Annual Symposium

WRS 2013

The 10th Annual Walter Rodney Symposium (2013)

Since 2004, an annual symposium is held in Atlanta, Georgia during the week of Walter Rodney’s birthday (23 March). The goal is to bring together scholars, researchers, activists, students and the community to discuss contemporary issues from a Rodney perspective.

The Keynote for the 14th Annual Walter Rodney Symposium was Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor, University of the West Indies.

Keynotes for the 13th Annual Walter Rodney Symposium were: Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, Senior Pastor, Ebenezer Baptist Church; Jasiri X (Artist/Activist, 1Hood), and; Aurielle Marie (Artist/Activist, Co-Founder #ItsBiggerThanYou). Keynote addresses for the 12th Annual Walter Rodney Symposium were delivered by Dr. Firoze Manji (Director, Pan-Africanism Institute, ThoughtWorks) and Dr. Ngugi wa Thiong’o (Distinguished Professor, University of California, Irvine). The Keynote address for the 11th Annual Symposium was delivered by Dr. Shelby F. Lewis (The Lewis Foundation); the Distinguished Guest Speaker was Dr. Robert (Bobby) Hill (University of California, Los Angeles).

Prior Keynote speakers include: Andaiye (Women’s Rights and Human Rights Activist); The late Dr. Amiri Baraka (Activist and Playwright); Mr. Salih Booker (Africa Action); Dr. Thomas D. Boston (Georgia Institute of Technology); Dr. Horace Campbell (Syracuse University); Dr. Carole Boyce Davies (Cornell University); Howard Dodson (Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and Howard University Libraries); Jesus “Chucho” Garcia (Afroamerica Foundation); Dr. Paula Giddings (Author and Historian); Rigoberto Giron (CARE USA); and Dr. Lewis R. Gordon (Temple University).  Noted diplomats at the 10th Annual Walter Rodney Symposium: The Right Honorable Prime Minister Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves, UN Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Bassey Ewa Henshaw, Former Senator, Nigeria.

Click here for more information about the 14th Annual symposium, which was held on March 24th & 25th, 2017.

The objectives of the symposia are to:

  • Raise awareness of Rodney’s legacy and the existence of his papers at the AUC  RWWL
  • Advance scholarship  about Rodney’s work
  • Develop content for newsletters and journals
  • Involve students, academics, activists and the community in dialogue on contemporary issues


10th Annual – March 22-23, 2013

“10th Anniversary Celebration:  Reflections, Groundings and Advancing the Legacy”

Keynote Presentation: Howard Dodson, former Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and now Director of Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and Howard University Libraries.

He addressed the historical context in which Rodney’s work is grounded, the importance of collecting, and preserving the Walter Rodney Papers and making the collection available for research, study and interpretation.  He also addressed Walter Rodney’s interactions with the Institute of the Black World.

For More
9th Annual – March 23, 2012

“People’s Power:  Resistance, Occupation, Uprising”

Keynote Presentation: Lewis R. Gordon, Director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought at Temple University.  In his presentation, “The Last Shall Be First: W.E.B Du Bois, Anna Julia Cooper, Frantz Fanon, and Walter Rodney on Revolution and Decolonization”, he affirmed the continued relevance of these revolutionary thinkers; spoke about the difficulty of implementing ethical models of social transformation; and addressed the “Moses syndrome” in which leaders can become barriers to democracy and freedom.

8th Annual – March 19, 2011

“Natural Disasters:  The Further Underdevelopment of Marginalized Communities”

Keynote Presentation: Rigoberto Giron, Associate Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives and Supply Chain Management, Global Support Services Division of CARE USA.  His Keynote Address was entitled Living on the Edge: Why Disaster Risks Matter.”

Mr. Giron joined CARE in 2001 to head a regional disaster risk management program in Central America and has since held positions of increasing responsibility within the Emergency and Humanitarian Assistance Unit (EHAU) based in Atlanta, Georgia.