Keynote with Alice Walker
Sunday, Feb. 26 / 12:15 – 1:45pm via Zoom
Alice Walker is an internationally celebrated writer, poet, and activist whose books include seven novels, four collections of short stories, four children’s books, and volumes of essays and poetry. She won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and the National Book Award in 1983 for The Color Purple.
Her work has been translated into more than two dozen languages, and her books have sold more than fifteen million copies. Along with the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Walker, in 2006, was honored as one of the inaugural inductees into the California Hall of Fame. In 2007, her archives were opened to the public at Emory University in her birth state of Georgia. In 2010 she presented the keynote address at The 11th Annual Steve Biko Lecture at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where she met the beautiful sons of Steve Biko, and was awarded the Lennon/Ono Peace Grant in Reykjavik, Iceland, where she met John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “beautiful boy” Sean Lennon. (Walker donated this latter award to an orphanage for the children of AIDS victims in East Africa, The Margaret Okari Foundation in Kisi, Kenya). She served as jurist (2010 and 2012) for two sessions of The Russell Tribunal on Palestine. In Cape Town, South Africa, and NYC, New York.
Walker has been an activist all of her adult life, and believes that learning to extend the range of our compassion is activity and work available to all. She is a staunch defender not only of human rights, but of the rights of all living beings. She is one of the world’s most prolific writers, yet continues to travel the world to literally stand on the side of the poor, and the economically, spiritually, and politically oppressed.
She also stands, however, on the side of the revolutionaries, teachers, and leaders who seek change and transformation of the world. Upon returning from Gaza in 2008, Walker said, “Going to Gaza was our opportunity to remind the people of Gaza and ourselves that we belong to the same world: the world where grief is not only acknowledged, but shared; where we see injustice and call it by its name; where we see suffering and know the one who stands and sees is also harmed, but not nearly so much as the one who stands and sees and says and does nothing.”
Alice Walker was awarded the Mahmoud Darwish Literary Prize for Fiction 2016.
Please note that the Alice Walker keynote will be hosted on Zoom.