Fall Conference:
Democracy 20/20

Stream all 13 presentations for free.

My Brigadista Year: A Democratic Ideal Amidst a Movement

Katherine Paterson, the author of “Bridge to Terabithia,” “The Great Gilly Hopkins” and other beloved books, joins Vermont Humanities Executive Director Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup to talk about her trips to Cuba and her 2017 Young Adult novel, “My Brigadista Year.“

1961 was dubbed “The Year of Education” by the Cuban government of Fidel Castro, who sent literacy brigades out into the countryside to construct schools and teach illiterate citizens. By the completion of the campaign, 707,212 adults had learned to read and write, raising the national literacy rate from 77% to 96%. “My Brigadista Year“ tells the story about one young “Brigadista.”