Author-Activist Kevin Powell Speaks to Students, Public

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Columbus State University will host noted writer and activist Kevin Powell on Monday, Nov. 2 as he launches a statewide series of conversations to motivate young black male students, from middle school on up, to pursue college degrees and career and life success.

All activities will take place in the Davidson Student Center auditorium and conclude with Powell giving a 4 p.m. talk that’s free and open to the public.

Organized by the University System of Georgia’s African American Male Initiative, Powell’s “New Directions Tour” kicks off when he meets from 10:15-11:30 a.m. with 120 high school male students from the Early College Academy of Columbus.

Kevin Powell Powell, right, author of The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life, will have lunch with the early college participants before speaking from 2-3:30 p.m. to 20 CSU students who are participating in “Projecting Hope,” Columbus State’s African American Male Initiative program. Powell also will sign copies of his book at 3:30 p.m.

“Kevin Powell has a gift for connecting and conversing with young black men and for getting them to discuss with him their possibilities for a better future,” said Arlethia Perry-Johnson, project director for AAMI. “We want to inspire our students to think about new directions for their lives, and we are looking forward to the strong impact we know Kevin will have in motivating our youth to achieve — both educationally and personally.”

The inclusion of Columbus on Powell’s statewide tour is made possible in part by Projecting Hope, launched earlier this year as CSU’s AAMI vehicle. The project targets black males, ages 17-25, in Talbot Taylor and Troup counties — the largest rural feeder counties of African-American males to CSU. The project dovetails with the USG’s AAMI mission to enhance the recruitment, retention and graduation of black males from the state’s 35 public colleges and universities.

Powell, who ran for Congress in 2008 as a Democratic candidate from Brooklyn, has published nine books collectively, including Someday We’ll all be Free, which is a collection of writings on freedom, democracy, justice and race in America — inspired by Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 presidential election.

Besides his Columbus stop, Powell’s tour of Georgia will include visits to five other colleges and a pair of Atlanta-area high schools.

For more information about Powell’s Columbus appearance, contact Bernard McCrary at 706-568-2273 or