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Book Talk | One Goal: A Coach, a Team, and the Game That Brought a Divided Town Together

04/11 Wednesday | 6pm

NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to join for a book talk for One Goal: A Coach, a Team, and the Game That Brought a Divided Town Together, by Amy Bass. The author will be present in conversation with Eric Klinenberg, Director of NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge and Professor of Sociology.

Lewiston, Maine, was an economically struggling, overwhelmingly white former mill town located in one of the whitest states in America. When thousands of Somali refugees resettled on the banks of the Androscoggin River there, longtime residents grew uneasy. After the mayor publicly asked the Somalis to stop coming, and a string of anti-immigrant incidents stoked the fires of racial tensions, many in the community wondered if they would ever find peace. But as Somali youth filled this traditional hockey town’s parks with their pick-up soccer games, the high school’s longtime soccer coach worked with the refugee community to integrate the new kids onto his team. He learned how their passion for the game could help heal old wounds and provide a path forward.  The quest for the school’s first state championship title in soccer by this powerhouse team would help unite Lewiston while showing Maine a kind of soccer it had never seen before.

With exciting play-by-play detail accompanying the heartwarming story of these immigrant players, their families, their journey from the refugee camps of Kenya to the New England city where they settled, and the people who welcomed them, One Goal tells the story of the team that would bring the community its first soccer championship. In the tradition of Friday Night LightsMacFarland USA, and Outcasts United, readers go behind the tumult of this controversial team and onto the pitch, where the team’s quest to achieve state – and ultimately national – glory leads to a vital sense of understanding for players and spectators alike. One Goal is a timely, politically significant saga about putting fear into a context and overcoming the prejudices that divide us.

Amy Bass is Professor of History at the College of New Rochelle. In addition to her academic work, she’s written about sport and politics for SlateSalon, the Allrounder, and CNN Opinion. She hosts a weekly radio show, Conversations with Amy Bass, on WVOX.  She served as senior research supervisor for NBC Olympic Sports across eight Olympic Games, winning an Emmy Award for her work at the London Olympics in 2012.

Eric Klinenberg is the director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and Professor of Sociology at NYU. He is the author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone (The Penguin Press, 2012), Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media (Metropolitan Books, 2007), and Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2002). His scholarly work has been published in journals including the American Sociological Review, Theory and Society, and Ethnography, and he has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Slate, Le Monde Diplomatique, and the radio program, This American Life.

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