One of the nation’s most inspiring speakers, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, delivered the annual Convocation address on Thursday, Sept. 26, in King Concert Hall.
"Once we established our Convocation theme — ‘Raising cultural awareness and building global relations’ — we wanted to find someone who had expertise when it comes to cultural relations and insight into the impact of culture on people’s self-image,” said Jack Croxton, Convocation Committee chair.
Dr. Michael Eric Dyson has been credited with revitalizing the role of the public intellectual with the fervor of an ordained Baptist minister. A professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, he bridges gaps between generations by connecting civil rights identity to hip-hop culture, while forging links between older and younger Americans, especially black Americans.
In addition to his appearance at King Concert Hall, Dr. Dyson had opportunities to meet with student leaders and Honors Program students, as well as university administrators.
An American Book Award recipient, Dyson has been described as one of the most graceful and lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today. Dyson is also a contributing editor of Time magazine and hosts an hour-long news and talk program on NPR, “The Michael Eric Dyson Show.” Ebony magazine named Dyson, author of 16 books, as one of the most influential black Americans.
A follow up panel discussion exploring, “The Value of Diversity,” featuring three members of the SUNY Fredonia community, was held on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Participants included Dr. Bill Boerner, the campus’ new chief diversity officer, who addressed, “Becoming a Responsible 21st Century Citizen;” Dr. Neil Feit of the Department of Philosophy, who spoke to, “Some Questions on the Value of Diversity in Academia;” and history professor Dr. Emily Straus, who reflected on, “A Case for Diversity: Lessons from the Past.”
Funding for the Convocation speaker is provided by the Maytum Lecture Endowment and the Williams Visiting Professorship Endowment through the Fredonia College Foundation.