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Jonathan Kozol | Keynote Speaker | University News | author | UCM’s Politics and Social Justice Week

Author Jonathan Kozol to be Keynote Speaker for UCM’s Politics and Social Justice Week

By Mike Greife, March 15, 2016

WARRENSBURG, MO – Nationally acclaimed author Jonathan Kozol will be the keynote speaker for the 2016 Politics and Social Justice Week, planned for the week of March 31-April 6 at the University of Central Missouri.

Kozol will speak at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 4, in Nahm Auditorium in the W.C. Morris Science Building, followed by a book signing opportunity. Kozol’s presentation will focus on the theme of Politics and Social Justice Week, “The Global Dream: the Pursuit of Life, Liberty and Equality.” His presentation will be one of the more than a dozen presentations and a forum scheduled throughout the week.

An advocate for low-income children and equality in education, Kozol’s work has focused on the areas of inequality, poverty, race and education for all children. As a Harvard graduate and former Rhodes Scholar, his work among young children started with the American civil rights movement in the mid-1960s when he left an academic career to become an elementary school teacher in a poor neighborhood of Boston.

“Death at an Early Age,” his description of his first year of teaching in Boston, received the 1968 National Book Award in Science, Philosophy and Religion. His additional works include “Rachel and Her Children,” a study of homeless mothers and children that received the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and “Savage Inequalities,” which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992.

His 1995 best-seller, “Amazing Grace: the Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation,” received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 1996, an honor also bestowed upon the works of Langston Hughes and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His book, “Fire in the Ashes,” describes the impact of “separate, but equal” education on a group of young adults he had known since they were children. In his most recent book, “The Theft of Memory: Losing My Father One Day at a Time,” he details the descent of his father, an eminent physician, into dementia.

Topics scheduled for presentation and discussion for Thursday, March 31, include “Income Inequality, Mobility, and the American Dream,” “History of Racism,” and “Free Speech on College Campuses.” Topics for discussion on Friday, April 1, include an open forum with Rep. Denny Hoskins, and “Globalization in the 21st Century.”

In addition to Kozol’s keynote address, “Media in the 21st Century-A View of Inequality” will be a topic of discussion on Monday, April 4. Presentations planned for Wednesday, April 6, include “Cuba in Review” and “Global Religion and Its Impact on Poverty.” Bringing the week of discussion and examination to a close will the annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet, planned for 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Elliott Student Union atrium.

For a full schedule of Politics and Social Justice Week events, visit

Politics and Social Justice Week at UCM is made possible through sponsorship and support of the Department of Government, International Studies and Languages; Students for Political Action; Department of Communication; Department of Sociology, Gerontology and Cross-Disciplinary Studies; Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society; Student Government Association, and the Office of the President.


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