Shortlist Released for Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize

[NEW YORK CITY — October 1, 2019] Goddard Riverside is delighted to announce that six titles have been shortlisted for its Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice. The award, now in its third year, celebrates the power of the written word to create change in the name of justice for all.

“These books not only focus attention on key social problems in our country — they offer insights and solutions,” said Goddard Riverside Executive Director Roderick L. Jones. “We’re thrilled to partner with our longtime friends in the publishing and bookselling industry to highlight these important works.”

The shortlisted works are:

An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago by Alex Kotlowitz (Nan A. Talese, 2019) – A writer chronicles the lasting impacts of gun violence in Chicago

Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and a Road to Repair by Danielle Sered (The New Press, 2019) – A leader of the restorative justice movement explores how to reduce incarceration while discouraging violent crime and offering meaningful compensation to survivors

No Place on the Corner: The Costs of Aggressive Policing by Jan Haldipur (NYU Press, 2018) – An in-depth look at how intensive policing in the South Bronx made public places inaccessible and strained the bonds of community

Fight Like a Mother: How a Grassroots Movement Took on the Gun Lobby and Why Women Will Change the World by Shannon Watts (HarperOne, 2019) – The founder of Moms Demand Action describes how she turned a Facebook group into a national movement, and explains why women are poised to bring down the gun lobby

Guns Down: How to Defeat the NRA and Build a Safer Future with Fewer Guns by Igor Volsky (The New Press, 2019) – An anti-gun activist offers a road map for reducing shooting deaths and moving beyond mass violence in America

Think Black by Clyde Ford (HarperCollins, 2019) – Ford examines the story of his father, a pioneering IBM engineer whose success and family life were warped by the insidious effects of racism.

The list was chosen by a distinguished slate of judges including Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize winner; Marcia Cantarella, university administrator and author of I CAN Finish College: The Overcome Any Obstacle and Get Your Degree Guide;  Nancy Wackstein, former executive director of United Neighborhood Houses of New York; and Michael Zisser, former CEO of University Settlement and The Door. The panel is chaired by Douglas Bauer, executive director of The Clark Foundation.

The book prize is named after Stephan Russo, who served as executive director of Goddard Riverside from 1998 to 2017. The winner will be announced at Goddard Riverside’s annual gala on October 22 at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall.


For more than 100 years, Goddard Riverside has been committed to investing in people and strengthening community by meeting New Yorkers’ most essential needs. Through 27 programs across 22 sites, Goddard Riverside provides comprehensive educational, cultural and recreational programs for New Yorker of all ages. The organization also helps transition formerly homeless men and women into permanent housing and offers advocacy and legal services to address critical and social economic issues.