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September 12, 2016

Black Lives Matter Co-founder Alicia Garza to Kick Off IOP Speaker Series This Fall


Darren Leow / The Chicago Maroon

The candidate who forced Chicago’s mayor into a runoff election, the coiner of the phrase “Black Lives Matter,” and the Serbian ambassador to the United States will be some of the first speakers hosted by the Institute of Politics (IOP) this school year.

The IOP released its events schedule for the first three weeks of fall quarter today.

The kickoff speaker, Alicia Garza, is a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement and has organized around the issues of police brutality, racism, and violence against trans and gender-conforming people of color.

Garza is the second Black Lives Matter activist who will be coming to the IOP this fall—last month it was announced that one of the best known voices of the movement, DeRay Mckesson, will be a fall quarter fellow. Other fellows include campaign strategists and an intelligence expert.

“At a time of such national and international turmoil, from police violence in this country to the threat of ISIS abroad, we are fortunate to have this group of Fellows here to engage our students on a wide range of issues,” IOP Director David Axelrod said in a statement at the time.

The statement said that seminars by Deray Mckesson are “part of a larger discussion at the Institute of Politics this year that will examine a range of strategies aimed at affecting social change.”

Unlike the Fellows, most of whom will hold weekly seminars throughout the 10 weeks of the quarter, the speakers announced today are coming to campus for one-time events.

The events and speakers include:

  • Garza discussing the support of black cisgender, transgender, and immigrant women in conjunction with the movement – September 28 at 6:15 p.m.

  • Djerdj Matkovic, ambassador of Serbia to the United States, talking about Serbia’s integration in the European Union and the U.S.–Serbian bilateral relationship – October 3 at 12:15 p.m.

  • “What is the Latino Vote?”, a panel discussion about the use of “Latino” as a category in politics. Panelists include former Chicago mayoral candidate and current Cook County Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” García; University of California, Berkeley sociology professor G. Cristina Mora; Northwestern University professor Geraldo Cadava; and moderator Emilio Kourí, UChicago history professor – October 6 at 6 p.m.

  • Christiane Taubira, former justice minister of France and representative of French Guiana in the National Assembly of France, discussing slavery as a crime against humanity, her work on legislation that recognized the Atlantic slave trade, and the legalization of same-sex marriage in France – October 10 at 6 p.m.

  • Richard Stengel, under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs and former *Time* magazine managing editor, in an interactive conversation with students about the Islamic State (ISIS)’s online recruitment strategy – October 13 at 6:15 p.m.

In total, the IOP has eight speaker events planned, in addition to the Fellows seminars, for the first three weeks of the quarter. All events are free but some require advance registration through the IOP’s website.

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