Dr. Cornel West to speak at Martin Luther King Celebration


Image: Cornel WestDr. Cornel West, professor of Afro-American Studies and Philosophy of Religion at Harvard University, will be speaking on Thursday, Jan. 25, at 3 p.m. at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, as part of Fairfield University's three-day Martin Luther King Celebration. He was recently promoted to university professor which is a title held by only 14 of Harvard's 2,200 faculty members. West is also one of the first black scholars to be appointed to Harvard University's highest faculty position. The lecture is open to the public and tickets are on sale for $5 at the Quick Center Box Office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at (877) ARTS-396.

Senior Felipe Polanco, vice president of multicultural relations for the Fairfield University Student Association, and Heydi Quezada, a graduate assistant at the University, have been working with members of the University community to schedule a series of events for January 25 - 27, when the students have returned from winter break. The events include a multicultural marketplace, a community awards presentation and a Martin Luther King, Jr. Awareness Workshop for local middle and high school students. A multicultural buffet and AHANA Student Council Unity Ball, which is open to the public, will bring the events to a close.

Dr. West is not only a well-respected writer and professor, but he plays a leading role as a well-known speaker of the black community. Dr. West, who came from a loving family, believes that his parents gave him the most fundamental element of his life - supporting his spirit, soothing his soul. This unconditional love inspired Dr. West to work hard and become the noble and scholarly person he is today.

Dr. West, who is a Harvard University and Princeton University graduate, has written several articles and fifteen books, including The American Evasion of Philosophy, Jews and Blacks, The Future of the Race and Restoring Hope. One of his books, titled Race Matters, gained best-seller status in both editions and gained the attention of Time magazine and Newsweek, who published extensive profile articles on him. Dr. West's most recent publication, The Cornel West Reader, shows the development of his tremendous career. This collection represents the hard work and dedication of an extraordinary philosopher of the modern American experience.

Fairfield University will be honoring Dr. West with the prestigious LaFarge Medal, named after Rev. John LaFarge, S.J., a Jesuit priest who worked for racial justice. In 1987, Dr. West returned to Princeton University as a professor of religion and director of the Afro-American Studies Department. After helping to build that department, Dr. West decided to move back to Harvard where he currently serves as a professor.

Other MLK Events

The three-day celebration opens on Thursday, Jan. 25 from 2-3 p.m., with a multicultural marketplace in the Regina A. Quick Center Lobby. Vendors will be selling cultural artifacts and various products. At 3 p.m., Felipe Polanco will present Community Awards and Dr. West will give the keynote address.

Friday, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be a Martin Luther King, Jr. Awareness Workshop that will be open to local middle school and high school students in the Fr. McGrath Room in the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola.

Saturday, Jan. 27, the events come to a close with a multicultural buffet from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., followed by the AHANA Student Council Unity Ball at 9 p.m. For more information, please call Felipe Polanco at (203) 254-4000, ext. 3868.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on November 6, 2000

Vol. 33, No. 93