Pocket Change Collective 3: Amyra León & Hannah Testa

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Conversations with writers of Penguin Teen Canada’s Pocket Change Collective, featuring books by today's leading youth activists & artists.

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In Concrete Kids, musician, playwright, and educator Amyra León takes us on a poetic journey through her childhood in Harlem, as she navigates the intricacies of foster care, mourning, self-love, and resilience. Using free verse, she challenges us to dream beyond our circumstances -- and sometimes despite them.

In Taking on the Plastics Crisis, youth activist Hannah Testa, the founder of Hannah4Change, chronicles both her personal and political mission to save the Earth's oceans by limiting single-use plastic products.

In conversation with writer, cultural critic, and scholar, Huda Hassan.

Amyra León is an author, musician, playwright, and activist. Her work transcends genre and medium, and focuses on Black liberation, politics, and communal healing. She believes that the art of listening and honest conversation are the primary tools for lasting change, and her aim is to empower communities to believe in the significance of their individual stories.

Hannah Testa is a sustainability advocate, international speaker, author, politico, and founder of Hannah4Change, a non-profit dedicated to fighting issues that impact the planet. Hannah has received numerous honors and awards, including the Teen Earth Day Hero by CNN, the Young Superhero for Earth Award by Captain Planet, the Action for Nature International Young Eco-Hero Award, the Gloria Barron Prize, and many others.

Huda Hassan is a writer, cultural critic, and scholar from Toronto’s east end. Exploring the connections between culture, politics, and power, her writing has appeared in Hazlitt, Quill and Quire, Gawker, CBC, BuzzFeed, National Post, and more. She is a former news writer for Complex Media and was a staff writer at Pound Magazine. As a cultural critic, she has appeared on several national radio and television programs—such as CBC’s Metro Morning and The Current, as well as CTV’s Culture Shock and Pop Life. Huda is a Black feminist interdisciplinary scholar. She is currently completing her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto’s Women and Gender Studies Institute, where she is also the 2020-2021 New College Senior Doctoral Fellow. In 2017, Huda was highlighted as 100 incredible millennial women in Canada by FLARE Magazine.

The Koffler is thrilled to present virtual conversations with all six Pocket Change Collective contributors: Adam Eli & Alok Vaid-Menon (September 29), Kimberly Drew & Xiuhtezcatl Martinez (October 6), and Amyra León & Hannah Testa (October 21).

The Pocket Change Collective series is presented with Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers.

Books & Ideas: Fall 2020 Series

Our year-round Books & Ideas series spotlights provocative writers, novelists and thinkers, celebrating literary excellence and fostering critical dialogue through compelling book launches, author talks and in-depth interviews. This fall, in conjunction with programming across the Koffler's multidisciplinary art streams, Books & Ideas takes up themes of youth activism, food culture and politics, and environmentalism, presenting a series of virtual events on our online platform.

Books & Ideas was launched with the generous support of Dorothy Shoichet & Family and the Estate of Joseph Koenig.

Books & Ideas Media Partner: The Toronto Star

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