11th Annual Walter Rodney Symposium

wrs2014Our two-day symposium was held on 21-22 March 2014 at the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library.  The theme was “Africa: The Gateway” and explored economic development, policies, governance, relationships, social justice and the arts as they relate to the continent.  The event was free and open to the public.

Dr. Shelby F. Lewis delivered the Keynote Address on March 21st.  Dr. Robert (Bobby) Hill was the Distinguished Guest Speaker on March 22nd.  Both Dr. Lewis and Dr. Hill knew Rodney personally:  Lewis from her work in Tanzania, Hill from their work in Jamaica and at the Institute of the Black World in Atlanta, GA.

Dr. Lewis Professor Emeritus at Clark Atlanta University, Executive Director of The Lewis Foundation and an international development consultant.  Dr. Hill is Professor Emeritus of History and Research Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a renowned Marcus Garvey Scholar and a Visiting Fellow at The Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica, W.I.

Her Excellency, Ambassador Tebelelo Mazile Seretse, Ambassador of the Republic of Botswana to the United States, was our highest ranking presenter.

There were also presentations by academics and activists, including: Dr. Chapurukha Kusimba (American University), Dr. Guy Martin (Winston-Salem State University), Dr. Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (University of California, Irvine), Friends of the Congo (incl. Kwame Lyndon Wilburg, Host/WRFG Beyond Borders/Atlanta FOTC) & Maurice Carney, Founder/Executive Director FOTC National) and a Student Panel.

The Groundings (community engagement and discussion) was facilitated by Attorney Mawuli Mel Davis (Davis Bozeman Law) and Dr. Makungu Akinyela (Professor, Georgia State University).

Entertainment was provided by local and international artists/activists Amkoullel, Bocafloja, Keur-Gui  and Vox Sambou.

The Walter Rodney Symposium is hosted by the Walter Rodney Foundation in collaboration with the African American Human Rights Foundation, Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, Clark Atlanta University Department of Political Science, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Kennesaw State University African and African Diaspora Studies, Morehouse College Africa Awareness Week and Spelman College Women’s Research and Resource Center.  For more information on the symposium, contact: Karen Jefferson, 404-978-2045, kjefferson@auctr.edu.

The WRF partnered with Africa Atlanta 2014.  Visit www.africaatlanta.org for the year-long series of events.