John Ridley’s No Studios kicked-off its book event series on December 15 with “Omari” by Author Frank Lewis.

Author Frank Lewis found that writing helped focus his imagination and express his creativity while growing up in Milwaukee. As a result, his new novel presents a familiar voice for young people of color.

Chad Johnson moderated a discussion with Lewis about “Omari” and its community impact, related to issues from juvenile justice programs, to teen trauma, and the social pressures of high school in one of America’s most segregated cities.

Hosted by Lisa Caesar, sister of Ridley and chief operating officer of No Studios, a panel discussion was also featured with Robin Johnson, Instructional Coach, Milwaukee Public Schools; Paul Moga, Coordinator, Department Of Black and Latino Male Achievement; and Dean Heus, Administrator, Vel R Phillips School.

This audio was recorded live during the panel discussions, and these images share highlights from the event.