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Angela Y. Davis, North American political activist, to be invested doctor honoris causa by UPF

Angela Y. Davis, North American political activist, to be invested doctor honoris causa by UPF

The ceremony is to take place on 12 May at noon in the auditorium of the Ciutadella campus. The University recognizes her work in analysing the relationship between gender, race and social class and her activism in defence of civil rights, justice, equality and freedom of individuals.

06.03.2020

Imatge inicial

Angela Y. Davis, North American activist and emeritus professor of the University of California Santa Cruz, will receive the highest honour of the University on 12 May 2020 at noon, at a ceremony to be held in the auditorium of the Ciutadella campus.

UPF wishes to recognize her extensive academic and intellectual career including valuable analysis of the relationship between gender, race and social class, and her activism in defence of civil rights, justice, equality and freedom of individuals.

She is the seventeenth person to be made honoris causa by UPF, since the first recognition of Desmond Tutu (1999-2000) until the last, received by Gonzalo Pontón (2019-2020 academic year), and the fourth woman, after Maria João Pires (2018-2019).

A fighter for human rights and against racial discrimination

Angela Y. Davis, a graduate of French Studies from Brandeis University (Massachusetts) and of Philosophy from the Johann Wolfgang Goethe (Frankfurt), she has devoted much of her life to defending human rights, feminism, and to combating racial discrimination. Currently, at the age of 76, she is an emeritus professor at the University of California Santa Cruz and continues to fight strongly for her principles, spreading them around the world.

Her childhood was marked by the Jim Crow laws that deprived African Americans of civil rights and imposed racial segregation in public places such as schools and public transport, in the southern United States. From a young age, she witnessed discrimination in the neighbourhood where she lived, called Dynamite Hill (Birmingham, Alabama), due to the large number of African-American families that were dynamited by the Ku Klux Klan.

The daughter of an activist family, she became rapidly involved in movements against social segregation, class oppression and the patriarchy. At university, she immersed herself in the principles of the philosopher Herbert Marcuse, and especially the idea that the individual has the right to rebel against the system.

Davis was a full professor of Philosophy at the University of California, in Los Angeles, until 1970, when she was dismissed for belonging to the Communist Party. Among other organizations, she has been a member of the Black Panthers, a party that fought for the civil rights of the black population.

In 2006, she received the Thomas Merton Award in recognition of her fight for justice in the United States and around the world.  

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