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Parable Path A2Ypsi

“All that you touch you change. All that you change changes you. The only lasting truth is change.”

— Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower

Inspired by Octavia E. Butler’s novel, Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon have created a musical adaptation of Parable of the Sower. UMS will present this powerful performance March 25-27, 2022 at the Power Center in Ann Arbor.

The performance is the culmination of a series of related events that include a Community Read, an Octavia Butler Week, offered in partnership with the U-M Institute for the Humanities, and additional related events that together comprise “Parable Path A2Ypsi.” Additionally, UMS is delighted to spotlight several community organizations and resources throughout the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti communities whose work reflects themes from the novel. These organizations are committed to action and advocacy for change inducing conversations of sustainability, social justice, spiritual freedom, and inclusivity.

Explore Parable Path A2Ypsi activities and events below.

Sign Up

Sign up for our Parable Path A2Ypsi newsletter and receive updates from January – March 2022.

Parable Path A2Ypsi logoCommunity Read

UMS is partnering with local literary organizations, Octavia E. Butler enthusiast groups, and community and university scholars interested in Afrofuturism and self-sustainable collectivism as part of a Community Read of Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower. The read takes place January through March 2022.

About the Author
Octavia E. Butler was a renowned African American author who received a MacArthur “Genius” Grant and PEN West Lifetime Achievement Award for her body of work. Born in Pasadena, California in 1947, she was raised by her mother and her grandmother. She was the author of several award-winning novels including Parable of the Sower (1993), which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Parable of the Talents (1995), winner of the Nebula Award for the best science fiction novel published that year. She was acclaimed for her lean prose, strong protagonists, and social observations in stories that range from the distant past to the far future. (
About the Novel
When global climate change and economic crises lead to social chaos in the early 2020s, California becomes full of dangers, from pervasive water shortage to masses of vagabonds who will do anything to live to see another day. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina lives inside a gated community with her preacher father, family, and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. In a society where any vulnerability is a risk, she suffers from hyperempathy, a debilitating sensitivity to others’ emotions.

Precocious and clear-eyed, Lauren must make her voice heard in order to protect her loved ones from the imminent disasters her small community stubbornly ignores. But what begins as a fight for survival soon leads to something much more: the birth of a new faith . . . and a startling vision of human destiny. (


How to Participate


Ann Arbor District Libraries

1729 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor

Black Stone Bookstore & Cultural Center
214 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti

Literati Bookstore
124 E Washington St, Ann Arbor

Ypsilanti District Libraries

'Parable of the Sower' book cover

Originally published in 1993, Parable is set in 2024, and its themes of climate change and social inequality are extremely relevant today.


Events coming soon.

Parable Path A2Ypsi logoOctavia E. Butler Week & Associated Events

UMS and the University of Michigan Institute of Humanities are partnering to present a series of events celebrating author Octavia E. Butler from Monday, March 21 – Friday, March 25, culminating in UMS’s performances of Parable of the Sower in the Power Center the same weekend.

Events coming soon.

Additional details and events will be added in early 2022. Sign up for updates

Parable Path A2Ypsi logoCommunity Resources

These organizations throughout the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti communities are committed to action and advocacy for change, including conversations of sustainability, social justice, spiritual freedom, and inclusivity.

Ann Arbor

Food Gatherers


Flip the Switch 529


We The People Opportunity Farm