Angela Davis, an American political activist, philosopher, educator and author, will be the keynote speaker at Oregon State University’s 39th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on Jan. 18, 2021.
“Through her activism and scholarship over many decades, Davis has been deeply involved in movements for social justice around the world,” said Charlene Alexander, vice president and chief diversity officer at OSU. “Her work as an educator has always emphasized the importance of building communities to support the struggle for economic, racial and gender justice.
“We are excited to be able to learn about the ways that she has built communities of support in her distinguished career. Building communities of support is central to OSU’s ‘We Have Work To Do’ campaign, which recognizes strides we have made to advance diversity while acknowledging there is much to be done.”
Admission to the address by Davis will take place virtually from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and is free, but registration is required. In addition to the keynote address, the event will include the presentation of four awards given to members of the Oregon State community by members of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration committee.
Davis, who taught at universities across the United States, most recently spent 15 years at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she is a distinguished professor emerita of history of consciousness and of feminist studies.
She has written 10 books and has lectured throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and South America. Her recent work has focused on the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of 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.”
Davis has conducted extensive research on issues related to race, gender and imprisonment. Her recent books include “Abolition Democracy” and “Are Prisons Obsolete?” about the abolition of the prison industrial complex, a new edition of “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,” and a collection of essays “The Meaning of Freedom.” Her most recent book of essays, called “Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement,” was published in February 2016.
She is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex. Internationally, Davis is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia, that works in solidarity with women in prison.