Jan 11, 2023
Barber Shop Book's founder Alvin Irvy and Nonye Brown-West visit and discuss the importance of literacy in today's youth, personal stories of education placement and more with host Marina Franklin.
Alvin Irby is a former kindergarten teacher turned award-winning social entrepreneur, international speaker, comedian, and author. He is Founder and Chief Reading Inspirer at Barbershop Books, a literacy program that creates child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops and provides early literacy training to barbers. His work connecting reading to male-centered spaces and involving men in boys’ early reading experiences earned him the National Book Foundation’s 2017 Innovations in Reading Prize. Irby’s popular TED Talk "How to inspire every child to be a lifelong reader," has been viewed over 1 million times. Irby’s nationally-recognized cultural competency workshops help school districts, library systems, and education organizations create relevant and engaging learning experiences for all students. His Diversity & Inclusion trainings have been described as informative, inspiring, engaging, and humorous. Ir by helps educators better understand and address the systemic and personal challenges that inhibit children’s intrinsic motivation to read and learn. His debut children’s book, Gross Greg, combines Irby’s passion for early literacy and comedy. Gross Greg is a laugh-out-loud story that captures the hilariously gross behavior of kids everywhere. As a stand up comedian, Irby's fresh perspective and smart brand of humor shine through in his comedy album "Really Dense." His clever social commentary and funny observations have not gone unnoticed. Irby won the Clean Comedy Showcase at the 2019 San Diego Comedy Festival and won 2nd place at NYC’s 2019 Laughing Devil Comedy Festival. One of the highlights of Irby’s comedy career was being selected as a national finalist for the StandUp NBC competition and performing at the legendary Hollywood Improv in Los Angeles. Alvin Irby holds a Masters of Science (MS) in Childhood Education from Bank Street Graduate School of Education, a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, and a Bachelors of Arts (BA) in Sociology from Grinnell College.
Nonye Brown-West is a New York-based Nigerian-American comedian and writer. She has been featured in the Boston Globe's Rise column as a Comic to Watch, as well as in NPR, PBS, ABC, Sway In The Morning, and the New York Comedy Festival. Nonye made her acting debut in The Sympathy Card, now available for streaming on Vudu, Apple, Amazon, and Google Play.
Always hosted by Marina Franklin - One Hour Comedy Special: Single Black Female ( Amazon Prime, CW Network), TBS's The Last O.G, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Hysterical on FX, The Movie Trainwreck, Louie Season V, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Conan O'Brien, Stephen Colbert, HBO's Crashing, and The Breaks with Michelle Wolf