Social justice activist and educator Angela Davis has been appointed UM-Flint's 2015-16 Myron and Margaret Winegarden Visiting Professor, Chancellor Susan E. Borrego announced.
"Through her activism and scholarship over the last decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in our nation's quest for social justice. 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 equality," Borrego said in her announcement to campus.
Davis is Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies at University of California Santa Cruz, and the author of nine books, including her most recent book of essays called The Meaning of Freedom.
"In recent years a persistent theme of her work has been 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 seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted List."
Borrego also noted that Davis is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex. Davis is also affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia that works in solidarity with women in prison.
Borrego offered a special thank you to Dr. Rushika Patel, director of the Women's Educational Center, for nominating Davis for the visiting professorship. Davis will visit the week of March 20 and several events will be planned for students, faculty, staff, and the Flint community.
Davis spoke at UM-Flint in February. Her question and answer session and public lecture both drew large crowds.
The visiting professorship, run through the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, was formed in 2001 through a generous gift from the estate of Margaret Winegarden. Visiting professors are chosen by a faculty selection committee.
"I am not actually surprised that Angela Davis was selected to come to UM-Flint—our campus and community are full of people who carefully think about and value her work," Patel said. "The timing couldn't be better either, especially in light of what we hear students saying around the country at college campuses when it comes to race and racism."
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