Cornel West and Carl Dix to speak at UC Berkeley Friday

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NOVEMBER 30, 2011

Pauley Ballroom will serve as the venue for a dialogue between two of the nation’s most controversial activists and thinkers — Cornel West and Carl Dix.

West, an American public intellectual and a long-time advocate for racial justice, and Dix, a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, will engage in a dialogue on police brutality and mass incarceration, among other issues, in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union’s Pauley Ballroom Friday at 7 p.m.

The event, which is called “In the Age of Obama … Police Terror, Incarceration, No Jobs, Mis-education: What Future for our Youth?” is expected to cost around $25,000. Several campus groups, including the Black Student Union, the African Arts Society and the campus Department of English are sponsoring the event, according to Justin Richmond, a junior and an organizer for the event.

“We want to have a structured academic environment where ideas can be exchanged. Both West and Dix have ideas that overlap but they diverge on other points,” Richmond said. “It will be very interesting to see how the dialogue develops.”

Rafael Malik, another organizer of the event, said he wanted to bring the dialogue to Berkeley after hearing West and Dix speak in Harlem in 2009 and at UCLA last year.

“I feel this is the right time to have these two speakers come to campus,” Malik said. “Young people here and around the world are standing up to the injustice and inequality. They are beginning to question what they believe.”

According to Richmond, organizers are expecting more than a thousand people to attend the event. Overflow rooms will be set up in Dwinelle Hall with live video feeds of the dialogue.

“We want people who come to the event to gain an understanding of what is going on around them, to become catalysts for social change,” Malik said.

Seating for the event — which is free — will be on a first come first serve basis.

Contact Paras Shah at 


NOVEMBER 30, 2011