The Texas State community filled Evans Auditorium March 31 to hear political activist Dr. Angela Davis lecture on critical issues.
Davis discussed topics surrounding gender and race rights, effects of capitalism, immigration, planet preservation, marriage equality, efforts by Black Lives Matter, terrorism and incarceration. She criticized the role President Donald Trump’s administration and policy plays in each of these subjects.
“People should really care when families are destroyed by the Trump administration’s immigration policy,” Davis said. “Our struggles are all interrelated.”
Davis grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and moved to New York during high school.
In 1969, she was removed from her teaching position due to her involvement in the Communist Party, USA.
That following year, Davis was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List “on false charges, and was the subject of an intense police search that drove her underground and culminated in one of the most famous trials in recent U.S. history. During her sixteen-month incarceration, a massive international “Free Angela Davis” campaign was organized, leading to her acquittal in 1972,” according to the Feminist Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz.
She now actively devotes her time to advocating for prison abolition, and speaks at universities across the country to educate students on the criminal system. She encourages conversations on such topics.
“I like to encourage audiences to reflect on where we are. Think about the place, this place, where we are gathering as a community,” Davis said. “We are gathered here to reflect here on our common concerns.”
Davis’ visit brought forth controversy amongst the student body. Student Body Vice President-elect Colton Duncan expressed his opinion on Facebook leading up to the event.
Duncan was not in attendance at the lecture, but he said he watched the entire presentation from out of town.
“Seeing my fellow Bobcats praise an anti-capitalist policy was saddening,” Duncan said.
Although Duncan disagreed with most of Davis’ ideologies, he did concur with the prison industrial policy discussed. Duncan’s main concern about Davis’ visit was that the university funded it and attached the speaker’s name to the event, in place of a student organization
Duncan said he wished the university would refrain from funding speakers who cater toward one ideology or group.
The event was organized by Skyller Walkes, Associate Director of the Office of Disability Services and sponsored by Disability Services, Office of the Provost and VP for Academic Affairs, Student Diversity and Inclusion, Multicultural Programs Committee, Departments of History and Philosophy, Center for Diversity and Gender Studies, Alliance at Texas State.
Holly Doyle, a public administration major, volunteered at the event.
“There are forty volunteers, mostly students. There are some staff and faculty that act as the point people for the student volunteers,” Doyle said.
The event began at 3 p.m. March 31, but attendees began lining up before 10:30 a.m.
Davis extended appreciation toward Texas State President Denise Trauth for coordinating the discussion.