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Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander is a prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author, renowned poet, educator, scholar, and cultural advocate.  Her most recent book, The Trayvon Generation (2022)is a galvanizing meditation on the power of art and culture to illuminate America’s unresolved problem with race and the challenges facing young Black America.  Among the fifteen books she has authored or co-authored, her memoir, The Light of the World, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2015 and her poetry collection American Sublime was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 2006.  Notably, Dr. Alexander composed and recited “Praise Song for the Day” for President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration.  Over the course of an esteemed career in education, she has held distinguished professorships at Smith College, Columbia University, and Yale University, where she taught for fifteen years and chaired the African American Studies Department.  Dr. Alexander is currently president of the Mellon Foundation, the nation’s largest funder in the arts, culture, and humanities. 
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