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Civil rights activist Angela Davis to deliver virtual speech to OSU on MLK Day

Civil rights activist Angela Davis to deliver virtual speech to OSU on MLK Day

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Political activist Angela Davis was announced Wednesday as the keynote speaker for Oregon State University's annual Martin Luther King Day celebration in 2021.

“Through her activism and scholarship over many decades, Davis has been deeply involved in movements for social justice around the world,” said OSU Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Charlene Alexander in a news release. “Her work as an educator has always emphasized the importance of building communities to support the struggle for economic, racial and gender justice."

Davis, a college professor in the 1960s, rose to prominence as a civil rights activist and was branded as a terrorist following the 1970 Marin County Civic Center attacks in California, after which she was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List. She was prosecuted for several crimes in connection with that case but was acquitted of all charges in 1972.

Davis has had a lengthy academic career, most recently teaching for 15 years at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she is a distinguished professor emerita of history of consciousness and feminist studies. She also founded Critical Resistance, an organization which works against the prison-industrial complex.

Alexander said Davis' community-building work, including as a professor and author, is central to the university's "We Have Work to Do" campaign.

OSU's 39th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration will kick off on Jan. 18 with Davis' virtual address from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. The talk is free, but registration is required.

For more information, visit diversity.oregonstate.edu/dr-martin-luther-king-jr-celebration.

Nia Tariq can be reached at 541-812-6091. Follow her on Twitter @NiaTariq.

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