Our 2020 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture in Social Justice featuring Angela Davis and Gina Dent in conversation with Margo Natalie Crawford held at The University of Pennsylvania.
“Both Davis and Dent echoed Gutmann in emphasizing King’s words from his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”—“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Much of their recent work has focused on the prison abolition movement, which holds significance to Davis not only because of her personal history and the history of black people in the United States but also because of the ways in which capitalism, nationalism, and misogyny exert penal influence throughout the world. What would it mean, Davis asked, “to live in a world that did not require such violent means as a punitive solution to problems of insecurity? What would it mean to live in a world without prisons?”
Through her activism and scholarship over many decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in movements for social justice around the world. Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice.
Professor Davis’ teaching career has taken her to San Francisco State University, Mills College, and UC Berkeley. She also has taught at UCLA, Vassar, Syracuse University the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University. Most recently she spent fifteen years at the University of California Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness – an interdisciplinary Ph.D program – and of Feminist Studies.
Gina Dent is an Associate Professor of Feminist Studies, History of Consciousness, and Legal Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she recently received the 2018-19 Dizikes Faculty Teaching Award in the Humanities.
This event was sponsored by the Center for Africana Studies and the Annenberg School for Communication. Co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Black Alumni Society.