Actor and activist Danny Glover to speak at May 4 annual lecture

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Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, Office of Civic Engagement to host annual public lecture

Internationally acclaimed actor, producer and activist Danny Glover will be the featured speaker for the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture’s annual public lecture. The event, which takes place at 4 p.m., Sunday, May 4, at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, also is part of the Office of Civic Engagement’s free, public UChicago Engages event series.

This annual lecture features prominent thought leaders whose scholarship, art or activism explores the topic of race and has made a major impact on their field and the world.  Glover, whose work includes starring roles in Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple and in four Lethal Weapon movies alongside Mel Gibson, will participate in a discussion with Jacqueline Stewart, Professor of Cinema & Media Studies at the University of Chicago.

The event commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Summer Project, a massive campaign in 1964 that took Northern college students to Mississippi to support the right of African-Americans to vote in that state.

"Artists contributed greatly to the success of the Civil Rights Movement and continue to contribute to the long and arduous process of transforming this country into one where racial equality is finally achieved," said Michael C. Dawson, John D. MacArthur Professor of Political Science and the College and director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. "Mr. Glover continues CSRPC's tradition of bringing annual public lecturers who enhance our scholarly and civic debate about the status of race and racial injustice within the U.S. as well as globally." 

UChicago co-sponsors of the event include the Institute of Politics, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, the Organization of Black Students, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, and the Office of Civic Engagement.

Through the UChicago Engages event series, the Office of Civic Engagement aims to bring members of the local community together with University faculty, students and staff for dialogue on topics of common interest,” said Derek Douglas, Vice President for Civic Engagement. “We are pleased to partner with the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture to host what is certain to be a compelling discussion with Danny Glover.”

In a career spanning over 25 years, Glover has developed an impressive body of screen, stage and television work. He has starred in multiple films that were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, including The Color Purple, Robert Benton’s Places in the Heart, and Peter Weir’s Witness. More recently, he starred in the critically acclaimed Dreamgirls and the science-fiction blockbuster 2012 by director Roland Emmerich. He has received multiple Emmy nominations for his work on the small screen, including his performance in the acclaimed miniseries Lonesome Dove, the telefilm Freedom Song, and the title role of the HBO movie Mandela.

Glover also has been lauded for his extensive activism and philanthropic efforts, with a strong focus on advocating for economic justice and access to healthcare and education in the United States and Africa.

“Mr. Glover became an activist as a college student and his sustained commitment to social justice activism makes him the ideal person to discuss the legacy of the 1960s’ Civil Rights Movement and the challenges ahead for this generation of activists, artists and intellectuals,” said Tracye Matthews, associate director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture.

Glover’s lecture is one of several public discussions set to mark the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Summer Project. The Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture will host a two-day symposium, “Freedom Summer After 50 Years: Looking Back & Looking Forward” on May 12 and 13, featuring individuals who participated in the Freedom Summer Project.

Seating for the May 4 public lecture is limited and available on a first-come basis. Doors will open at Rockefeller Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn, at 3:30 p.m. The event will also be cablecast live on CAN-TV Channel 27 and streamed live at For more information about Freedom Summer programming, visit the Facebook page for the event.



Actor Danny Glover will speak at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 4, in Rockefeller Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

Photo by Brian Bowen Smith/FOX

Media Contact

Calmetta Coleman
Director of Communications for Civic Engagement
Office of the Vice President for Communications, University Communications
(773) 702-4254

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