The Union Recorder

February 19, 2013

GC hosts discussion of social justice issues with Dr. Angela Davis

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Dr. Angela Davis, a individual who has had a life-long career in fighting issues centered on social justice, imprisonment, and racial and gender inequality, will visit the Georgia College campus next week to start the conversation of diversity and inclusion amongst the university and extended community.

Hosted by the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED), the lecture series is part of the Flagg Legacy Social Justice events honoring Rev. Wilkes B. Flagg, a pioneer of social justice in the Milledgeville community.

“Georgia College has a Flagg Legacy Social Justice banquet each year where we bring in a speaker and award the Georgia College community for community social justice work. The Flagg Legacy Social Justice series will hopefully continue and focus on issues with social justice with speakers,” OIED Interim Director Dr. Veronica Womack said. “This year, we will still have the Flagg Legacy Social Justice honored, but we’re beginning the lecture series with Dr. Davis as the first lecture series speaker, which is quite an honor.”

Slated at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27 in the Centennial Center, Davis will talk on “The Meaning of Freedom and Other Difficult Dialogues” at the free public event.

“We will do a lecture Q & A session where people can ask questions and she will also do a book signing,” Womack said. “The university has been having a series of interesting dialogue around issues of diversity and inclusion in particular. In a similar circumstance, she will also be talking about difficult dialogue.”

Davis is the author of nine books and has lectured throughout the country, as well as Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and South America, states a press release. Her work as an educator, both at the university level and in the larger public sphere, has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial and gender justice.

“We’re very excited about Dr. Davis coming to Georgia College. She is an international figure with a wealth of information about social justice issues, internationally as well as domestically,” Womack said. “She’s also a first-made scholar and she is not only noted for her social justice work, but her scholastic work as well. It’s remarkable we were able to have her come.”

In recent years, a persistent theme of her work has been in 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 70s as a person who spent 18 months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.”

“She embodies the need for people to get behind their beliefs and put those beliefs into action. When we look at issues of economic and equality, or racial and gender inequality, she has worked decades in those areas. She has been all over the world lecturing on issues of social justice and she has paid the ultimate price for that with time spent incarcerated,” Womack said. “Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, how she’s lived her life and her work embodies the American spirit of individualism and social consciousness.”

The OIED, Arts Unlimited, Campus Life and the African American Male Initiative are sponsors of this event.

For more information about the lecture series, or to register for the event, call 478-445-4233 or visit www.gcsu.edu/equity/flagglecture.

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