First female Black Panther Party leader, Undersecretary of State to speak this week

This week’s lectures bring several significant personalities to the Carnegie Mellon campus, including a member of the Department of State, a famed musician and poet, and the first woman to lead one of the most important and aggressive civil rights organizations in U.S. history.

Elaine Brown, the first and only woman to lead the Black Panther Party, will speak tonight about her experiences in the militant civil rights organization. After assuming the role in 1974, she has continued to support the Panthers’ goals and visions.

Today Brown is an activist, lecturer, and writer. She has written the autobiographical memoir A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story and The Condemnation of Little B. A Taste of Power is currently being developed for film production.

Brown has established the non-profit education corporation Fields of Flowers, Inc., and co-founded both the Mothers Advocating Juvenile Justice and the National Alliance for Radical Prison Reform.
Brown will speak tonight at 7:30 in Doherty Hall 2210. Sponsored by AB Political Speakers, the event is free and open to the public.

Poet and musician Saul Williams will give a spoken word performance this Wednesday in the University Center’s Rangos Ballroom.

Williams launched his career in 1995 through performances at the Brooklyn Moon Cafe’s “Open Mic” sessions. He continued achieving fame in 1996, when he became the Nuyorican Poet Cafe’s Grand Slam Champion.

This success brought Williams a lead role in the 1998 film Slam, a movie that won both the Sundance Festival Grand Jury Prize and the Cannes Caméra d’Or.

As a musician, Williams has performed with such acts as renowned hip-hop artists The Fugees and Erykah Badu; as a writer, his work has been featured in publications like The New York Times, Details, and Esquire.

AB Lectures is sponsoring the event, which will take place on Wednesday at 7 pm in Rangos Ballroom. Tickets are free with a Carnegie Mellon ID and $5 for the general public, and are available at the information desk at the University Center.

Paula Dobriansky, the U.S. Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, will speak this Thursday in Rangos 3 in the University Center. Her speech is titled “From Avian Influenza to Global Internet Freedom.”

Dobriansky previously served as senior vice-president and director of the Washington office of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has served on various boards. A seasoned lecturer and writer, she has appeared on numerous television and radio shows and has testified often before the Senate Foreign Relations and House International Relations committees.

Dobriansky will be speaking as a guest of the International Relations Program, and her talk is open to the entire campus community.