March 21, 2017


Atlanta, GA – March 24, 2017 – The 14th Annual Walter Rodney Symposium will be held March 24-25, 2017, 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, “Justice Denied:  People’s Power, The Struggle Continues,” will explore issues of racism, discrimination, injustice and the general lack of equity in both the past and the present, by examining the ongoing fights for human rights and equal justice in Guyana in the 1970s and 1980s and in the U.S. today.      

The two-day event will feature a review of the 2016 Commission of Inquiry Report into Walter Rodney’s murder, which provides revelations on state terrorism and conspiracy, use of a military assassination, and government cover-up.  Panelists will include Walter Rodney’s widow, Dr. Patricia Rodney and brother, Donald Rodney.  Other topics will include the 1978 massacre in Jonestown, Guyana and the U.N. proclaimed 2015-2024 International Decade for People of African Descent, as well as discussions on present day social injustices and how to use education, civic engagement and radical pedagogy to effect change.   Keynote speakers are Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor, University of West Indies and Dr. Joyce King, Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair for Urban Teaching, Learning and Leadership, Georgia State University.     For the 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 annual Walter Rodney Symposium provides a forum to discuss current issues on social justice and human rights and reveals the continuing relevance today of  writings by Walter Rodney’s that were published 50 years ago”, says Loretta Parham, Library Director.

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, African American Human Rights Foundation, and Global South Research Consortium.

About the Walter Rodney Foundation

The Walter Rodney Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, that was formed by the Rodney Family in 2006.  The family and the Foundation are committed to sharing the life and works of Rodney with students, scholars, researchers, activists and communities worldwide. To learn more about the Foundation visit


 About the AUC Woodruff Library

Established in 1982, the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library is a shared resource supporting a consortium of four independent Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) – Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College and Spelman College. The AUC Woodruff Library is winner of the 2016 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award from the Association of Collegiate and Research Libraries.   To learn more about the Library visit