Type: Public event

Making Race Heard 2011 Summit Kick-off Event

Date & time

Nov 29, 2011, 7:00-11:00 pm EST


Weill Hall

Admission is free; tickets are required. Register here for a ticket to attend all Summit events.

Making Race Heard is a student-driven initiative at the University of Michigan School of Social Work that aims to bring race to the forefront of our experiences as professionals and future social workers. Despite primarily serving Detroit and surrounding areas, there was a general lack of acknowledgement around how race affects our work and so this monthly series was developed. It was our hope to foster an environment that would allow students, faculty, staff, and community members to come together and discuss how issues of race and other social identities impact our personal and professional lives. We belong to a University culture that prides itself on the diversity of our community, yet the topic of race (its implications on our daily interactions, experiences in the classroom, and larger policies that shape our lives) is one that is constantly circumvented. Too often race is discussed as a 'problem' of the past, and more often this 'problem' does not receive the attention it deserves. We hope that through our events and culminating summit, participants are challenged to examine their own biases and recognize their own privileges. We aim to use dialogue as a tool to work to identify concrete ways in which we can collaboratively move from theory to social justice action.

About the speakerCornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his MA and PhD in Philosophy at Princeton. He has taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard and the University of Paris.

West has written 19 books and edited 13 books. He is best known for his classic Race Matters, Democracy Matters, and his new memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. He appears frequently on the Bill Maher Show, Colbert Report, CNN, and C-Span as well as on his dear Brother, Tavis Smiley's PBS TV Show. He can be heard weekly on Tavis Smiley's NPI radio program. The Smiley and West radio show is a highly acclaimed progressive program. He made his film debut in the Matrix – and was the commentator (with Ken Wilbur) on the official trilogy released in 2004. He also has appeared in over 25 documentaries and films including Examined Life, Call & Response, Sidewalk and Stand. Last, he has made three spoken word albums including Never Forget, collaborating with Prince, Jill Scott, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, KRS-One, and the late Gerald Levert. His recent spoken word interludes were featured on Terence Blanchard's Choices (which won the Grand Prix in France for the best Jazz Album of the year of 2009), The Cornel West Theory's Second Rome and the Raheem DeVaughn's Love & War: Masterpeace.

Co-sponsors: National Center for Institutional Diversity; College of Engineering; College of Literature, Science & Arts; Department of Afroamerican and African Studies; Department of English Language & Literature; Department of Philosophy; Division of Student Affairs; Ford School Center for Public Policy in Diverse Societies; Ginsberg Center for Community Service & Learning; Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives; Office of Multi Ethnic Student Affairs and Trotter Multicultural Center; Rackham Graduate School; Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning; School of Medicine and the Student Diversity Council; School of Social Work

Additional support provided by: Association of Black Social Work Students; Comprehensive Studies Program; Department of Comparative Literature; Department of History; Department of Native American Studies; Department of Political Science; Department of Screen Arts & Cultures; School of Natural Resources & the Environment; Program on Intergroup Relations