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Ibram Kendi to Present Virtual Conversation about Anti-Racism, Critical Social Issues Oct. 21
Ibram X. Kendi, Ph.D., one of America’s foremost historians and leading anti-racist voices, will present a virtual “Community Conversation” about anti-racism and critical social issues that affect all of us on Wednesday, Oct. 21, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Kendi is a National Book Award recipient and New York Times’ No. 1 best-selling author, and his 2019 book “How To Be An Antiracist” was described by The New York Times as “the most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind.”
The free event will feature a presentation by Kendi followed by a live-streamed, moderated conversation with questions from community members. The event is open to all and advance registration is required through the event host, Friends of the Central Library. The event is presented by Syracuse University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Hendricks Chapel and The Lender Center for Social Justice.
Keith Alford, Ph.D., Syracuse University’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, says it’s appropriate that the University is presenting Kendi during the campus’ Multicultural Week.
“This week, as elevated by our Student Association, is designated to raising awareness about myriad cultural identities here on our campus and in society,” Alford says. “Multicultural week is also dedicated to active discourse about issues and challenges that impact us on a daily basis.
“Professor Kendi is one of our nation’s prolific thought leaders on anti-racism and the real work it requires,” Alford adds. “I believe his talk will raise our consciousness and spur us into constructive action regarding the racial realties of our times.”
Marcelle Haddix, Ph.D., Dean’s Professor in Reading and Language Arts in the School of Education and co-director of The Lender Center for Social Justice, is chair of the Author Selection Committee for Friends of Central Library and the main organizer of this seminal event.
“This conversation with Professor Kendi is happening at a critical time in our collective history,” Haddix says. “We are honored to create a space for members of the Syracuse and Syracuse University community to come together to consider deeply how embodying anti-racism can cultivate a culture of equity, justice and inclusion.”
Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. A contributing writer for The Atlantic and a CBS News correspondent, Kendi is also the 2020-21 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for the Advanced Study at Harvard University.
Kendi’s highly anticipated next book, “Be Antiracist: A Guided Journal For Awareness, Reflection, and Action,” is available for pre-order and will be published Oct. 6.
In The New York Times’ review of “How To Be An Antiracist,” Jeffrey C. Stewart wrote that “Kendi is on a mission to push those of us who believe we are not racists to become something else: antiracists, who support ideas and policies affirming that ‘the racial groups are equals in all their apparent differences—that there is nothing right or wrong with any racial group.’ ”
TIME magazine recently named Kendi as one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2020 for providing concrete and actionable steps and recommendations that we all can take to wipe out the vestiges of racism and bigotry.
“A Community Conversation with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi” is hosted by the Friends of the Central Library and presented by Syracuse University, with sponsorship from The Central New York Community Foundation, The Gifford Foundation and WCNY.
The Friends of the Central Library (FOCL) is a nonprofit group that supports the Central Library, which is the hub of the Onondaga County Public Library system and includes city branches and suburban libraries. By providing funds to the Library System through its Gifford Author Series, FOCL helps to ensure that everyone in our community has free access to libraries and literacy and access to the dialogues and conversations that are vital to changing systems that are inequitable.