecture 2019

We kicked off the new academic year with a powerful speech by New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone. The former teen mentor earned accolades for her debut novel, “Dear Martin.” Her writing covers timely topics such as racial inequities, social justice, identity and representation.

Date: Aug. 16, 2019
Time: 11 a.m. (doors open at 10:30 a.m.)
Place: Cullen Performance Hall

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About the Speaker

Atlanta native Nic Stone recalls being the lone African American student in her school’s gifted program, reading often but not relating to any of the characters. “Frankly, back then I didn’t really connect with any of the books we were required to read, and as a result, they added to my sense of isolation,” Stone wrote in a personal essay.

The experience shaped Stone as a writer. Her books include diverse characters and tackle timely topics such as racial inequities, social justice and identity. In her 2017 debut novel, “Dear Martin,” a New York Times best-seller, the main character is an African American teen who writes letters to Martin Luther King Jr. to help him process issues of race and class. Her second novel, “Odd One Out,” explores gender, sexuality and friendship, while her third, “Jackpot” (due out in October), addresses economic issues.

The Spelman College graduate worked as a teen mentor and lived in Israel before returning to the states to write full time.

Past Speakers