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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications

Educator, author, and philosopher Dr. Cornel West lectures Friday, February 18 at Reed College

TITLE:             Dr. Cornel West

WHAT:             In conjunction with Reed College's 2005 Black History Month celebration, Dr. Cornel West, the Class of 1943 University Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University, will discuss his recently-published book Democracy Matters , a follow-up to Race Matters , his now classic exploration of race and the justice system in America.

A book signing immediately follows the lecture.

WHEN:            7:30 p.m., Friday, February 18

WHERE:         Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd., Portland

COST:             Free and open to the public

CONTACT:     For more information, the public is asked to visit the Reed events website or call the Reed events line at 503/777-7755.

Dr. Cornel West
Cornel West has made a career combining his academic interests with a social and political agenda. His scholarship weaves together the American traditions of the Baptist church, transcendentalism, socialism, and pragmatism. His best selling book, Race Matters (1993), changed the course of America's dialogue on race, justice, and democracy; the follow-up, Democracy Matters , has recently been published by Penguin Press.

A controversial figure both in the academic world and in the media, Cornel West has never shied away from public debates. About him, PBS has written, "His dual roles as Ivy League academic and high profile public intellectual have brought West great controversy as of late. His defenders see him as an outstanding scholar, electrifying speaker, author of 16 books, and a dedicated and much-loved teacher. His detractors call him arrogant, academically irrelevant, overly preoccupied with politics and his public profile, and a race-baiter."

West left Harvard University for Princeton in 2002 after a very public falling out with Harvard president Lawrence Summers over the direction of Harvard's African American Studies department. He is also widely known as the intellectual figure behind the Million Man March, discussions on hip-hop music, and national youth gang summits.

West is a recipient of the American Book Award and more than twenty honorary degrees. He is the Class of 1943 University Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University. For further information on Dr. West, visit .

For more information on Reed College's Black History Month programming in February 2005, visit .


Reed College
Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes Scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915). For more information, visit