March 08, 2016

Jasiri X, Aurielle Marie and Dr. Raphael Warnock Talk Social Justice at Walter Rodney Symposium

Jasiri X, Aurielle Marie and Dr. Raphael Warnock will headline this year’s Walter Rodney Symposium, scheduled for March 18-19, 2016. The 13th annual event will be held at the Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library located at 111 James P. Brawley Drive SW in Atlanta. The two-day symposium is free and open to the public. 

The symposium theme, “Youth Matters: Global Groundings,” will explore the important role of youth in social justice actions and movements. The keynote speakers are social justice advocate Dr. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church; global social change advocate Esker Copeland, youth and education advisor at The Qatar Foundation; Aurielle Marie, spoken word artist and spokesperson for Atlanta-based social justice organization, #ItsBiggerThanYou; and Jasiri X, hip hop artist and founding member of 1Hood Media, a collective of socially conscious activists and artists who use art to raise awareness about social justice matters.

Following in the tradition of Walter Rodney’s The Groundings With My Brothers, the symposium will feature four Groundings sessions in which symposium attendees exchange information and ideas about social justice issues today. The Groundings topics will focus on intergenerational dialogue with activists from the 1960s to the present; exploitation and politics in reproductive and sexual health; education and juvenile justice issues, such as the school to prison pipeline; and a cross–movement dialogue among youth-led social justice activists. Participating concurrently with the symposium, youth groups in other countries will also hold Groundings sessions. For a complete symposium schedule, visit

The symposium honors the work of Dr. Walter Rodney (1942-1980), Pan-Africanist historian, educator and political activist widely known for his seminal work, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Originally published in 1972, the text has been translated into several languages, including Portuguese, German and Japanese, and is widely used for coursework in colleges and universities worldwide. Rodney authored nine books and more than 50 articles, including: The Groundings with My Brothers (c.1969); A History of the Upper Guinea Coast, 1545 to 1980 (c.1970) and History of the Guyanese Working People 1881-1905 (c.1981). The first Walter Rodney Symposium was held in 2004 to celebrate the donation of Walter Rodney’s personal papers by the Rodney family to the AUC Woodruff Library. The Walter Rodney Papers and Collection are available for research in the Library’s Archives Research Center. Visit for more information.

The Walter Rodney Symposium is hosted by the Walter Rodney Foundation and the AUC Woodruff Library in collaboration with the African American Human Rights Foundation, Clark Atlanta University Department of Political Science, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State University and the Women’s Research and Resource Center at Spelman College.