Year-Long Series to Conclude with Two Powerful Speakers

To watch the live stream of the Angela Davis event on March 27 at 6 p.m., click here.

After a school year full of standing-room-only events, the University of Virginia is preparing to wind up its popular Excellence Through Diversity Distinguished Learning Series with a pair of powerful speakers.

Angela Davis, an activist, scholar and writer who advocates for the oppressed, will speak at 6 p.m. on March 27, 2018, at Charlottesville’s Paramount Theater. This is a change of location to accommodate a larger audience. The event is free and open to the public, however tickets will be required. Tickets will be available starting Friday, March 23, 2018, at 10 a.m., and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Two tickets maximum can be reserved per person, and will be available at the Paramount’s box office, 215 E. Main St., Charlottesville, M-F 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; by phone at 434-979-1333; or online at

The last event in this year’s series features Michael Sam, former NFL player and LGBTQ activist. Sam will appear on April 12, 2018, at 6 p.m. in UVA’s McLeod Hall. At this time, tickets are not required. Seating will be first-come, first-served.

The series is organized by the Office of Diversity and Engagement in the UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science. The Angela Davis event is supported by the University of Virginia Bicentennial with funding provided by the Alumni Board of Trustees, and by the following UVA partners:

  • School of Engineering & Applied Science
  • College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
  • Curry School of Education
  • Facilities Management
  • Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
  • Health System, Office of African-American Affairs
  • Office for Diversity and Equity
  • Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights
  • Office of the Executive Vice President & Provost
  • Office of the Vice President & Chief Student Affairs Officer
  • School of Architecture
  • School of Law
  • School of Nursing
  • Carter G. Woodson Institute

Speakers in 2017-2018 have included:

  • Cornel West, professor of the practice of public philosophy at Harvard University and professor emeritus at Princeton University. West has written 20 books, including Race Matters and Democracy Matters. He spoke on Sept. 8. The video is available here.
  • Ronald Sullivan, social justice attorney. Sullivan's appearance was on Sept. 27. The video is available here.
  • Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Collins spoke on Oct. 10. The video is available here.
  • Shankar Vedantam, host of NPR's "The Hidden Brain." Vedantam appeared on Oct. 26.
  • Ana Navarro, political strategist, national Hispanic campaign manager for multiple Republican presidential campaigns and CNN commentator, spoke Nov. 30. Click here to read a Q&A with Navarro.
  • Saul Williams, poet, performer and international recording artist who has performed in more than 30 countries and read in more than 300 universities, appeared Jan. 22. The video is available here.
  • Michelle Alexander, civil rights lawyer, advocate, legal scholar and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Alexander spoke on Feb. 27, 2018, with an appearance from Virginia Lieutenant Gov. Justin Fairfax. The video is available here.

Last year, the series welcomed Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space; Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, a sociology professor at Duke University and expert on racism and human rights in America; Thomas Page McBee, a well-known transgender author; Joy DeGruy, an internationally recognized researcher, educator, author and presenter who provides insight into various cultural and ethnic groups that form the basis of contemporary American society; Daniel Beaty, an award-winning performer from New York whose works highlight people’s ability to understand each other and their possibilities; and Claude Steele, author of Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do. Videos of last year's presentations can be viewed here.