The Joy Trip Reading Project Fall 2022 Line-Up

The Joy Trip Reading Project Fall 2022 Line-Up

The Joy Trip Reading Project is excited to announce our Fall 2022 line-up of books and authors. Our learning community continues to grow through the engagement of nationally recognized scholars who address the myriad issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in all expressions of human endeavor. As we slowly wind out of summer and begin thinking about our plans for shorter days in cooler weather, we hope that our list of titles from these thoughtful and inspiring authors will lead to rousing discussions over the next several months. Each of these featured writers will be our guest in an online forum to talk about their areas of expertise and help us to frame a better understanding of a cultural landscape that seems to get more complicated every day.

Dates and times for our forthcoming discussions will be posted shortly. Register for our newsletter to get updates on our schedule. You’ll find a biography for each of our authors below. Recordings of our previous online discussions are available on my YouTube Channel:

EmbedPress: Please enter your YouTube API key at EmbedPress > Platforms > YouTube to embed YouTube Channel.

Titles from the Joy Trip Reading Project can be purchased online or in-store through our partner the University Book Store.

Welcome to this learning community. Happy Reading!

Register Here:


Catherine Coleman Flowers

Catherine-Flowers copy
WasteCover copy

As the founding director of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice (formerly the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise), Catherine Coleman Flowers builds partnerships–from close neighbors, to local elected officials and regional nonprofits, to federal lawmakers and global organizations–in order to identify and implement solutions to the intersecting challenges of water and sanitation infrastructure, public health and economic development.

Flowers grew up in Lowndes County, Alabama, an area plagued by poverty and failing infrastructure, which often results in raw sewage in yards and waterways and contaminated drinking water for residents. With a deep understanding of the historical, political, economic and physical constraints that impede the implementation of better infrastructure in the region, she has engaged collaborators across a broad range of disciplinary expertise to document how lack of access to sufficient and sustained waste treatment and clean water can trap rural, predominantly African American populations in a vicious cycle of poverty and disease.

In addition to leading the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice, Flowers is also the rural development manager for the Equal Justice Initiative, a member of the board of directors of the Climate Reality Project and the Natural Resources Defense Council, and a senior fellow for the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary. Previously, Flowers has worked as a high school teacher in Detroit, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. She has published articles in Anglican Theological Review, Columbia Human Rights Law Review, and American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, among others, and her first book, Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret, came out in November 2020. Flowers was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship–commonly referred to as the “Genius Grant” –in 2020.

Majora Carter

Reclaiming Your Community

Majora Carter is a real estate developer, urban revitalization strategy consultant, MacArthur Fellow and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. She’s responsible for the creation of numerous economic development, technology inclusion & green-infrastructure projects, policies and job training & placement systems.  She is also a lecturer at Princeton University’s Keller Center.

Majora is quoted on the walls of the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture in DC: “Nobody should have to move out of their neighborhood to live in a better one” – which is also the subtitle of her 2022 book, Reclaiming Your Community.

Born and raised in the South Bronx, Majora continues to live in the community where she grew up. She is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science (1984), Wesleyan University (1988 BA, Distinguished Alum) and New York University (MFA).  After establishing  Sustainable South Bronx (2001) and Green For All (2007), among other organizations, she opened this private consulting firm (2008) – which was named Best for the World by B-Corp in 2014.

In addition, Majora Carter launched StartUp Box, a ground-breaking tech social enterprise that provided entry-level tech jobs in the South Bronx, operating it from 2014-2018.  Majora Carter has helped connect tech industry pioneers such as Etsy, Gust, FreshDirect, Google, and Cisco to diverse communities at all levels.

Lola Akinmade Åkerström


OnePageBookCoverImage (2)

Lola Akinmade Åkerström is an award-winning visual storyteller, international bestselling author, and travel entrepreneur. She has dispatched from over 70 countries and her work has been featured in National Geographic, New York Times, The Guardian, BBC, CNN, Travel Channel, Travel + Leisure, Lonely Planet, Forbes, and many more. She has collaborated with commercial brands such as Dove, Mercedes Benz, Intrepid Travel, Electrolux, and National Geographic Channel, to name a few.

Her book, Due North, received the Lowell Thomas Gold Award for Best Travel Book, and she is also the author of international bestselling “LAGOM: The Swedish Secret of Living Well” available in 18 foreign language editions.  Her latest internationally-acclaimed novel, “In Every Mirror She’s Black“, is a Good Morning America (GMA) Buzz Pick, Amazon Editor’s Pick, an Independent UK “Best Thought-provoking Story”, was shortlisted for the Bad Form Review Book of the Year, and published as a lead hardcover around the world through 4 publishers (including German, 2023). Film/TV rights are represented by UTA.

In 2018, she was recognized as one of the Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) in media and as a mentor, she runs her own online academy, Geotraveler Media Academy, which is dedicated to visual storytelling and helping the next generation of travel storytellers put the heart back into the craft.

Michael W. Twitty


Michael W. Twitty is a culinary historian and independent scholar focusing on traditional African American food and folk culture of the African Diaspora. He is a living history interpreter and historic chef, one of the few recognized international experts of his craft—the re-construction of early Southern cuisine as prepared by enslaved Black American cooks for tables high and low—from heirloom seeds and heritage breed animals to fish, game, and foraged plant foods to historic cooking methods to the table.

Michael founded ​​, a website devoted to the preservation of historic Black American foods and food ways. He has conducted over four hundred classes and workshops, written curricula and educational programs, giving lectures and performed cooking demonstrations for groups including the Smithsonian Institution, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Carnegie-Mellon, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Library of Congress, the Association for the Study of Food and Society, and Oxford University’s Symposium on Food and Cookery.

Michael was one of 20 people selected as a 2016 TED Fellow. ​His book, ​The Cooking Gene,​ won two James Beard Awards in 2018 for Food Writing and Best Book. His piece in Bon Apetit,​ I Had Never Eaten in Ghana Before, But My Ancestors Had​ was nominated for a 2019 James Beard Award and was selected to be included in ​The Best American Food Writing 2019.​ Michael’s lates book, Kosher Soul, is now in publication from Harper Collins.

The Joy Trip Reading Project is made possible thanks to the support of

The Schlecht Family Foundation

And in partnership with the

University of Wisconsin Madison Nelson Institute For Environmental Studies