To mark the inauguration of Cal State Northridge's Du Bois-Hamer Institute for African American Achievement, Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Levering Lewis will lecture on campus Friday.
Lewis, who received a 1994 Pulitzer Prize for his book, "W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919," will speak about the responsibility of a scholar to the community. Lewis holds the Martin Luther King Jr. chair in history at Rutgers University.
CSUN's new institute was named after W.E.B. Du Bois, the first black man to receive a doctorate from Harvard University, and Fannie Lou Hamer, a former Mississippi sharecropper who became a powerful political activist in the 1960s.
"Over the years, several members of our faculty expressed concern about declining numbers of black and Latino students attending CSUN," said Barbara Rhodes, director of the institute. "Many are first-generation college students who came from environments that didn't emphasize the value of education."
The Du Bois-Hamer Institute was created to provide an academic and emotional support network to all of CSUN's students, she said. Rhodes' goal for the institute is to create a partnership between students, CSUN and the Northridge community.
According to her, the institute's guiding principle will be the creation of a "village-type" environment devoted to graduating as many students from CSUN as possible.
"We're happy to have Professor Lewis for this lecture," she said. "He represents the type of scholar that our program wants to bring on campus on a regular basis."
Lewis' lecture, which is free to the public, will begin at 11 a.m. in the Grand Salon of the university's student union, 18111 Nordhoff St.
For more information about the lecture or the institute, contact CSUN's department of Pan-African studies at (818) 677-3311.