Thursday, 08 September 2016 12:36

Author, Speaker Tim Wise to Discuss Racism, Inequality

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Tim Wise, billed as one of the country's leading anti-racism activists and writers, will speak at SUNY Oswego at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, in Marano Campus Center auditorium.

Author of six books about racism and inequality in the United States, Wise will make a free public presentation on police-community relations and the Black Lives Matter movement. He has spoken at more than 1,000 college and high school campuses over the past 25 years.

Wise's most recent book, published in 2015 and titled "Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America," explores the roots and ramifications of radical inequality.

Omara Rivera-Vazquez, a member of SUNY Oswego's public justice faculty and the Affirmative Action Advisement Committee, led the effort to bring Wise to Oswego. "He is the kind of speaker who will say what he thinks and he is very honest on how he feels about these issues," she said. "I am glad to see that many constituents on campus were really committed to making this happen."

Rivera-Vazquez said that anyone who is concerned with issues of social justice and equality should attend Wise's presentation.

"This is an important conversation that has been gaining more momentum across the nation," she said. "Communities rely on police departments to protect and serve, and the police, in turn, rely on communities for support and cooperation, but this relationship is not always positive."

Wise will address recent instances of police brutality in his talk, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement. SUNY Oswego has extended an invitation to Black Lives Matter and other social justice groups in the Syracuse area to attend, Rivera-Vazquez said.

Rivera-Vazquez is expecting student representation, as well. The college's Black Student Union will take a leadership role in planning the final stages of the event, she said, and other organizations interested in joining the effort may do so.

Wise's appearance follows soon after a SUNY Oswego "#BlackLivesMatter" speak-out -- one in a series titled "Oz Speaks" that gives people on campus an opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings about vital topics of today. Launched by the college's Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, the events -- including a "#BlueLivesMatter" session later this fall -- provide students an opportunity to be heard in a sharing atmosphere.

"It is imperative that SUNY Oswego joins in this conversation," Rivera-Vazquez said. "We must have these dialogs in academic settings more often. Our public justice department, being one of the forefronts of teaching future law enforcement professionals, is glad to lead on to this important discussion this time around."

For more information about Wise's presentation, contact Rivera-Vazquez at [email protected] Those without a current campus parking sticker should visit for information on obtaining a one-day permit.

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