Angela Davis to speak Feb. 25 at Purdue

February 17, 2015  

Angela Davis

Angela Davis 
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Angela Davis, social justice activist, author and educator, will speak at Purdue University on Feb. 25. The 5 p.m. lecture at Elliott Hall of Music is free and open to the public.

Doors open at 4:15 p.m., and following the lecture Davis will be available to sign books or take photographs in the lobby.

"Dr. Davis is recognized internationally for more than four decades of work, both at the university and in the larger public sphere, emphasizing the importance of economic, racial and gender justice," said Lowell Kane, director of the Purdue LGBTQ Center.

Davis has taught at San Francisco State University, Mills College, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles, Stanford University, Vassar and the Claremont colleges. She most recently spent 17 years at the University of California Santa Cruz, where she is distinguished professor emerita. In 1994 she received an appointment to the University of California Presidential Chair in African American and Feminist Studies. She was a professor in history of consciousness – an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program – and feminist studies from 1991 to 2008, when she retired.

She also is the author of nine books, including "Women, Race, and Class," "Abolition Democracy," "Are Prisons Obsolete?" and a new edition of "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass." In 2012 she published a collection of essays titled "The Meaning of Freedom."

"This lecture continues the important conversations promoted by the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, which illuminate the impact of power and privilege upon various dimensions of diversity such as race, gender, class or sexual orientation," said G. Christine Taylor, vice provost for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at Purdue. "Most importantly, these conversations challenge each of us to identify the role that we can play in our daily lives to improve the human condition."

Davis's recent work has focused on social problems associated with incarceration and the criminalization of communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination, her website says. She says she draws on her experience of spending nearly a year and a half in jail and being on trial after being on the FBI's "10 Most Wanted List." She was acquitted of the charges filed against her. She also has conducted research on race, gender and imprisonment issues.

Davis is a founding member of Critical Resistance, an organization working to abolish what she calls the prison-industrial complex.

The lecture is coordinated and sponsored by the Division of Diversity and Inclusion. Other sponsors include the LGBTQ Center, Black Cultural Center, College of Liberal Arts, College of Agriculture's Office of Multicultural Programs, Purdue Student Union Board, Purdue 360, Purdue Libraries, Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies, and more than 40 sponsors including academic departments, student organizations, religious groups, community groups and Indianapolis-based organizations. A complete list of sponsors can be found at

In addition to the lecture, there are two other February programs about Davis. At 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Feb. 18) in the Richard and Patricia Lawson Computer Science Building, the documentary film "The Black Power Mixtape 1967-75," will be shown. It is free and open the public. A screening of "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners," a documentary film about Davis' time on the most wanted list and her trial, will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 23 in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. It is free and open to the public. 

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711,

Source: Lowell Kane, 765-496-6231,

G. Christine Taylor, 765-494-6969,  

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