Black Lives Matter co-founder to speak Feb. 21 at UChicago

Kent Lecture to feature activist Patrisse Cullors, conversation with Prof. Cathy Cohen

Patrisse Cullors, the artist and activist who co-founded the Black Lives Matter movement, will deliver the 36th annual George E. Kent Lecture on Feb. 21 at the University of Chicago.

Co-author of The New York Times bestseller When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, Cullors is a longtime community organizer who shared the 2017 Sydney Peace Prize for “building a powerful movement for racial equality.” Her 7 p.m. lecture at the Reynolds Club will be followed by a discussion and Q&A moderated by Prof. Cathy Cohen, a leading UChicago scholar on race and politics.

Hosted by the Organization of Black Students, the Kent Lecture series features world-renowned scholars discussing social issues. Past speakers include Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, activist Angela Davis, civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler.

“The George E. Kent Lecture is both a deeply rooted tradition of the Organization of Black Students at the University of Chicago and a core event for Black History Month,” said third-year Kayla Jessup, who helped organize this year’s talk as one of the group’s political chairs. “It is important to recognize the work of influential figures in the Black community and connect them to our students.”

The free public lectures are held in honor of the late George E. Kent, one of the first black professors to earn tenure at UChicago. A professor in English at the University from 1970 until his death in 1982, he wrote the first full-scale biography of Pulitzer-winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks‚ who was also a past Kent Lecture speaker.