This book was inspired by Ava Holloway and Kennedy George, two ballerinas. Their photos were taken by Marcus Ingram and Julia Rendleman in front of the monument of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, in Richmond, Virginia. Ultimately, those photographs went viral, and this moment propelled the duo into a summer of activism and dance. Posed in traditional ballet attire, the friends had no idea that a chance encounter at the Lee Monument would catapult them into the spotlight while serving as a beacon of hope for millions of young activists around the world.
Amanda (Davis-Holloway) Lynch is an expert in classroom management, trauma-informed instruction, and working with youth who have been diagnosed with mental health disorders. She is a children’s book author and regularly serves as a contributor to The Mighty. She is a former Behavior Specialist with Richmond Public Schools where she created a Teacher Wellness Initiative and Mindfulness Program at Woodville Elementary School. Additionally, she previously served as a Facilitator for Behavior Support with Henrico County Public Schools where she coached new teachers in the areas of instruction and classroom management.
Amanda is a Registered Yoga teacher and loves teaching Meditation and Restorative Yoga. She hopes to pursue her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership in the future. She is passionate about connecting children of color to yoga and mindfulness and in building healthy communities by disrupting historical trauma. She is also the owner of Rethinking Resiliency, a think tank that provides professional development for educators and administrators that address issues related to poverty, mental health, cultural competency, and addiction. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband Marcus, and her children Justin, Ava, Hazy and Rosebud.
In June 2020, Holloway and Kennedy George, both 14 and been dancing since they were both 3, posed in front of a graffitied Robert E. Lee statue wearing their pointe shoes and dressed in black leotards and tutus. The photos were captured by photographer Marcus Ingram.
Since their photos made national headlines, they both were featured in a Nike ad. They are also featured prominently along with Sophia Chambliss and Shania Gordon in a mural on the side of a building in their hometown of Richmond, Virginia. The mural, painted by Nico Cathcart and Montey Montgomery, highlights the four founders of Brown Ballerinas for Change, a non-profit that helps create advocacy, social justice, and an increase participation of underrepresented populations in ballet.
Ava and her mom, Amanda Lynch, are currently on a virtual book tour with five other Black authors. “We all have a voice and we all have a responsibility to care for one another, regardless of how old we are,” Lynch said of the awareness they’re spreading. “I hope that as young people and adults read our book, that will be the message that’s conveyed to them.”
Our 2019-2020 season features an amazing team of female directors who are illustrating beautiful works that have never been seen on ATMTC’s stages. We are so excited to bring our perspective and energy to these productions based on familiar and beloved stories. We hope you are too!
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