UW Today

This is an archived article.

October 21, 2010

Civil rights leaders to discuss ‘freedom dreams’

Two longtime civil rights and social justice activists will headline a distinctive event this month at UW Tacoma. “Freedom Dreams: A Conversation on Movements for Social Change with Robin D.G. Kelley and Jack O’Dell” will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27, in Philip Hall.


Kelley is one of the top historians of the African American experience and author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (2009), Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination (2002), and Race Rebels: Culture Politics and the Black Working Class (1994), among many other books.


O’Dell is one of the civil rights movement’s top practitioners and a longtime peace and social justice activist. He was a rank-and-file union organizer, and worked in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and later as a close advisor to Jesse Jackson. O’Dell edited the journal Freedomways, and is the author of Climbin’ Jacob’s Ladder: The Black Freedom Movement Writings of Jack O’Dell (2010).


A reception for Kelley and O’Dell is planned for 4:15 p.m. The program begins at 5 p.m.


Sponsors include: UW Tacoma’s Global Honors; Equity and Diversity Office; and the Ethnic, Gender and Labor Studies concentration of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences; the  Simpson Center for the Humanities; College of Arts and Sciences; Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest; Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies; and Hilen Endowment for American Literature and Culture; as well as the Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas.


The event is free and open to the public. For more information contact the Diversity Resource Center at 253-692-4776 or shelljo@uw.edu.


As a prelude to the Freedom Dreams event, UW Tacoma’s Ethnic, Gender and Labor Studies program will host the Tacoma premier of a new film on the freedom movement, Freedom Riders: Could You Get on the Bus?


This Stanley Nelson film depicts eight months in 1961 when more than 400 black and white citizens risked their lives — many endured savage beatings and imprisonment — for simply traveling together on buses as they journeyed through the Deep South.


Freedom Riders will be shown Oct. 20, from 10:20 a.m.–12:15 p.m., in room 105 of the Cherry Parkes Building on campus. For more information, contact Michael Honey, 253-692-4454.