September 29, 2016

Black Lives Matter event canceled, reasons unclear

Sponsors declined to comment on the cancellation of a planned lecture by major figures in the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to a Webster University news release Feb. 22, the event had been canceled at the request of the speakers’ agent. The lecture would have featured Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza, and Patrisse Cullors, who started #BlackLivesMatter that led to a movement against police brutality, as well as the movement’s international ambassador, Janaya Khan.

The speaking event was part of a schedule of events focused on African-American issues that the Multicultural Center and International Student Association (MCISA) sponsored during Black History Month.

Corey Hawkins, who is the coordinator for minority students at MCISA, said the decision to cancel the event was mutual, but those involved had decided not to publicly comment on the reasons for the cancellation.

Collette Cummings, the associate dean of students who supervises MCISA’s office of student engagement, said she was involved in the decision but also declined to comment.

Another planned event, a lecture by Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz, was postponed. According to Webster’s events website, the speaker had a “personal emergency” and the event may be rescheduled for later in the semester.

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