Cornel West joins Scholes, Spaulding for conversation on race, religion and politics

American philosopher, political activist and author Cornel West

Philosopher, political activist and author Cornel West will join professors from UCCS and Colorado College for a virtual conversation raising public awareness of the socio-political challenges facing the United States during the 2020 election year.

In the virtual event, “An Afternoon with Cornel West: Race, Religion, and Politics in a Year of Global Calamity,” West will join Jeffrey Scholes, associate professor of religious studies (UCCS), Stephany Rose Spaulding, associate professor and director of women’s and ethnic studies (UCCS) and Christopher Hunt, assistant professor of religion (CC).

The scholars will articulate what is at stake in this year’s election while considering the systems that have brought Americans to its current historical moment – marked by a global pandemic, uprisings for racial justice and a radically polarized U.S. American electorate. Of particular relevance to many members of the Colorado Springs community, the scholars will also examine the place of religion in the Trump era, highlighting the concurrent white evangelical and Black prophetic traditions.

The event is open to the general public. It will take place Oct. 15, 2020 from 1-2:30 p.m. Register in advance.

Cornel West is professor of the practice of public philosophy at Harvard University and professor emeritus at Princeton University. West graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton. He has written 20 books and has edited 13. He is best known for his classics, “Race Matters” and “Democracy Matters,” and for his memoir, “Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud.” His most recent book, “Black Prophetic Fire,” offers an unflinching look at nineteenth and twentieth-century African American leaders and their visionary legacies. West is the co-host along with Tricia Rose of The Tight Rope, a weekly podcast where they welcome listeners and guests as thought collaborators with revered hosts and public intellectuals. West is a frequent guest on the Bill Maher Show, CNN, C-Span and Democracy Now. He has a passion to communicate to a vast variety of publics in order to keep alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. – a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice.

Stephany Rose Spaulding is a well sought out keynote speaker, respected commentator on social and political issues and a popular diversity, equity and inclusion workshop facilitator. Drawing on her thorough academic training as a critical race and gender scholar, as well as her work in public advocacy, she is a refreshing voice in justice and liberation practices. She is a tenured associate professor and chair of women’s and ethnic studies at UCCS and the founder of the Truth and Conciliation Commission.

Jeffrey Scholes is associate professor of religious studies in the philosophy department and the director of the Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life at UCCS. He has written books and articles on American political theology and on the relationship between religion and popular culture, primarily the sporting world in the United States. He has two books coming out in 2021: “Christianity, Race, and Sport” and “Religion and Sport in North America” (co-edited with Randall Balmer).

Christopher Hunt is assistant professor of religion at Colorado College. A scholar of African American Religions, his research brings an interdisciplinary lens, including African American religious history, Black studies, contemporary theology (particularly Black, womanist and queer theologies) and queer studies to bear in exploring the relationship of religion to varying socio-political phenomena, particularly gender, sexuality and race.

This event is supported by The UCCS Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life, The UCCS Heller Center, The UCCS Women’s and Ethnic Studies Program, The UCCS Philosophy Department, The CC Cultural Attractions Fund, The CC Political Science Department, The CC Religion Department and the CC Chaplin’s Office.