2. WHERE WE GO FROM HERE
In this opening panel discussion, authors of two powerful social justice memoirs explore critical questions of care and community. Responding to some of the crises of recent years, they delve into their work as writers and activists — exploring the origins of their most recent work and the community efforts that continue to shape their lives and their stories.
Date: April 30, 2023
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm ET
The 2023 festival will run from April 30 – May 7. Dedicated virtual programming on our innovative, online platform will run April 30 – May 3, while in-person events — many of which will also be live-streamed and available on-demand for virtual audiences — will run May 4-7.
A Virtual Festival Pass gives guests access to more than 20 virtual events which can be viewed from the website or through our festival app designed for mobile devices. In addition to festival events, virtual passes provide users with direct access to more than a dozen vendors in our festival exhibitor hall. Guests who purchase a virtual pass can also participate in trivia times, roundtable discussions and our new festival after-parties, which will follow all of our evening events.
An In-Person Festival Pass gives users access to all of our virtual events as well as our standard in-person events in Brampton, Ontario on Saturday, May 6.
This year, the festival includes three in-person Specialty Events – the Dine N’ Draw on May 4, the Literary Cabaret on May 5 and our Historical Fiction High Tea on May 7. Tickets for these events are not covered with our passes and are only available until April 30.
On a Budget? Check out our Patron Pass program.
El Jones is a writer, professor, and activist who works with people facing deportation and incarceration. She is the author of Abolitionist Intimacies and Life from the Afrikan Resistance!.
ROBYN MAYNARD is the author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present (2017), a CBC, Toronto Star, and Globe and Mail national bestseller. Policing Black Lives was designated one of the best 100 books of 2017 by The Hill Times, and is the winner of the 2017 Errol Morris Book Award. It was also a finalist for The Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers; an Atlantic Book Award; the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction; and the Concordia University First Book Prize. It received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, as well as glowing reviews in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, NOW Toronto, Maclean’s, and the Ottawa Citizen. It was translated into French as NoirEs sous surveillance: Esclavage, répression et violence d’État au Canada, and won the prestigious Prix des libraires award in 2019.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer, and musician. She is the author of seven books, including the recent non-fiction A Short History of the Blockade, and the acclaimed novel Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies.
Anita Ragunathan is a Senior Producer, Cultural and Special Events at Toronto Public Library and a member of the Katarokwi Union of Tenants.
The FOLD is a remarkable and wonderful event for authors and attendees alike. What an amazing community, dedicated to the vital need for inclusive stories and the critical role they play in building a better world.
Field Guide to the North American Teenager is my first novel and FOLD was my first Canadian literary festival. While American and Canadian culture overlap quite a bit, especially when it comes to bookshelves, Canadian literature is unique and I was very heartened by to be embraced by that community I consider home despite residing in the US. It was a homecoming I didn’t know I needed!
The Festival of Literary Diversity was an absolute joy–the organizers thought of *everything* and by anticipating authors’ needs, they freed us to focus on connecting with the audience and each other. There was no pretension, no posturing–just very genuine conversations with invested writers and engaged readers.
I have been to a lot of writers festivals and the FOLD is definitely near the top of the list of those I want to be invited back to.
Being part of such a clearly diverse, inclusive and mutually respectful group was thrilling and inspiring: a glimpse of a better world.
Wherever I go in Canada and find another writer of colour, we eventually end up gushing about how great the FOLD is, how by normalizing diversity it liberates us to talk to audiences about craft. It’s hard to imagine the literary landscape returning to a prehistoric pre-FOLD era.
FOLD is a festival experience unlike any other I’ve had. The FOLD team strive to create a space that’s welcoming and engaging, while allowing for curiosity, ingenuity and the fostering of real community – and they succeed, every year.
The FOLD is one of the most important literary events on this continent. By focusing on diverse voices and giving authors space to share their stories and speak their truths, it is revolutionizing the writing and storytelling realm as we know it.
Being part of the FOLD community has provided me with a strong sense of belonging. Sharing diverse stories and listening to different voices that broaden my understanding of the world has impacted me as a person and motivated me as a writer.