Topic: Diversity and Inclusion

January 9, 2017

Kevin Powell

Photo courtesy of American Program Bureau

Political activist Kevin Powell will speak 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 in Pruis Hall as the keynote address for Unity Week.

Political activist Kevin Powell will examine the impact of Martin Luther King Jr. when he visits Ball State to give the keynote address for Unity Week.

Powell’s lecture, “Looking for Martin: Dr. King, Community, Civil Rights, Social Media and the New Activism” begins at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 in Pruis Hall. Like all Unity Week events, Powell’s talk is free and open to the public.

In his address, Powell will focus on the United States during the civil rights movement from 1954 to the late 1960s, reviewing the nation’s landscape and what has changed since that era.

He also will highlight how the past has affected today’s American society, examining young people, pop culture, and social media and the impact on activism.

In addition to his work in political activities, Powell is noted as one of America’s leading cultural, literary and hip-hop voices. A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, he was raised by a single mother in one of the community’s poorer neighborhoods but went on to study at Rutgers University, thanks to New Jersey’s Educational Opportunity Fund.

Powell is the author of 12 books, including his memoir, “The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey Into Manhood.” In 2018, he plans to publish a biography of the late rapper Tupac Shakur. He has contributed to CNN, Esquire, Ebony, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, ESPN and Vibe magazine.

In addition, he was the host and writer of the award-winning MTV documentary “Straight from the Hood,” about Los Angeles after the 1992 riots, and served as a special correspondent for Utne Reader, covering both the Democratic and Republican national conventions in 2016. Powell is also a co-founder of BK Nation, which focuses on civil and human rights.

Other Unity Week events include:

  • MLK Unity March, 11 a.m. Jan. 16, Ball State Multicultural Center
  • MLK Worship Service, 6 p.m. Jan.16, Christ Temple Ministries, 654 N. Jefferson
  • Film: "Loving," 7-9:15 p.m. Jan. 18, Pruis Hall
  • Tunnel of Oppression (an interactive simulation exploring oppression of social groups), 6 p.m. Jan. 19, Student Center Ballroom
  • Latinopalooza (Latino Student Union-sponsored showcase of talents of Ball State students), 6 p.m. Jan. 20, Student Center Ballroom
  • Unity Connections Conference, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Jan. 21, Student Center
  • Unity Scholarship Pageant, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 21, Pruis Hall

Unity Week is sponsored by the Office of the President, Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, Office of Student Life, Multicultural Center, Student Voluntary Services, Housing and Residence Life, Office of Institutional Diversity, Martin Luther King Jr. Planning Committee, Latino Student Union, Spectrum, Black Student Association, Asian American Student Association and the School of Music.