WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Purdue kicked off its yearlong speaker series called 'Pursuing Racial Justice Together.'
A description of the event from its website says, "Through this series of distinguished guests, we’ll tackle the hard questions and identify the work that comes with it. We will seek to raise the consciousness of issues related to race, racism and systemic inequities, presenting our campus community with real actions each of us can take in the fight for racial equality and justice."
About 2,500 people tuned in virtually for the first event featuring Dr. Ibram X. Kendi on Wednesday. He's the author of the New York Times bestseller "How to be Antiracist." His book explores the concept of antiracism through the lenses of ethics, history, law and science.
Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion John Gates said Dr. Kendi's work brings context to the national conversation around how to be antiracist.
"Professor Kendi outlines three things: one, that we can choose to be racist, we can choose to be not racist and we can choose to be antiracist," he said.
Gates said this year is a continuation of last year's 'Democracy, Civility and Freedom of Expression' series. He hopes this series gives people the tools they need to be advocates for racial justice.
"We can all be antiracist, we can all lift our voices for those things that are right and just and hopefully the series will help to empower people from all walks of life to stand in the dignity of who they are," he said.
Future series guests include the lead attorney for George Floyd's family, one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter organization and an actor who played George Washington in hit historical musical Hamilton.
Gates said they are still working to finalize some of the speakers, but he wants this to be a conversation that includes everyone, including the voices of conservatives and police.
Click here to read more about the series and for the calendar of events.