The Alaska Center for the Book presents the winners for the 2021 Contributions to Literacy in Alaska (CILA) awards. The awards are presented to those who make a significant contribution in literacy, the literary arts, or the preservation of the written or spoken word.

Congratulations to Nyabony Gat, Elisabeth Jacobson, Vered Mares and the University of Alaska Press for winning this year’s CILA awards.

Nyabony Gat played an essential role in facilitating communication regarding health and safety within Anchorage’s immigrant and refugee communities. Elisabeth Jacobson opened up a Bethel chapter of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and is working toward expanding the library to all of Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Vered Mares’s bookstore has consistently supported authors and hosted readings despite the challenges that the pandemic has presented. The University of Alaska Press continued to publish critical books preserving cultural literacy and Alaska classics even though their staff and budget has been dwindling.

To learn more about CILA and the Alaska Center for the Book, visit

Contact the newsroom at 907-459-7572.

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