Ibram X. Kendi

Ibram X. Kendi, historian, antiracist scholar and author of “How to Be an Antiracist,” will be the featured speaker for the Kegley Institute of Ethics' 34th Annual Charles W. Kegley Memorial Lecture.

Ibram X. Kendi, historian, antiracist scholar and author of “How to Be an Antiracist,” will be the featured speaker for the Kegley Institute of Ethics' 34th Annual Charles W. Kegley Memorial Lecture.

The event, scheduled at 6 p.m. April 14, will be held via Zoom and is free and open to the public.

This time last year, when the institute was planning on having its annual lecture with speaker Christian Picciolini, it had to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, with a year's worth of experience working in a virtual setting, Michael Burroughs, KIE director, will be moderating the conversation between he and Kendi, as well as answering audience questions. 

The discussion will focus on summer 2020 protests, issues regarding police reform and what antiracism looks like in practice. Kendi, who is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and the founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research and whose book is often selected as reading material on college campuses, including CSUB, was a top choice to lead the lecture series.

"When I sat in on one of his lectures online, I thought he's such a great speaker. He's someone who is brilliant and talented and can speak to a diverse audience," Burroughs explained. "I saw him as somebody who could help take these conversations to the next level."

Kendi is also a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News racial justice contributor. In 2019, Kendi was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2020, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Those interested in attending the talk can visit https://csub.zoom.us/j/82440309975

Focusing programming on issues such as social justice or racism isn't new for KIE, Burroughs said. In the wake of the protests of summer 2020 following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the institute put together a slate of online events featuring local and national university members and authors.

As CSUB's spring semester slowly comes to a close, the institute still has a number of online events scheduled. One such event, “NextTech: From the Central Valley to Silicon Valley," scheduled for 5 p.m. April 21, will feature four former Central Valley residents who now work in major tech companies. They will describe what their educational pathways looked like and how they worked their way into Silicon Valley. The event is free and open to the public.

Despite the challenges that come with not being able to hold events in-person just yet, Burroughs is still "very proud" of the work done by his team and other individuals at CSUB to keep the online lineup busy.

"I think that we’ve worked really hard to try and be a resource for engaging programing and ethics, and I’m happy with how things have gone," he said.

To stay up-to-date with KIE programming, visit https://www.cs.csubak.edu/~kie/. Links to all public Zoom events can also be found on the KIE site as well as on KIE Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages in advance of each event.

Ema Sasic can be reached at 661-395-7392. Follow her on Twitter: @ema_sasic.