Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Author Alice Walker to speak at U-M in November 2014

Author Alice Walker has accepted an invitation from U-M’s Center for the Education of Women to speak on campus next year. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Color Purple” and other books will deliver the biennial Zora Neale Hurston Lecture on Nov. 5, 2014.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies and CEW. The lecture at the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies honors Hurston, the most prolific African-American woman writer of her time, who brought to life the power, richness and complexity of black cultures for many readers.

The lecture will be the closing of a series of events throughout 2014 marking the 50th anniversary of CEW. The lineup includes a mix of events that honor the past, celebrate accomplishments, and envision the future, says Gloria Thomas, CEW director. 

Plans for the celebration reflect CEW’s ongoing passions, Thomas says. Those include recognizing women’s contributions in all aspects of American culture; embracing research endeavors and advocacy efforts that will serve to better women’s lives; and working directly with individuals.

The events include:

• A Celebration of Women and Film, Jan. 14, 2014, Michigan Theatre: The anniversary celebration will open with a gift to the community. A series of short films that illuminate aspects of women’s lives will be followed by a reception with birthday cake. Community partners who are committed to women’s causes will be on hand to discuss their work. 

• Women’s Economic Security and Mobility Conference, May 14-16, 2014, Rackham Building:
This 2?-day interdisciplinary, multisector conference will feature a theory-to-practice focus on identifying and combating barriers that women living in poverty face as they seek economic security and mobility. National researchers and practitioners will join U-M faculty, bringing multiple perspectives to this complex concern with policy recommendations as the expected outcome.

• Scholar Appreciation Weekend and Gala, Oct. 17-18, 2014: This weekend will recognize the 2014 CEW scholars while providing opportunities for former scholars and fellows to reconnect. CEW has been awarding scholarships to nontraditional students at U-M since 1970. 

• Zora Neale Hurston Lecture, Nov. 5, 2014, Rackham Auditorium: In collaboration with the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, CEW will bring Alice Walker to the Michigan campus to deliver the 16th Zora Neale Hurston lecture. The lecture will serve as the closing event of CEW’s 50th Anniversary.