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Symposium April 9 will explore social justice

March  27, 2013

Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever

Augustana College’s spring term Symposium Day April 9 will be centered on the topic of social justice. The featured speaker, Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever, executive director of the National Council of Negro Women, will present at 10 a.m. in Centennial Hall, 3703 7th Ave., Rock Island. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Dr. Jones-DeWeever’s lecture, “Life at the Intersection: Black Women and the Politics of Power, Privilege and Persisting Inequality in the Age of Obama,” is the centerpiece of the last of three symposia days for the 2012-2013 academic year.

In addition to her keynote address, Dr. Jones-DeWeever will give a second talk at 12:30 p.m. in Olin Auditorium, 733 35th St. This will be an opportunity for students and others to engage in dialogue and discussion with the her.

Dr. Jones-DeWeever is an authority on race and gender in the American economy, poverty in urban communities, inequality of educational and economic opportunity, and issues of privilege, power and policy in the U.S. She has devoted her professional life to examining how policies impact the lives of women and communities of color while also seeking to advance effective programmatic solutions to long-standing societal challenges.

“Am I an idealist? Maybe,” said Dr. Jones-DeWeever, “But I would rather be an idealist who tried with all her might to build a better world, than someone who sat meekly on the sidelines as an eyewitness to injustice with neither the courage nor the will to do something about it.”

Dr. Jones-DeWeever serves as the executive director of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), the nation’s oldest organization dedicated to the advancement of both civil rights and women’s rights. She also serves on the board of directors of the Women’s Voices/Women Vote Action Fund and maintains the position of affiliated scholar with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

She served as a keynote speaker to the President of the United States’ Young African Leaders Forum. She’s appeared on multiple television and radio networks, including CNN, C-SPAN, ABC and PBS, and has been quoted in numerous major print publications, including the Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

Dr. Jones-DeWeever earned a bachelor’s from Virginia State University and a doctorate in government and politics from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Concurrent session

As part of the Symposium Day’s events, more than 20 one-hour concurrent sessions will be hosted across Augustana’s campus. Led by faculty, students, administrators and others, the concurrent sessions also will be open to the public.

A session on intergenerational justice will be led by Augustana President Steven Bahls from 1:45-2:45 p.m. in the Hanson Hall of Science, 726 35th St.,  Room 102. 

Approximately 100 students will have the opportunity to take part in off-campus experiential learning opportunities. Teams of students will visit Intouch Adult Day Services, World Relief and other community organizations.

Full symposium schedule

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833