TIME, DATE, AND PLACE: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, in the East River Road Auditorium at the University of Rochester's Advancement and Alumni Center at 300 East River Road
ADMISSION: Free for the University community and $5 for the general public. Tickets purchased for the postponed Dec. 4 event will be honored. Tickets are on sale at the Common Market in Wilson Commons on the River Campus until noon on Dec. 12. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door.
PARKING: Parking is available outside the Advancement and Alumni Center. Shuttles from the ITS Center on River Campus to the venue will be available between 6 and 7:15 p.m.
Hip-hop legend and critically-acclaimed actor Mos Def will discuss his role as an entrepreneur mixing business and his passion for hip-hop. He will be joined by his mother and longtime manager, Sheron Umi Smith.
Mos Def became an overnight hip-hop sensation in 1996 with the release of his first single, Universal Magnetic. A huge underground hit, the single led to further critical acclaim with the 1999 release of his solo album debut Black on Both Sides, which was certified gold. He has since received several Grammy-award nominations, most recently this year in the Best Rap Solo Performance category for Undeniable.
Although it was his musical talents that catapulted him to international celebrity, the Brooklyn-born Mos Def is also an accomplished actor. Since making his professional acting debut at the age of 14, he has appeared in numerous films (Monster's Ball, The Woodsman, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), television shows (HBO's "Def Poetry"), and stage theater productions (Topdog/Underdog), earning nominations for an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe.
Smith has been managing her son's career since he was 9 years old. She lectures around the country and is the founder of the Organization of Mothers in Entertainment.
Their discussion will be moderated by University alumnus Bakari Kitwana, who earned degrees from the College of Arts, Science and Engineering and the Warner School of Education. The former executive editor of The Source magazine, Kitwana is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago. His 2002 book, The Hip-Hop Generation, has been adopted as a course book at more than 100 colleges and universities.
The event is sponsored by the University's David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity in Science and Engineering and the University's Center for Entrepreneurship.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Anthony Plonczynski, academic advisor for the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program at the Kearns Center, at (585) 275-1402.