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UAB to Host Talk in “An Evening with Alice Walker”

Photo Obtained from the Black Youth Project

Students are invited to join highly esteemed and world-renowned poet, writer, and activist Alice Walker in an intimate conversation on diversity sharing her life lessons, inspirations, and wisdom as part of an International Women’s Month celebration hosted by the UAB Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

“This semester, we are proud to host Pulitzer Prize winner, writer, poet, and social activist Alice Walker,” said Brandon Wolfe, Assistant VP of Campus and Community Engagement for the UAB’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. While many may know Ms. Walker for her book turned award winning film, ‘The Color Purple’; her writings have shaped and were shaped by the feminist and Civil Rights Movements of the 60s and 70s. Her contributions to gender equity alone are worth honoring her arrival as we celebrate Women’s History Month. “

The titled event “An Evening with Alice Walker” is part of a speaker series held by UAB to hold enriching conversations with esteemed individuals that can provide insight through their experience, wisdom intelligence, and depth. This specific event will hold conversations on diversity through the spectrum of Walker’s influential life.

“Attendees should expect to see a very insightful one-on-one conversation as we explore Alice Walker as a writer and storyteller, activist, social worker, and teacher,” Wolfe said. Furthermore, this is an opportunity for attendees to share in her wisdom as she reflects upon her inspirations, life lessons, challenges, and societal contributions.”

UAB alum, and event attendee Edna Teiko-Awere said that she has followed Walker’s literature works and is deeply inspired by Walker’s creative ability–she is excited to personally hear from the author.

“A friend of mine and I were talking about Alice Walker not too long ago. I remember us both being inspired and in awe of her storytelling and focus on black women,” Teiko-Awere said. I have her book the Third Life of Grange Copeland, which will be my next read. I’m looking forward to hearing from the author herself to learn more about her journey, her activism and her creative process. Alice Walker and her work is legendary so it’s amazing to have the opportunity to hear from her,” Teiko-Awere said.

UAB student, public relations major, Tyra Rocker said it is important how the event is highlighting diversity because it is significant to how we think about others and the life we live.

“It is important for us to have these conversations because diversity is important for everyone to discuss, and without these conversations it is easy to get stuck in a box,” Rocker said.

Rocker also said that she values learning more in-depth knowledge about Ms. Walker’s life story on additional experiences that she may not have had growing in this age.

“I love to to gain knowledge on different experiences, and I feel this is important to be shared,” Rocker said.

Fletcher Allen, a UAB student majoring in public relations, said having speakers that embody diversity, equity, and inclusion is important.

“I think the event is important considering it is International Women’s month and diversity is in UAB’s mission,” Allen said. But, I think it is more important to consistently schedule events like this and hold conversations around diversity, women’s issues, especially from speakers that embody both of those like Alice Walker.

Allen also said that by having discussions on diversity is significant to changing or deepening the mindset of future generations.

“I think UAB goes above and beyond to hold lectures and dialogues around these issues in hopes that our generation and future generations will come out of school with an angle or experience that we can say changed our perspective,” Allen said.

“An Evening with Alice Walker” is the latest edition in the Cultural Lens: Film & Speakers hosted by series hosted by UAB’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion where scholars, activists, and artists are invited to discuss their contributions to the broader societal discussions  related to diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, according to Wolfe.

As far as what attendees can gain from the talk, Wolfe said he hopes attendees gather depth of perspective through the lens of such an influential figure.

“Alice Walker has many layers. It is my hope for attendees to grasp the depths of perspective on  diversity within this individual as well as reflect on how she’s arrived at this point of being considered as one of the most influential thought leaders of our time,“ Wolfe said.

The event is scheduled for March 18 at 5 p.m. via Zoom. The event is free and open to the public. Individuals must register for the virtual event on the UAB website to attend. Click here to register now.

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