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Fighting hate with humor
SoVaNow.com / January 09, 2013David LaMotte will host an author signing for his book, “White Flour” at the R.T. Arnold Library on Thursday, Jan. 24 from 2-4 p.m. He will also be a guest of the South Hill Rotary Club that Thursday evening. David LaMotte is the author of two illustrated children’s books and is working on a non-fiction book for adults on citizen engagement. Inspired by true events in May of 2007, “White Flour” tells a story of humor conquering hatred. This was the day that the Ku Klux Klan met the Coup Clutz Clowns. It is an instructive and inspiring tale of a Third Way, illustrating that there are more creative responses to hatred and bigotry than fight or flight, and doing so in Seussian rhyme.
With beautiful, humorous and nuanced illustrations by Jenn Hales that perfectly balance the story’s intrinsic humor with the seriousness of the issues it addresses, the book is generating quite a buzz.
LaMotte is an award-winning songwriter and itinerant peace activist. A veteran of ten CDs and 2000 concerts on four continents, he suspended his eighteen-year music career at its peak in 2008 to accept a Rotary World Peace Fellowship to study International Relations, Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. As part of that study, he also spent three months in rural Andhra Pradesh, India working with a Gandhian development organization.
In 2004, David and his wife Deanna founded PEG Partners, a small non-profit organization that supports schools and libraries in Guatemala. He continues to volunteer as the Program Director for PEG. He is also a consultant on Peace and Justice at the North Carolina Council of Churches.
David is working on two books, the first of which is tentatively titled “Worldchanging 101: Challenging the Myth of Powerlessness.” His other upcoming book project is an illustrated version of his poem “White Flour,” which tells the true story of a creative and whimsical response to a 2007 Klan march in Knoxville, Tennessee. LaMotte’s earlier children’s book, S.S. Bathtub, is based on his award-winning song of the same name. It is currently sold out of its first printing.
LaMotte serves on the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Nobel Peace Prize Nomination Committee, working with twelve people on three continents to determine the AFSC’s nomination each year. As a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947, the AFSC is qualified to make an annual nomination.
Touring full-time for nearly two decades, LaMotte developed a large and loyal following around the world. His music has been honored with numerous awards and grants as well as artist sponsorships from Taylor Guitars and John Pearse Strings. His music has been featured on dozens of artist compilations. Notably, his song Dark and Deep was included on Songs Inspired By Literature, Chapter One, a benefit CD to raise money for adult literacy. Other artists on that CD include Suzanne Vega, Aimee Mann and Bruce Springsteen. Several independent films feature LaMotte’s music, and his works have been heard on the Today Show, the HBO television series “This American Life,” and an Obama campaign commercial.
LaMotte is a public speaker and workshop leader, offering Worldchanging 101 workshops around the world for more than a decade. As a result of his work with schools in Guatemala, he was nominated as a “Hero of Humanity” in the Heifer Project’s magazine World Ark and named a “Madison World Changer” by his undergraduate alma mater, James Madison University.
Now based in Chapel Hill, N.C. with his wife Deanna and two-year-old son, Mason, David has returned to national and international appearances to speak and sing.