By :Joey Wieser and Alia Marsha
An online petition has been circulating which attempts to deny Dr. Angela Davis—a black political activist, author, and scholar— from speaking at Seattle University’s Campion Ballroom on October 17. The petition has reached over 7000 signatures from all over the nation.
The petition, created by Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP) is requesting that SU President Fr. Stephen V. Sundborg cancel Davis’s lecture – titled Power to the Imagination! Power to the People! – which is sponsored by SU’s Center for the Study of Justice in Society (CSJS), due to her “anti-family” views and “anti-Catholic” ideologies.
Though Davis is one of the most important figures in the continuous struggles regarding racism, sexism, gay rights and other social justice movements, TFP Director of Student Action John Ritchie questions why Seattle University would even allow Davis to set foot on the Catholic institution’s property.
“Why is a Catholic university allowing Davis on campus when she publically merges abortion and same-sex ‘marriage’ with Marx?” Ritchie asked.
In a request for comment, Dr. Pamela A. Taylor, CSJS Director and Associate Professor at Seattle University said:
The visit is intended to raise historical awareness of economic, racial, and gender justice issues, and discuss ideas related to Angela Davis’ work over the past 40 years.
In her closing statement in an email, Dr. Taylor affirmed, “Dr. Davis will not be disinvited.”
Photos by: Joey Wieser
TFP networks with college students on more than 719 college campuses, but it seems their rigidly conservative views do not necessarily reflect all of SU student voices. Attached to TFP’s petition online is a very long comment section jam-packed with various viewpoints, including some from Seattle University students.
One comment read: “Having a woman like Angela Davis is completely in-line with the Seattle University mission of giving us the opportunity to learn from more than just one perspective,” said “Taylor”, a current student at Seattle University. “I think you all should consider the University and its student population before trying to speak for them.”
Similarly, as pointed out in another comment– presumably by an SU student – the majority of the student body at Seattle University is not Catholic, nor do they ascribe to any religious based faith.
Going forward, tickets to Dr. Angela Davis’s lecture are currently sold out online, but a limited number are still available to Seattle Central Community College students in the Student Leadership Building for six dollars.