In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Office of Institutional Diversity (OID) at the College of Charleston will host renowned writer, poet, playwright and activist Sonia Sanchez. Sanchez will read and discuss excerpts from her poems on Friday, March 22, 2013, at 6:00 p.m., in the McKinley Washington Auditorium at the Avery Research Center, located on the College of Charleston’s campus (125 Bull Street).
Sanchez was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University, and is the author of more than 20 books including Homecoming, We a BaddDDD People, Love Poems, I’ve Been a Woman, A Sound Investment and Other Stories, Homegirls and Handgrenades, just to name a few. She has lectured at more than 500 universities and colleges in the United States and has traveled extensively, reading her poetry in Africa, Cuba, England, the Caribbean, Australia, Europe, Nicaragua, the People’s Republic of China, Norway and Canada.
According to Dr. Bello-Ogunu, Sr., associate vice president and chief diversity officer, “Sonia Sanchez is a different and special kind of scholar-activist—one who is unafraid to draw focused attention to some of the unfortunate social ills of our complex and unequal world. She does this through her scholarly and humanitarian works by speaking to the “truth” and asking those difficult and unpopular questions that others may be too afraid to ask. We are very fortunate and honored to have Ms. Sanchez as part of our 2013 Women’s History Month Celebration.”
Sanchez is the recipient of countless awards, including The National Academy of Arts Award, the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Award, the American Book Award, the Lucretia Mott Award, and she is the Poetry Society of America’s 2001 Robert Frost medalist. Sanchez was also a very influential part of the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Arts Movement. Sanchez continues to be an advocate for the people. She was a member of CORE (Congress for Racial Equality), where she met Malcolm X. She is known for her innovative melding of musical formats-like the blues- and traditional poetic formats-like haiku and tanka. She also tends to use incorrect spelling to get her point across. Sanchez has been deemed “a lion in literature’s forest” by poet Maya Angelou.
OID’s Signature Speaker Series was created to promote community dialogue on diversity issues through presentations, workshops and seminars by local, regional and national speakers with the aim of advancing diversity, access, equity and inclusion at the College of Charleston. This event is being co-sponsored by Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS).