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Author, antiracist activist Ibram X. Kendi to deliver University’s MLK address

December 16, 2020
portrait of Ibram X KendiIbram X. Kendi, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and the Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research, will present the University of Rochester's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address.

Boston University professor will give virtual speech as the event celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Event registration

Kendi’s interactive talk is on Wednesday, February 24, 7–8 p.m. ET. The event is open to the public, with no attendance limit.

Registered attendees will receive an email with a Zoom link to the event.

Ibram X. Kendi, a best-selling author, professor, antiracist activist, and historian of race and discriminatory policy in America, will be the keynote speaker as the University of Rochester celebrates the 20th anniversary of its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address.

Kendi’s virtual speech will be Wednesday, February 24 from 7 to 8 p.m., preceded by a Q&A with University student leaders.

Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and the Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. The New York City native won the 2016 National Book Award for nonfiction for Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. His most recent book, How to Be an Antiracist, was a New York Times bestseller this year and was described by the Times as “the most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind.”

Kendi was included in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2020. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, London Review, Time, and Salon, and he regularly appears as a commentator for media outlets such as CNN, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, NPR, and the BBC.

The presentation marks the 20th anniversary of the MLK address, instituted by the University in 2001 to promote issues of diversity, freedom, civil rights, and social justice in order to commemorate King’s legacy. The event is hosted by the Office of the Minority Student Affairs and the Office of the President.

Past speakers include Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, Michael Eric Dyson, Maria Hinojosa, and Symone Sanders, who recently was named senior advisor and chief spokesperson for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

This story was updated on February 1, 2021, with the event registration details. 

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