Credit: Courtesy of UCSB

Fortunately, alongside the tragically growing litany of lives cut short by racial violence that’s memorialized by the protest injunction to “say their names,” another list has also been expanding, the one that tallies the names of the Black scholars, activists, and public intellectuals who are leading a radical shift in our collective understanding of the role of race in the history and politics of this country. Isabel Wilkerson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Rhiannon Giddens, Ibram X. Kendi, Brittany K. Barnett, and Nikole Hannah-Jones — these are some of the names that you will hear and the people that you will meet through UCSB Arts & Lectures’ Race to Justice, a season-long series of talks, performances, and workshops designed to bring the world’s leading Black scholars and activists directly into our community, and to amplify their voices so that people in Santa Barbara and beyond can hear and understand them.

The first event of Race to Justice will be a conversation on Monday, October 19, between two giants of recent scholarship, National Book Award Winner and New York Times #1 bestseller Ibram X. Kendi, and UCSB’s own Dr. Jeffrey C. Stewart, whose biography of Alain Locke, The New Negro, won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. From there, the series proceeds to feature attorney and author Brittany K. Barnett on October 27, musician Rhiannon Giddens in a Sunday Brunch concert on November 15, and appearances by documentarian Dawn Porter; author-activist Sister Helen Prejean; the creator of the 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones; and the prolific, multifaceted writer Ta-Nehisi Coates. And it doesn’t stop there — when it’s safe to return to public venues in 2021, Arts & Lectures will continue its Race to Justice with live performances by Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, pianist Jon Batiste, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Reserve tickets now and explore the full range of options at or by calling (805) 893-3535.


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