Apr 28, 2021
Author of the bestselling mythically-inspired YA fantasy A Song Below Water series, Bethany C. Morrow also writes for adult audiences, in genres ranging from speculative literary to historical fiction. In addition to penning novels like Mem and A Chorus Rises, she is a contributor to the young adult anthology Take the Mic, which was the 2020 ILA Social Justice in Literature award winner. A California native now living in north country New York, she hopes to “abolish winter but not in a climate emergency way,” and enjoys spending quality time with her pet lizard and dog.
Mia Jackson is a New York based comedian originally from Georgia. In 2017, Jackson was selected as a New Face by the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival and Atlanta's Creative Loafing named her the Critic's Choice Best Stand-Up in the city. She has toured nationally with Amy Schumer and is a featured comic at festivals and clubs across the country. Her first stand up special aired in October 2018 as part of Unprotected Sets on EPIX. Jackson has appeared on NickMom's Night Out, Viceland, Comedy Central's This Week at the Comedy Cellar and was a semi-finalist on Season 9 of NBC's Last Comic Standing. Her Comedy Central half hour special debuted in November 2019.
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.
Always hosted by Marina Franklin - One Hour Comedy Special: Single Black Female ( Amazon Prime, CW Network), Hysterical at FX on Hulu, Trainwreck, Louie Season V, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Conan O'Brien, Stephen Colbert, HBO's Crashing, and The Breaks with Michelle Wolf