April 01, 2014

West to discuss ‘Justice in These Times’

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill.  -- Activist, author and philosopher Cornel West will speak at Southern Illinois University Carbondale at 7 p.m.  April 17 at Shryock Auditorium. 

West will present “Justice in These Times:  50 Years of Civil Rights and the Living Legacy of Barack Obama.” 

Admission is free and everyone is welcome.  Organizers expect a large crowd and suggest those planning to attend arrive early for seating.  West lectured at SIU in February 2009 shortly after President Obama took office. 

West will discuss Obama’s presidency in relation to the civil rights movement and other significant historical achievements, including the 1964 Civil Rights Act, noting the progress made and the work still to be done, said Matt Ryg, lectures director for the Student Programming Council. 

“SIU students have spoken loudly and clearly saying they want Dr. West on campus and we’ve worked to make it happen,” Ryg said.  “West stands alone at the intersection of political, social and cultural thought in the United States.  In terms of his range of influence and popular audience, Dr. West is arguably the most important public intellectual alive today.” 

West is the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in philosophy from Princeton.  West has taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard and the University of Paris. 

West frequently appears on television and radio programs, including HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” CNN, C-Span, and the “Tavis Smiley Show” on PBS.  He and Smiley also host a radio program, “Smiley and West.” 

West is the author of 19 books and editor of 13 books.  West’s works include “Race Matters,” “Democracy Matters” and his memoir, “Brother West:  Living and Loving Out Loud.”  He can be seen in more than 25 documentaries and films and has produced several spoken word albums, in collaboration with artists including Prince, Jill Scott, Talib Kweli and KRS-One, as well.  He works diligently to keep alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Event sponsors include the Student Programming Council, the College of Liberal Arts, Undergraduate Student Government, Graduate and Professional Student Council, Illinois Education Association Region 2, and the Political Action and Civic Engagement Society. 

For more information, visit the Student Programming Council  website or call 618/536-3393.