Entire day of events planned April 12
— Renowned author Sam Quinones, who addresses the opiate epidemic in his best-seller “Dreamland, The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic,” will spend an entire day in Akron April 12. Quinone’s busy day will include participating in a community discussion panel, serving as the guest speaker for Akron Roundtable, meeting with local students, capped off with discussing his book at the Akron-Summit County Public Library that evening.
The day-long event will kick off from 7 to 8:30 a.m. with the topic, “Leaders in the Community Making a Difference.” A discussion panel will take place at Summa Health System Firestone Auditorium located at 55 Arch Street in Akron. This portion of the day is free and open to the public.
“I found Sam’s book enlightening in helping to explain the many factors that have contributed to our opiate epidemic,” said Gerald Craig, Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Summit County’s executive director. “Armed with this knowledge, we can be more effective as we collaborate to develop community interventions to combat this daunting problem.”
Beginning at 11:30 a.m., Akron Roundtable will host a community luncheon with comments and a question and answer session with Quinones. The luncheon is open to the public, and admission is $20 and includes lunch. The lunch event will take place at the Quaker Station Inn at The University of Akron, located at 135 South Broadway Street. Sign up is required for this portion of the day. To sign up, visit akronroundtable.org/speakers/sam-quinones/4411.
Quinones will then join Green Local High School students for a short interview session in the school’s TV studio. This portion of the day is not open to the public.
In the evening, Akron-Summit County Public Library’s Main Library will present an evening with Sam Quinones, which will include a talk by Quinones, a question and answer session and a book signing opportunity. This portion of the day will begin at 7 p.m. and is also free and open to the public. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The Library is located at 60 S. High St.
“We are proud to partner with a broad spectrum of local agencies to bring Sam Quinones to Summit County for a day of programming,” said Ricki Ethington, a librarian from Akron-Summit County Public Library. “This partnership demonstrates our county’s dedication and solidarity in fighting the opiate epidemic. This is certain to be an enlightening and inspiring day.” There’s also a planned group reading of the book “Dreamland” throughout Summit County in preparation for Quinone’s visit. (The group can be found on Goodreads.)
Sponsors of the day-long event will include Summit County’s Educational Service Center. “Summit ESC is pleased to help sponsor this important event for the public and our partner districts,” said Summit ESC’s Superintendent Joe Iacano. “The growing opioid issue facing the United States needs to be stopped. It’s our goal to help educate the public in any way we can to protect individuals from its harmful effects.”
Other sponsors include Cover2 Resources, Breaking Barriers, Akron Roundtable, Summit County Opiate Task Force, County of Summit, Community Partnership of Summit County, Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Summit County, and Summa Health.
“I hope the individuals of our partner districts take advantage of this opportunity to educate themselves,” said Iacano. “The more knowledgeable we become on this growing issue, the greater chance we have at protecting Summit County community members, including students and staff.”
Summit ESC will also be hosting an in-depth book discussion with Quinones via Skype on March 29 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Summit ESC, located at 420 Washington Ave., in Cuyahoga Falls. This event is free and open to the public.
For more information on the Summit Educational Service Center, visit www.SummitESC.org.