Reflecting, Sharing, Learning

Watch a video of the Library of The Year award ceremony honoring Athens Regional Library System. State Librarian Julie Walker presented the award to ARLS Director Valerie Bell: “I am especially pleased to congratulate the Athens Regional Library System on being selected as Georgia’s Library of the Year. The leadership team, staff and trustees of ARLS do a terrific job of working together to offer creative programming, thoughtful customer service, and strong community partnerships that benefit library users of all ages throughout the five counties they serve. This is a richly-deserved honor,” said Walker.

Life the Griot

Life The Griot: The Poet/The Film

Lemuel LaRoche AKA Life The Griot


Athens-Clarke County Library

Appleton Auditorium • 2025 Baxter Street • Athens, Georgia • 706 613 3650 x343

Wednesday, February 28, 6:30 pm

On Wednesday, February 28, at 6:30 pm, Athens community organizer, activist, teacher and poet Lemuel LaRoche, AKA Life The Griot will be onstage at the Athens-Clarke County Library’s Appleton Auditorium. Life is a social worker, poet, chess enthusiast, and activist on a mission. His inspirational words entertain and touch thousands with a simple truth: if we want to see better, then we have to do better.

Life’s performance will be preceded by a screening of the 2014 documentary Life The Griot, directed by Matt DeGennaro and produced by Kathy Prescott and Grady Thrasher. This film chronicles one man’s effort to make an impact on the lives of as many youth as possible by activating change.

Lemuel LaRoche is the founder and executive director of Chess and Community Conference, Inc., a nonprofit youth empowerment organization dedicated to developing strategic leadership skills in young people. Known in the communities that he serves as Life the Griot, he fuses chess with conventional therapeutic methods to curb impulsive behavior amongst youth with delinquent pasts. Life has over fifteen years experience in adolescent and community development and brings a fresh innovative approach to counseling.


Athens Regional Library System · 2025 Baxter Street, Athens, GA 30606 · 706-613-3650 · Contact us