Willamette hosts civil rights activist and educator Angela Davis

Willamette University, Salem Multicultural Institute and Marion and Polk Schools Credit Union present Angela Davis, civil rights educator, activist and author, Friday, Jan. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Willamette's Smith Auditorium. Davis, who teaches feminist studies at University of California, Santa Cruz, has devoted the past several decades to building communities to support economic, racial and gender equality.

This event is part of Willamette's Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration 2011, featuring two weeks of activities for the university and Salem communities. The full list of events is available at

Through her years of activism and scholarship, Davis has been deeply involved in our nation's quest for social justice. She has written eight books and has lectured throughout the U.S. and in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

In recent years, a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the criminalization of communities most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She draws upon her own experiences in the early 1970s as a person who was wanted by the FBI, spending 18 months in jail and on trial.

Having helped to popularize the notion of a "prison industrial complex," Davis now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st century abolitionist movement. Following up on her most recent book, "Abolition Democracy," Davis is completing a book on prisons and American history.

Spoken word duo Good Sista/Bad Sista will open the event with a tribute to Davis. The performance features powerful, provocative and political performance poetry by Turiya Autry and Walidah Imarisha, who have taught at Portland State University, schools, juvenile detention facilities and prisons.


General admission tickets for the public are $15 in advance and can be purchased at Cash or check will be accepted at the Salem Multicultural Institute, on the second floor of the Reed Opera House. Remaining tickets will be $18 at the door. Call (503) 581-2004 for more information. Proceeds will benefit the World Beat Festival and the Oregon African American Museum.

Tickets for Willamette students, faculty and staff will be available beginning Jan. 17 at the Putnam University Center Information Desk. The first ticket is free, and additional tickets (up to four total) are $5 each.