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1997 Cornel West

Headshot Cornel West

“Embracing Humanity”

Cornell West, a professor of Afro-American Studies and Religion, is best known for his electrifying presentations and overtly political books that inspire all of us to critically analyze our own beliefs on race, culture, and class. Many of the ideas West champions are influenced by the writing of W.E.B. DuBois, an African America activist, philosopher and educator. These includes learning the importance of community-based action, maintaining faith during trying times and going beyond challenges to influence change. “Will we be able to talk about race in such a way we can get beyond the finger-pointing and name calling and actually be self-critical and critical of each other so we can be empowered and enabled instead of paralyzed and debilitated?” questions West. His current academic interests include problems facing urban African Americans in maintaining an ongoing dialogue between Blacks and Jews. Cornel earned his PhD from Princeton University and is the author or co-author of twelve books including Keeping the Faith: Philosophy and Race in America, and Jews and Blacks: Let the Heading Begin.