Scholar of African American, religion and cultural studies Michael Eric Dyson is the keynote speaker for the third annual “Celebration of Transformational Educators” event presented by the IU School of Education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
The event, at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at the Madame Walker Theater, 617 Indiana Ave., in Indianapolis, is free and open to the public.
Dyson is a well-regarded public intellectual who appears regularly on national television and radio and has published numerous academic works. The Chronicle of Higher Education calls him “one of the youngest stars in the firmament of black intellectuals” and “one of the most important voices of his generation.”
Dyson will keynote the annual awards ceremony for the IU School of Education at IUPUI, which recognizes outstanding early-career alumni who have conducted their work in an urban setting. A committee selects honorees from a pool of nominees. Each honoree receives a $1,000 award to advance his or her work.
The Steward Speaker Series is co-sponsoring the event as a part of its ongoing effort to bring some of the country’s top African American leaders and luminaries to Indianapolis to share their thoughts and work. The IUPUI Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a contributor to this event.
“We are very pleased to have a speaker of Dr. Dyson’s caliber to shine a positive spotlight on the work of our outstanding alumni who are, indeed, transformational educators,” said Pat Rogan, executive associate dean of the IU School of Education at IUPUI. “His message is sure to inspire.”
Dyson is the Ida B. Wells-Barnett University Professor at DePaul University. He has taught at Chicago Theological Seminary, Brown University, the University of North Carolina and Columbia University. He received his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, magna cum laude, from Carson-Newman College, and his Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in religion from Princeton University. He has provided commentary on American culture for “Nightline,” “Charlie Rose,” “Good Morning America,” “Today” and “Oprah.” He has also been heard on every major show on National Public Radio. He has written for numerous academic publications, including Cultural Critique, Cultural Studies, DePaul Law Review, The Leadership Quarterly, New Art Examiner, JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Transition, Social Text, Religion and Literature, Theology Today, Union Seminary Quarterly Review, Princeton Seminary Bulletin and Black Sacred Music.
Dyson’s 1993 debut book, “Reflecting Black: African-American Culture Criticism” won the Gustavus Myers Center for Human Rights Award in 1994. His critically acclaimed follow-up, 1994’s “Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X,” was named “Notable Book of 1994” by both The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Dyson is also author of the acclaimed “Between God and Gangsta Rap: Bearing Witness to Black Culture,” named a “Best Bet” by USA Today, and the national best-seller “Race Rules: Navigating the Color Line.” In January 2000, the Free Press published Dyson’s “I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr.”
He has also written for many popular publications, including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Vibe magazine and Rolling Stone. Time, U.S. News and World Report, USA Today, Current Biography, The New Yorker, The Chronicle of Higher Education and Essence have profiled him. Dyson has lectured across the nation and throughout the world in countless colleges, universities and public auditoriums. He won the 1992 Award of Excellence for Magazines from the National Association of Black Journalists.
While the event is free, seating is limited. RSVP online by Nov. 17 to ensure your space.