U-M Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium

Keynote Lecture

Memorial Keynote Lecture

Monday, January 20th, 2020

10am-11:30 am (EST) (Doors open at 9:30 am. Free and open to the public, not ticketed.)

Hill Auditorium

825 N. University Avenue, Ann Arbor MI, USA 48109

Keynote Speaker

Angela Davis has been deeply involved in movements for social justice around the world, through her activism and scholarship over many decades. 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 justice.

Professor Davis’ teaching career has taken her to San Francisco State University, Mills College, and UC Berkeley. She also has taught at UCLA, Vassar, Syracuse University the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University. Most recently she spent fifteen years at the University of California Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness – an interdisciplinary Ph.D program – and of Feminist Studies.

Angela Davis is the author of ten books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. 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.” She also has conducted extensive research on numerous issues related to race, gender and imprisonment. Her recent books include Abolition Democracy and Are Prisons Obsolete? about the abolition of the prison industrial complex, a new edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and a collection of essays entitled The Meaning of Freedom. Her most recent book of essays, called Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement, was published in February 2016.

Angela Davis is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex. Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia that works in solidarity with women in prison.

Like many educators, Professor Davis is especially concerned with the general tendency to devote more resources and attention to the prison system than to educational institutions. Having helped to popularize the notion of a “prison industrial complex,” she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st century abolitionist movement.

Student Introduction

Jeryne Fish (MM ’20) is a 2019 graduate of the Ford School of Public Policy, with a focus on international economic development and human rights policy. Now she is pursuing her Master of Management degree at U-M’s Ross School of Business, where she is an active member of the Ross Leaders Academy. At the University of Michigan, Jeryne is a student-athlete competing in sprints and jumps on the Varsity Track & Field team. As an undergraduate, Jeryne interned for Wolverine Pathways and the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association. On campus she has been extremely active as a student leader. Jeryne served as the Vice President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., the Vice President of the Black Undergraduate Law Association, the outreach chair for Students of Color in Public Policy, and a writer for the South Campus Times to name a few. She has made remarkable contributions in her role as a peer advisor for her fellow undergraduates in the Ford School. After completing her masters and final year of eligibility on the Track & Field team, she plans to attend law school.

Co-sponsored by the University of Michigan Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium; the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives, a unit in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Michigan Athletics; and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business with support from the William K. McInally Memorial Lecture Fund.