Engaging in the Power of Diversity: A Liberal Arts Speaker Series brings activist and Professor Emerita Angela Davis. She will present, "Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Democracy and Civil Engagement," free to the community, in the Joe Crowley Student Union Milt Glick Ballrooms from 6-7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 6. The event is sold out, but interested attendees are encouraged to join the wait-list, as more tickets may be released as cancellations come in. Doors will open at 5 p.m. for ticketed guests. Starting at 5:30 p.m., non-ticketed guests will be permitted entrance if seats are available. In addition, a live-stream feed will be available in the Joe Crowley Student Union Theatre, and no tickets are required for theatre entry. Free parking is available in the West Stadium Parking Complex.
Through her activism and scholarship throughout the decades, Davis has been deeply involved in the nation's quest for social justice. Her work as an educator - both at the university level and in the larger public sphere - has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice.
Davis is the author of nine books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and South America. In recent years a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She draws upon her own experiences in the early 1970s as a person who spent 18 months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI's "10 Most-Wanted List." Davis has also conducted extensive research on numerous issues related to race, gender and imprisonment. Her most recent book is Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement.
Davis is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex. Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia, which works in solidarity with women in prison.
Professor Davis' teaching career has taken her to San Francisco State University, Mills College and the University of California, Berkeley. She also has taught at the University of California, Los Angeles, Vassar, the Claremont Colleges and Stanford University. She spent the last 15 years at the University of California, Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness, an interdisciplinary doctoral program, and of Feminist Studies.
Engaging in the Power of Diversity: A Liberal Arts Speaker Series started from a generous contribution to promote and encourage diversity dialogues across campus and in the surrounding community. The series of speakers will present on a variety of topics ranging from race, gender, identity, religion, age, veterans, disability and social justice. The selected guest speakers will inspire conversation around sometimes difficult subjects to motivate encounters with different viewpoints and challenges to personal paradigms. The topics and speakers presented do not necessarily represent the views of the College of Liberal Arts but are meant to provide a more holistic view of society.
The inaugural speaker for the Diversity Speaker Series was Gabby Rivera. Rivera, who presented this last September, is the author of Juliet Takes a Breath and a comic book writer for Marvel. She spoke on the topics of "Creating Your Own Superheroes."