PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Social activist and educator Angela Davis will deliver the 12th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture at Brown University on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, at 4 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, Room 101. Her talk, titled “Recognizing Racism in the Era of Neo-Liberalism,” is free and open to the public.
Through her activism and her scholarship in recent decades, Davis is known for her deep involvement in our nation’s quest for social justice. Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – emphasizes the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial and gender equality.
Davis has spent the last 15 years at the University of California–Santa Cruz, where she is professor of history of consciousness, an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program, and professor of feminist studies. Her teaching career has also included positions at San Francisco State University, Mills College, UC–Berkeley, UCLA, Vassar, the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University.
Davis is the author of eight books and has lectured throughout the United States and around the world. 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 “Ten Most Wanted List.” She has also conducted extensive research on numerous issues related to race, gender and imprisonment. Her most recent books are Abolition Democracy and Are Prisons Obsolete? She is now completing a book on Prisons and American History.
Davis is a member of the executive board of the Women of Color Resource Center, a San Francisco Bay Area organization that promotes the political, economic, social and cultural well-being of women and girls of color in the United States. She also works with Justice Now, which provides legal assistance to women in prison and engages in advocacy for the abolition of imprisonment as the dominant strategy for addressing social problems. Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, a similar organization based in Queensland, Australia.
Like many other educators, Davis is especially concerned with the general tendency to devote more resources and attention to the prison system than to educational institutions. Having helped to popularize the notion of a “prison industrial complex,” she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st-century abolitionist movement.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture
The Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture was established at Brown University in 1996, with former New York Mayor David Dinkins as the inaugural speaker. Past lecturers have included best-selling author Cornel West; Hugh B. Price, president and CEO of the National Urban League; Lee Mun Wah, community therapist, poet and filmmaker; Johnnetta B. Cole, professor emerita of Emory University and president emerita of Spelman College; Randall Kennedy, professor of law at Harvard Law School; Michael Lomax, president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund; and Chicana activist and author Elizabeth Martinez.
This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Office of University Events at (401) 863-2474.