Angela Y. Davis, internationally known scholar, writer, and political/social activist, will discuss "Arts, Education Activism: Beyond Rhetoric to Action" on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. in Burruss Hall auditorium on the Virginia Tech campus.

Sponsored by the Black Student Alliance, Multicultural Programs and Services, and the DROP Alliance, Davis' appearance will include a reception to be held in the Torgersen Museum following her presentation. The events are free and open to the public.

In her latest book, Are Prisons Obsolete?, Davis argues that history has shown that the practice of mass incarceration has had little or no affect on official crime rates, and she advocates abolition of the prison system as the dominant way of responding to America’s social ills. Davis asserts that the very future of democracy depends on our ability to develop theories and practices that make it possible to plan and fight for a world beyond the prison industrial complex. Copies of the book, provided by the off-campus Tech Bookstore, will be available for purchase at Burruss auditorium before and after the speech.

Davis has long been known for her ongoing efforts to combat social and political oppression wherever it occurs—an interest and involvement that was nurtured in her high school years in Birmingham, Alabama; matured through the turbulent 60s and 70s; and continues to the present day.

Davis first came into the national spotlight when, as a result of her social activism and her membership in the Communist Party of the U.S., she was removed from her teaching position in the philosophy department at UCLA. In 1970 she was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List and was the subject of an intense police search that drove her underground and finally culminated in a trial that captured international attention. She was incarcerated for 16 months, but a massive "Free Angela Davis" campaign helped lead to her acquittal in 1972.

Davis is a tenured professor in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 1994, she received the distinguished honor of an appointment to the University of California Presidential Chair in African American and Feminist Studies.

More information on Virginia Tech's celebration of Black History Month may be found here.