Cornel West, Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies, Emeritus; Senior Scholar in Politics and the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions; and Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence; Director, James Madison Program, Princeton University; Introduction by Jill S. Dolan, Dean of the College; Annan Professor in English, Professor of Theater in the Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University
Robert P. George holds Princeton’s McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence and is the founding director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He served as chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), and before that on the President’s Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He also served as the U.S. member of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST). He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. He is the author of In Defense of Natural Law; Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality; The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis; and Conscience and Its Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Liberal Secularism. His scholarly articles and reviews have appeared in such journals as the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the American Journal of Jurisprudence, and the Review of Politics. He is a recipient of the United States Presidential Citizens Medal, the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland, and many other national and international honors, including Princeton’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. Professor George has given honorific lectures at Harvard, Yale, University of St. Andrews, and Cornell University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and holds nineteen honorary doctorates of law, ethics, science, letters, divinity, humanities, law and moral values, civil law, humane letters, and juridical science. A graduate of Swarthmore College, he holds J.D. and M.T.S. degrees from Harvard University and the degree of D.Phil. from Oxford University. In November of 2016 he will receive the degrees of B.C.L. and D.C.L. from Oxford.
Cornel R. West is Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies, Emeritus, and Senior Scholar in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He has also taught at Yale, Harvard, University of Paris, and Union Theological Seminary. He has written and edited over 30 books, including Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. His most recent releases, Black Prophetic Fire and Radical King, were received with critical acclaim. Professor West is well-known as a justice and anti-poverty activist as well as a distinguished scholar. He has co-chaired the Democratic Socialists of America and is a founder of the Network of Spiritual Progressives. He co-chaired the National Parenting Organization’s Task Force on Parent Empowerment and participated in President Clinton’s National Conversation on Race. He is a frequent guest on the Bill Maher Show, Colbert Report, CNN, C-Span and Democracy Now. He made his film debut in the film The Matrix – and was the commentator (with Ken Wilbur) on the official trilogy released in 2004. He also has appeared in over 25 documentaries and films including Examined Life, Call & Response, Sidewalk and Stand. He has made three spoken word albums including Never Forget, collaborating with Jill Scott, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, and KRS-One, as well as the late Gerald Levert and Prince. Professor West has received more than twenty honorary doctorates. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. Professor West has a passion to invite a variety of people from all walks of life into his world of ideas in order to keep alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. – a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice.