Terence Lester, an activist, writer and storyteller, is coming to Riverside-Brookfield High School next week. Lester, who lives in Atlanta, will give a lecture that is open to public at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 in the auditorium of the school, 160 Ridgewood Road in Riverside. 

Admission to the lecture is free, but you must RSVP to the school in advance in order to attend. You can do so by visiting online at rbhs208.net and clicking on the link on the homepage.

Lester will also spend a portion of the school day at RBHS. He will speak to the entire student body during an all-school assembly and conduct a question-and-answer session with students, according to RBHS Principal Hector Freytas.

Lester’s website describes him as a “speaker, activist, author and thought leader in the realm of systemic poverty.” He has written six books, the latest of which is “When We Stand: The Power of Seeking Justice Together.” 

He has earned four degrees and is working toward his Ph.D. in public policy and social change at the Union Institute and University.

In 2013, Lester founded Love Beyond Walls, a nonprofit organization that helps individuals experiencing homelessness rebuild their lives. In 2018, Lester led a march against poverty in which he walked from Atlanta to Memphis.

Lester will be paid $9,000 by RBHS for his visit. The money to pay Lester is coming out of federal pandemic relief funding given to schools. Lester will not be reimbursed for travel expenses related to his visit to RBHS.

Freytas did not immediately respond to questions about why Lester was invited to RBHS. In the past few years, the RBHS administration has made a more focused effort to promote diversity and equity and serve the needs of students of color.