Nov. 23, 2013: Journalist Gary Younge chooses this day at random to report on deaths by gun violence that occurred in a 24-hour period, for his book, Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives. The victims were ages 9 to 19.
More than six years later, a few days before he visits UC Davis as the author of this year’s Campus Community Book Project, the statistics are just as startling, with an online report showing 14 deaths across the United States one day this week. (The Feb. 24 report is from Gun Violence America, which describes itself as a not-for-profit corporation, independent, with no affiliation with any advocacy organization.)
Younge will be here Monday (March 2), during which he will participate in a forum (free) and give an evening talk (ticketed event), both at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. The day will also include a free exhibition, also at the Mondavi Center.
- “Gun Violence: Our National Narrative — A Living Memorial” — An interactive exhibition (formerly titled “STILL/HEAR”) that called upon community members to contribute stories for a visual representation of the scale and impact of gun violence across American history. You can submit your stories during the exhibition. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Yocha Dehe Grand Lobby, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.
- Forum@MC — A panel discussion accompanied by performances by Sacramento Area Youth Speaks, or SAYS. Panel participants, besides the author: Shani Buggs, postdoctoral fellow, Violence Prevention Research Program, UC Davis; Gloria Partida, mayor pro tempore, city of Davis, and co-founder, Davis Phoenix Coalition; Clarissa Rojas, assistant professor, Department of Chicana/o Studies, UC Davis; and Megan Macklin (moderator), program manager for the Campus Community Book Project, Campus Community Relations, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 2:30-4 p.m., Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center. Free admission.
- Author’s evening talk — 8-9:30 p.m., Jackson Hall. Tickets are available through the box office: online; by phone, 530-754-2787 or 866-754-2787; and in-person (hours noon-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and one hour before all ticketed performances).
Younge is a columnist for the New York-based weekly newsmagazine The Nation and editor at large for the London-based Guardian newspaper. He is British, of Barbadian descent, has lived in the United States (in Chicago) and has a personal interest in homicide by firearm. “I had skin in the game,” he said. “Black skin in a game where the odds were stacked against it.”
Indeed, said Cheryl Bach, a member of the UC Davis book selection committee, Younge’s background “gives him perspective on the issue and raises the book’s credibility.”
Publisher Bold Type Books says of Another Day in the Death of America: “This powerful and moving work puts a human face — a child’s face — on the ‘collateral damage’ of gun deaths across the country. This is not a book about gun control, but about what happens in a country where it does not exist.”
Bach said: “Sadly, years after the tragedy at Sandy Hook, our country has not progressed meaningfully on gun laws, and the violence continues. Mass killings happen with regularity, are widely publicized and make us all take note. Then we are on to the next incident, but nothing seems to change.”
The book will be available for sale before and after Younge’s evening talk.
Book project events before and after the author’s visit:
- write2heal Workshop — 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, Meeting Room B, Student Community Center. Free.
- Race and Faith Study Group — 9:30-10:30 a.m. Sunday, March 1, Lutheran Church of the Incarnation, 1701 Russell Blvd., Davis. Free.
- write2heal Workshop — 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, Meeting Room B, Student Community Center. Free.
- Focus on Film: Hell or High Water — 2 p.m. Sunday, May 3, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. Free.
- “Artists Demand Action” — Exhibition, Wednesday-Saturday, May 20-23, John Natsoulas Gallery, 521 First St., Davis. Opening reception: 7-9 p.m. Friday, May 22.