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Lecture Series Explores Race and Politics

UC Riverside Holds Spring Lecture Series as Part of Dialog About Race

The talks are free and open to the public

(April 28, 2008)

Vorris Nunley

Vorris Nunley

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — UC Riverside has organized a free, public lecture series to explore the importance of diversity in politics, in science and in local police work and the arts. All the talks will be in room 355 of the new student commons building.

This series launches at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 30 with a talk called “Critical Diversity: Obama, Colorblindness, and the Cleaning of African-American Funkiness.” Vorris Nunley, an assistant professor English and an expert on African American expressive culture, will pose questions and offer an opportunity for an exchange of ideas on diversity, the mission of a university campus and democracy in America.

“America is ready to have a substantive conversation about race, as witnessed by the dialog around Barack Obama’s recent speech on race,” said Yolanda Moses, who is UCR’s associate vice chancellor for diversity and excellence and vice provost, conflict resolution. Student Affairs is co-sponsoring the lecture series.

The second lecture is set for 2:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1. UCR Professor of Music, Deborah Wong, will speak on “Noise and Violence: Or, How Taiko and Police Accountability Are Related.” Wong is an ethnomusicologist and co-chair of the Riverside Coalition for Police Accountability. “On the face of it, these two things have nothing to do with one another,” she said. “In other ways, however, both spheres offer compelling interethnic models for how communities can proactively address racism, violence, erasure, and civil rights.”

The third lecture is at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 7. The speaker is Gibor Basri, an astrophysicist from UC Berkeley who serves as that campus’ Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion. He will talk about the importance of increasing racial diversity in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, to keep the U.S. competitive on the global stage.

Parking permits are available for purchase at parking kiosks on campus.
Deborah Wong, (photo by Steve Walag)Enlarge

Deborah Wong, (photo by Steve Walag)

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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