Cornel West to Headline Second Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Event Jan. 16 at Cal Poly

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Renowned educator, philosopher, author and activist Cornel West will be the keynote speaker for Cal Poly’s second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 6 p.m. in Chumash Auditorium. West is slated to speak around 7:30 p.m.

Hosted by Cal Poly’s Cross Cultural Centers, the dinner honors King’s legacy by inspiring transformational change and raising awareness about the lives and experiences of people of color at Cal Poly.

“We are honored to welcome Dr. West to our campus for this amazing event,” said Keith Humphrey, Cal Poly’s vice president for Student Affairs. “This annual dinner is a celebration of Cal Poly’s diverse campus community and helps create a constructive and inclusive dialogue about the responsibilities each of us has in creating an equitable and socially just environment for all members of our campus community.”

West’s speech is part of a broader visit to campus that will include a “fireside chat” and other meetings with campus community members Jan. 16.

West is best known for his works “Race Matters” and “Democracy Matters,” his memoir “Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud,” and his most recent book, “Black Prophetic Fire.” He is a frequent guest contributor on CNN, C-SPAN and the Bill Maher Show.

“There are things that transcend us as human beings,” said Bryan Hubain, assistant dean of students and director of the Cross Cultural Centers. “This event reminds us that the actions of one person in a larger movement can spur the change we want to see. This dinner acknowledges the goodness of humankind and the will, kindness, humility and courage that is needed to transform the world around us.”

The dinner event will also include a silent auction to benefit the Evergreen Campaign, which supports the Cross Cultural Centers’ ongoing programming, services and educational opportunities for students at Cal Poly.

Tickets to the Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner are $90 per person, $700 per table, or $1,000 per “gold sponsor” table, which includes an autographed book by West. For more information and to buy tickets, visit  

About Cal Poly Student Affairs
Cal Poly Student Affairs supports student success through the Cal Poly experience by promoting Learn by Doing opportunities, delivering student-centered programs, encouraging personal growth, and empowering our students to live within a safe, healthy, inclusive and supportive environment. For more information, visit

About the Cross Cultural Centers
The Cross Cultural Centers consists of the Men and Masculinity program, and the Gender Equity, MultiCultural, and Pride centers. Each of these areas collectively contribute to Cal Poly’s commitment to diversity by creating programs and services that support students under the shared values of family, diversity, learning, growth and advocacy. For more information, visit  

Contact: Diego Abeloos

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