• History


    Commitment to Community was first organized by two undergraduate students in 1997-98 who were concerned about the university climate regarding issues of diversity and multiculturalism. Our modest beginnings have been so impactful to our communities that we begin each academic year with an inspiring keynote speaker. This tradition was started with Dr. Cornell West’s address in 1997 and has continued each year with important educators, scholars and writers.

    Commitment to Community (C2C) Keynote Speakers in Chronological Order:

    1997             Cornell West, educator, author, social commentator 
    1998    Kweisi Mfume, former president/CEO of the NAACP  
    1999    Rebecca Walker, author 
    2000    Helen Zia, journalist  
    2001    Ray Suarez, journalist   
    2002    Winona LaDuke, activist and leader  
    2003   J. Herman Blake, educator  
    2004    Paul Kivel, activist and author  
    2005    Dennis Banks, activist and author   
    2006    Carlos Cortés, author and educator  
    2007    Patricia Williams, legal scholar, educator and author 
    2008    Ronald Takaki, educator and author  
    2009    Keith Boykin, author, journalist and social commentator  
    2010   Arun Gandhi, social justice and peace activist
    2011   Yvonne Haddad, scholar and expert in Islam and Muslims
    2012   Michelle Alexander, attorney, author and professor
    2013   Tim Wise, prominent anti-racist activist, social critic and author
    2014   Keith Ellison, Congressman and author
    2015    Peter L. Levine, scholar and author on civic engagement and public service.
    2016   Kathryn J. Edin & H. Luke Shaefer, scholars and authors, and professors       
     2017    Kemba Smith, author and criminal justice reform advocate
     2018    Safiya U. Noble, scholar of algorithmic bias and critical information studies 
    2019   Jeff Chang, cultural critic, racial justice advocate, and scholar of hip-hop culture