Angela Davis gestures during a speech.

The legendary civil rights figure Angela Davis will speak at Cordiner Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 19. The event is open to the public with free tickets available online starting this weekend.  

Davis will present the keynote speech of the annual Power & Privilege Symposium, a student-organized workshop series examining issues of structural inequality and social justice. More than 30 sessions are planned on campus the following day, with topics ranging from racism to homophobia to immigration to mental health.   

"This is the perfect kickoff to the symposium and its theme, 'Building Bridges, Not Walls,'" said Laura Sanchez, director of Whitman’s Intercultural Center. She praised the students involved for their dedication and for "bringing both the Whitman and greater Walla Walla communities together for the unique opportunity to listen to and learn from Angela Davis."

Davis first gained notoriety in the late 1960s and early 1970s for her work with the civil rights movement and Black Panther Party. In 1970, she became the third woman placed on the FBI’s most wanted list after firearms registered in her name were used in a shootout at the Marin County Courthouse. Davis served a year behind bars before being acquitted. She is now a professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the author of numerous books on class, feminism and the U.S. prison system.

"Growing up in Jamaica, I vividly remember reading and hearing about the amazing work of Dr. Davis," said Jordon Crawford '21, executive director of this year’s symposium. "I’m over the moon that she is coming and I can’t wait to hear the message that she has to deliver to our community."

Doors open at 5:45 p.m. with a scheduled start time of 6:30 p.m. This link for online tickets will go live Saturday, Feb. 15 at 8 a.m. until Monday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m., or while supplies last.