Angela Y. Davis to deliver keynote address at Social Justice Institute’s “Think Tank 2015”

Angela Y. Davis

Angela Y. Davis, internationally known for her work to combat oppression in the United States and abroad, will deliver the keynote lecture and participate in a moderated dialogue for Case Western Reserve University Social Justice Institute’s third biennial Think Tank, “Educating for Struggle: Social Justice, Empathy and Social Transformation.”

Davis, the Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness and of Feminist Studies at University of California Santa Cruz, will present at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, at the Church of the Covenant. Registration and seating will begin at 6 p.m. This keynote event is sold out.

A scholar, author, organizer and activist dedicated to building communities of struggle, Davis draws on her experiences in the early 1970s, including the 18 months she spent in jail and on trial after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List” for a crime she did not commit. A persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the criminalization of communities most affected by poverty and racial discrimination.

“It may be hidden to some, but it is clear to many, many others that Cleveland and the nation are experiencing the stark realities of an unjust criminal justice system and racial and economic inequalities,” said Rhonda Y. Williams, founder and director of the Social Justice Institute. “Angela Y. Davis’ visit is right on time, for she is a commanding example of how to harness the power, spirit, will and audacity to think and act in the name of social justice over a lifetime.”

On Saturday, Nov. 14, local and national thought leaders will lead three consecutive sessions on empathy, social justice and social transformation, focused on labor, LGBTQ rights, immigration and the criminal justice system.

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Rebel Diaz

Saturday’s closing keynote performance-talk will feature the Chilean hip-hop artists Rebel Diaz. The acclaimed bilingual crew performs internationally, using “boom-bap” traditions and hip-hop appeal to address issues of justice and provide social commentary.

Think Tank 2015 opens with a screening of the film, Finding the Gold Within, on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m. in Strosacker Auditorium. One of the students featured in the documentary is now a CWRU student. He will participate in a Q&A following the screening. Seating for the film will begin at 6 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. Registration is requested and can be made online through the Social Justice Institute website More information is available on the website or by calling the institute at 216.368.7568.
The Social Justice Institute at CWRU aims to provide a space for promoting and supporting social justice-related research, scholarship and teaching; for building trust with and improving our community and society; for growing social change leaders; and for promoting broad-based conversations, solutions and action.

The event is co-sponsored by the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the President’s Advisory Council on Minorities, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Schubert Center for Child Studies, the Beamer-Schneider Professorship in Ethics, 90.3 WCPN/ideastream, the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, the Sisters of Charity Foundation and Church of the Covenant.