Dr. Angela Davis kicks off FWPS speaker series

Dr. Angela Davis, as seen in 2006. - Wikimedia Commons/Fair Use
Dr. Angela Davis, as seen in 2006.
— image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Fair Use

From staff reports:

Federal Way Public Schools (FWPS) will kick off its Intercultural Speaker Series this year with a new group of speakers aimed at engaging the school community in topics related to equity and social justice.

The series, formerly known as the Diversity Speaker Series, will kick off the 2013-14 school year with Dr. Angela Davis from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Education Service Center, 33330 8th Ave. S., Federal Way).

Davis, who first gained national fame in the 1960s as an activist with ties to both the Communist Party USA and the Black Panthers, will "enlighten educators, parents, students, and the community on the importance of equal access for typically marginalized student populations," according to FWPS.

"Federal Way Public Schools, just as many other districts across Washington State and the nation, are experiencing dramatic shifts in their student demographic," said Wanda Billingsly, who is coordinating the speaker series for 2013, in a news release. "These demographic shifts serve to create unique challenges, as well as great opportunities for our school district. The Intercultural Speaker Series is FWPS's opportunity to carve out space for dialogue as it relates to race and culture. It's an opportunity to increase awareness and deepen our knowledge as it relates to cultural competency. This heightened awareness can serve as a mechanism to deepen relationships with our students, parents and school communities."

Davis' current interests include prison reform, and her work with Critical Resistance, an organization aimed at abolishing the "prison-industrial complex." She is a retired professor from the University of California-Santa Cruz, where she was a professor in the university's "History of Consciousness" department. Davis also headed up the university's Feminist Studies department during her career.

The Intercultural Speaker Series is free and open to the public. Those interested in learning more can call (253) 945-2182.


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