By Breegan Petruska
On Jan. 27, Michael Eric Dyson, an internationally known scholar of race, religion, and contemporary culture will kick off Grand Rapids Community College’s 2021 Diversity Lecture Series.
Dyson has an impressive scholarly resume having attended Knoxville College, receiving his bachelor’s degree from Carson-Newman College, and his Ph.D. in religion from Princeton University. He has taught at Chicago Theological Seminary, Brown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Columbia University, DePaul University, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Currently, Dyson is a Georgetown University sociology professor and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. He has won NAACP Image Awards for outstanding nonfiction literary work, an American Book Award, and a Southern Book Prize.
“Dr. Dyson is a preeminent scholar, author, and thought leader. What makes him compelling is his ability to connect the world of academia, which can be intimidating, to broader, intergenerational audiences,” stated B. Afeni McNeely Cobham, GRCC’s chief equity and inclusion officer, in a press release.
“It is fitting that the Diversity Lecture Series, which has a long-standing record of hosting influential guests, is the medium through which GRCC and the Grand Rapids community can come together.”
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is partnering with the community organization Mus(ed), to present Dyson with the Ujima Impact Award at the event. The award recognizes extraordinary commitment and contribution to research, scholarship, artistic expression, and service that uplifts the experiences of communities of color.
Mus(ed) is a nonprofit branch of Muse GR, an interactive art gallery and event space in Grand Rapids.
Dyson, a Detroit native, will speak on the issues surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, post-election blues, and culture: Where do we go from here?” in the virtual event, which starts at 6 p.m.
The event is being hosted virtually by GRCC’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. To take part, register by Jan. 26. Registration is available here: tinyurl.com/DysonRSVP