Saturday, February 05, 2011

Bring the Cornel West and Carl Dix Dialogue to Campus!

Dear Student Organization and/or Academic Department:
We want to personally extend the invitation to host the ground-breaking dialogue, "In the Age of Obama –– Part 2: Police Terror; Incarceration; No Jobs; Mis-education: What Future for Our Youth? A Dialogue between Cornel West and Carl Dix" at your school or university.
Stopped and frisked continually, massively incarcerated, jobless in a recessed economy, living in fear of the police, or compelled into the military to kill and die in the U.S.’s global wars — today’s youth certainly face a multitude of challenges unprecedented by their parents’ generation.  But what should be the future of such youth? 
            Cornel, currently a professor at Princeton and prolific scholar on matters of race and democracy, illuminates the predicament for our youth:  “[T]hey have accepted a definition of being human as ability to be titillated and stimulated by various commodities… and measure one’s success by how well adapted they are to injustice.”  
             While Carl, a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party,  challenges us to examine the legitimacy of the system of capitalist-imperialism which criminalizes an entire generation: "We can't leave this system as it is, grinding away, crushing the spirits and destroying the bodies of so many of our youth.  And we don't have to --there is another way.  Through revolution we could bring a totally different, and far better, world into being.” 
             Unique in vision, the Dialogue itself is a spirited back-and-forth between two of the nation’s foremost thinkers -- one in the spirit of the Black church and liberation theology, and the other Revolutionary Communist -- on one of the most pressing issues facing our country today.   Though differing in perspective, they are joined by their concern for the youth and the urgency of cracking open the national discourse to make room for such critical space. 
             You have the opportunity to engage in a rare, riveting discussion which brings to the surface one of the most egregious outrages of U.S. society today — one which is flagrantly ignored by policy makers and mainstream media pundits alike.  In the wake of the police slayings of Danroy Henry, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, and Aiyana Stanley Jones, this is a timely conversation in urgent need of being thrust into the public discourse.
            Be a part of spreading this into a nationwide conversation, and bring this impactful program and its speakers to your school or university as early as January this spring semester.  Enclosed in this packet is a sample of promotional materials from the October 29th speaking engagement at Harlem Stage at Aaron Davis Hall.*   For further inquiries about scheduling and honoraria, please contact us.
We look forward to hearing back.

The Dialogue Coordinators
866-841-9139 x2670
A sold-out crowd of more than 650 people filled the Harlem Stage at Aaron Davis Hall on October 29th.  After the event, the lobby was full of people who were clearly inspired, moved, provoked, and intrigued—by the Dialogue.  Here are some of their comments:
* * *
"I've been motivated, entertained, and uplifted all in one. Fantastic." - 23-year-old African-American student

"Everything that they talked about is exactly the things that I think are prevalent to me right now as a teenager, as a student, as the youth….this is what I feel—that this is a moment in time where we have the future ahead of us and we have to seize it, and it's our decision what we're gonna do with it."   17-year-old white high school student from Brooklyn

"I connected to everything...This is my life. This isn't just an event for me. This is already a cause I'm already actively pursuing.  So to know that I'm not alone, it's the most amazing feeling. The most amazing feeling. Like I cried—I'm not a crier, I'm a f--king boxer."
- A young boxer, one of whose parents is from Puerto Rico and the other from Guam

“I liked the focus on the youth, a lot of the talk in politics has to do with what is happening, but no one really talks about the youth.”  - A student from Columbia University

"You know, I was surprised by how enthusiastic everybody around me was. It was inspiring to see everybody so into it. To see people feeling—and not just sitting around and listening— People taking it in and feeling it and feeling like they can go out and do something.  - A high school student

“I liked the depth of the analysis, the internationalism, the humor, the camaraderie between Dr. West and Mr. Dix….”  - A community observer

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