Immediate: February 17, 2009
Alicia Steger 516.572.9634
The Nassau Community College 2009 Women's History Month Committee Presents Professor, Author and Activist Angela Davis "Transformative Strategies for Women"
Garden City, NY – In celebration of Women’s History Month, Professor, Author and Activist Angela Davis will speak about Transformative Strategies for Women on Wednesday, March 18 at 11:00 a.m. in the College Center Building at Nassau Community College.
Angela Davis, who was born in Birmingham, Alabama, graduated from Brandeis University and studied at the Sorbonne and the Frankfurt School in Germany. After earning a masters degree in philosophy at the University of California at San Diego, she began teaching at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). While at San Diego, she had become active in the civil rights movement and joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Black Panthers and later the Che-Lumumba Club, an all-black faction of the Communist Party in Los Angeles. In 1969 the California Board of Regents and Governor Ronald Reagan fired Davis from the faculty at UCLA because of her communist affiliation. After protest from students, faculty and administration, she was reinstated, but the Board did not renew her contract in 1970.
Outside of academia, Davis organized protests, raised funds and publicly called for the release of three prison inmates of Soledad Prison known as the Soledad brothers. These three men had tried to organize a Marxist group among fellow prisoners and were often abused by prison officials. They were accused of killing a prison guard after several African American inmates had been killed in a fight by another guard. After receiving threats by phone and mail, Davis purchased guns for her protection. These guns were later used by the brother of one of the Soledad brothers in a courtroom rescue attempt in 1970. In the shootout, a judge and others were killed. Davis went into hiding, but was found in New York and held in prison for over a year on charges of kidnapping, conspiracy and murder. Her imprisonment inspired an international “Free Angela” movement and her case became a symbol of the abusive power of the criminal justice system. Davis was acquitted of all charges at her trial in 1972. Following her acquittal, she began a national lecture tour, speaking and writing about civil rights, prison reform and social change. Since 1979, Davis has taught at San Francisco State University and since 1992 she has been a tenured professor of the history of consciousness at the University of California at Santa Cruz. She has also published numerous articles, essays and books, including her autobiography and several books on women and feminism and radical prison reform.
For more information about Transformative Strategies for Women, which is free and open to the public, call 516.572.7082.