UC San Diego: Social Justice Advocate Cornel West Shares Words of Wisdom

UC San Diego recently hosted social justice advocate, civil rights activist and author Cornel West for a lively discussion about channeling anger over injustice into strength and a catalyst for positive change. More than 150 middle and high school students representing underserved communities from across the county were in attendance at the private event, including students from The Preuss School UC San Diego. West’s appearance was one of the inaugural events at UC San Diego Park & Market, a new downtown center that will improve access to world-class education, arts and cultural events, entrepreneurship and innovative research.

It’s important that we bring people of Dr. West’s stature that create a conversation about issues,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “As an institution, the more we can facilitate these conversations and keep these conversations going, the more inclusive, diverse and equitable we will be.”

West’s talk about the power of words and how young people can become changemakers who use their ideas to shift the tide drew on his research focusing on race, gender and class in American society. Helen Griffith, inaugural executive director of The Preuss School UC San Diego and a nationally recognized education innovator and leader, moderated the discussion.

Previously a professor of the practice of public philosophy at Harvard University and professor emeritus at Princeton University, West is the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary. He also is a prolific author who has written 20 books, including “Race Matters” and his memoir, “Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud.”

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