Legendary Activist Angela Davis Inspires Campus

February 12, 2015

Angela Davis

Powerful Activist, Scholar and Author, Dr. Angela Davis delivered the keynote address in honor of Black History Month.

On Feb. 6, more than 500 students, faculty, staff, and local leaders welcomed the renowned social activist and scholar, Angela Davis, to present her keynote address. This exciting event was made possible by our student-led celebration of Black History Month.

"I have been observing Black History Month for a very long time,” said Davis, who spoke at Simmons more than 25 years ago.

During her keynote, she encouraged the audience to further understand the historical parallels between the struggles of Black Americans in the United States and those of other social movements around the world. She also spoke of the recent violence in Ferguson, MI and Long Island, NY, and the solidarity expressed across the nation and world in support of justice and equal protection under the law.

Davis was an iconic figure in the black power movement and a member of the Black Panther Party. She also was staunch advocate against police repression and in favor of reforming the prison system – topics she continues to discuss and organize around.

“We should constantly remind ourselves that another world is indeed possible,” said Davis.

“The struggle continues and there is still much work to be done,” said Lisa Smith-McQueenie, Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, and advisor of the Black Student Organization.

The sold out event featured slam poetry by Zenaida Peterson ’15, who opened with a poem titled “Survive.”

The event was sponsored by the Simmons Black Student OrganizationCampus Activities BoardResidence Hall AssociationLike Minds CoalitionAmnesty International, Students United for Justice, and the Alumnae Association Executive Board.

“The fact that so many organizations came together to make sure this event was funded was nothing short of wonderful,” said Simmons student Lyra Decastro ’16. “To see her so close was inspiring.”

(Photo Credit: Keesa McKoy)