A Ball State University alumna and best-selling author has donated the honorarium from her work as the University’s Fall 2021 Writer-in-Residence to provide free books to numerous community partners.
Ashley C. Ford, a 2018 Ball State graduate whose powerful debut memoir, “Somebody’s Daughter,” earned a spot on the New York Times’ Best Seller list, will be donating copies of her book to students, teachers, and staff at Burris Laboratory School, Muncie Community Schools, the Youth Opportunity Center, Boys & Girls Club of Muncie, and the African-American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies programs, Multicultural Center, and Office of Inclusive Excellence at Ball State.
Other local recipients of Ms. Ford’s book include Motivate Our Minds, Shafer Leadership Academy, the YWCA, and the YMCA.
Ms. Ford will have copies of her book available for purchase Thursday at her second of three public events as Ball State’s Writer-in-Residence, “A Conversation with President Mearns,” starting at 7:30 p.m. at Sursa Performance Hall. She will also be available to sign books following the conclusion of the event, which is free and open to the public.
“I am impressed by—and grateful for—Ms. Ford’s generosity,” Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns said. “Ashley’s dedication to transform lives and elevate our community is an example of her continuing commitment as a Ball State graduate to fulfill the promises articulated in our Beneficence Pledge.”
“Somebody’s Daughter” explores Ms. Ford’s life coming of age in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with a single mother and an incarcerated father. The book was published in June by Flatiron Books under the imprint, An Oprah Book.
Ball State welcomed Ms. Ford back to campus this Fall as its Writer-in-Residence to share her work and to interact with students and faculty, as well as engage with the campus and local communities. On Sept. 15, she read excerpts from “Somebody’s Daughter” in a public appearance at Ball State’s John J. Pruis Hall. Her remaining two public appearances are Thursday at Sursa Hall with President Mearns, and on Nov. 11 for the “Somebody’s Daughter” Book Club, in which Ms. Ford will join professor Jill Christman for a lively discussion about the memoir at Ball State’s Student Center Ballroom.
Through the Writer-in-Residence program, Ms. Ford has also shared her work and interacted with students and faculty through several non-public events—including scheduled visits to Ball State classes, a meet-and-greet at the University’s Multicultural Center, and a few gatherings in which Ms. Ford has shared time, or will share time, with small groups of students, faculty, and representatives from community and campus organizations.
Ball State’s Writer-in-Residence program is sponsored by the Office of the President; the English department; the Office of Inclusive Excellence; the Multicultural Center; the African-American Studies Program; Office of Community Engagement; Women's and Gender Studies; and the Shafer Leadership Academy.