Legendary cultural philosopher and political firebrand, Cornel West, PhD, will speak on campus next month during the 2022 Shirley Dixon Celebration of Urban Education Symposium, hosted by the Cabrini Center for Urban Education, Equity, and Improvement (CUEEI). West will deliver the Symposium’s keynote address as part of a hybrid, live-streamed presentation at 7pm on Thursday, April 28, in the Nerney Field House.
The 2022 Symposium returns to campus after a virtual event in 2021, as West’s lecture serves to provide an example and exploration of the Symposium theme, “Prophetic Leadership Matters.”
“What we have been explicitly witnessing in society and organizational spaces are profound gaps in courageous, moral, and prophetic leadership,” said Ronald W. Whitaker II, EdD, Director, CUEEI, and Assistant Dean, School of Education. “Having someone like Dr. Cornel West speak on the topic of prophetic leadership through an analytical, truthful, and strategic lens will be invaluable to the Cabrini community.”
West’s keynote will follow an invitation-only reception at 5:30pm and presentation of the annual Symposium Awards at 6:30pm.
A Professor Emeritus at Princeton University and current Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary, West is the author of 20 books including influential works like Race Matters, Democracy Matters, and his latest, Black Prophetic Fire. West earned master’s and doctoral degrees in Philosophy from Princeton after graduating from Harvard University in three years. He went on to teach at Harvard, Yale University, Union Theological Seminary, and the University of Paris.
In media, West frequently appears on CNN and C-Span as well as programs like Real Time with Bill Maher and Democracy Now!. He also stars as Councillor West in The Matrix film trilogy.
“Dr. West is undoubtedly one of history’s foremost Black scholars who shares in the radical tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” Whitaker added.
In its fifth year, the Celebration of Urban Education Symposium builds upon the legacy of the late Shirley Walker Dixon (’84, MEd’89, EdD’18), education luminary and the only person to earn bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Cabrini. The event enables the Cabrini community, as well as interested members of the general public, to engage with University leaders and prominent intellectuals in support of equity and opportunity for students of all ages.
Under Whitaker’s direction, CUEEI hosts this year’s Symposium with the aims of teaching attendees to learn the dispositions and courageous elements of prophetic leadership, as well as its philosophies and frameworks.
Four Moral and Courageous Leadership awards will be given to exceptional education leaders during the event, including the Exemplar Urban Educational Leadership Award; High Impact Teacher Award; Commitment to Equity School Award; and Community Leader Equity Award.
The 2022 Celebration of Urban Education Symposium is sponsored by Fam.Com, Lindley Academy Charter School at Birney, National Association of African Americans in Human Resources, Partners for Campus-Community Engagement, and Tacony Academy Charter School.