PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Dom Giordano talked to Dr. Tara Kent from Cheyney University Thursday on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT about an appearance at the school from Angela Davis.
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Kent explained the process that went into the selection of Davis, a well-known civil rights activist and educator.
“We host a number of prominent speakers on the university campus, and we love to invite speakers who will engage in scholarly or intellectual discussion…My students actually selected Angela Davis for this year’s event,” she said.
She stated that the event, put on by the schools Keystone Honors Academy, is intended to generate revenue for the school.
“The funds all go to support the students who are in the Keystone Honors Academy. Our program is designed to support students who are high academic achievers, but who need assistance paying for a college education. These activities that we host are intended to raise funds to support those students,” Kent said.
Kent said the school was not scared to offer the invitation because of Davis’ contentious past.
“I find [her story] a fascinating part of American history. We know, of course, she brings controversy with much of her actions, social activism and her writings. But at the same, because we’re a university, we enjoy in engaging in discussion and debate, and in bringing her to campus, we’re looking to hearing what she has to say,” she said.
She contended that it is not necessary for a university such as Cheyney to endorse every statement or viewpoint a speaker holds to justify inviting them to attend a discussion.
“It would be very boring if we all agreed on the same things. It wouldn’t be much of a discussion,” Kent said.
Cheyney’s Keystone Honors Academy has previous hosted Maya Angelou, Dr. Cornell West, Michael Eric Dyson and the author of The Color Purple, Alice Walker. The lecture by Dr. Davis will held on April 17 at 7 p.m.