Sojourner Truth Lecture 2016 A Major Success

On Thursday, March 3rd, Women and Gender Studies and African and African American Studies hosted the 2016 Sojourner Truth Lecture with Dr. Nekima Levy-Pounds as the distinguished guest speaker. Dr. Levy-Pounds delivered a powerful, and informative lecture on the history of racial disparities in the United States, the criminal justice system, and the Black Lives Matter movement to a standing room only crowd of over 200 students, faculty, and staff. Dr. Levy-Pounds is a civil rights attorney, and an award-winning professor of law at the University of St. Thomas Law School. She is a nationally recognized expert on civil rights issues, along with social justice issues surrounding race, public policy, economic justice, public education, juvenile justice, and the criminal justice system. In her lecture she discussed the ways in which race, pubic policy, and the criminal justice system intersect to produce and perpetuate the racial injustices that occur in the United States surrounding violence towards Black bodies. She also shared her personal stories of being pepper sprayed, and arrested during her experience with Black Lives Matter first as a legal observer, and currently as an organizer of groups within the movement. Dr. Levy-Pounds concluded her lecture by urging the crowd to, “pay attention, ask questions, and deconstruct narratives.” She stated that, “we have the power to prevent souls from being killed in this society…We have the power to say enough is enough.”