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Campus Events News

Slay Fund for Social Justice to host ambassador and journalist later this month

Drake students will have the opportunity to meet former UN Ambassador Andrew Young and Atlanta Journal-Constitution journalist Ernie Suggs over breakfast in the Cowles Library Reading Room on Tuesday, Feb. 27 from 8:30-10 a.m. The Slay Fund for Social Justice, which supports the social justice work of Drake students, staff and faculty, is sponsoring this event.

Jill Allen, the director of the Slay Fund, described the breakfast as more informal than Monday night’s event, “A Conversation with Ambassador Andrew Young and AJC Journalist Ernie Suggs.” Allen also explained how the casual set-up is geared toward students. 

“[This event] may be of particular interest to students who might go to the event on Monday but would like another opportunity to follow up, or perhaps they want to come to a more intimate, smaller setting,” Allen said.

The Cowles Library Reading Room is concurrently hosting a month-long presentation of “The Many Lives of Andrew Young Exhibit” based on Suggs’ book documenting Young’s activism work. Allen described a space where attendees can flow between the exhibit and the dining experience. Unlike the presentation on Monday night, Tuesday’s event will give visitors a closer look at Iowa-specific civil rights history. 

“[The] event has the potential…to link the exhibit and the ambassador’s visit to Drake with civil rights history that is happening in Iowa,” Allen said. 

Allen emphasized that it was important to the Slay family that Young and Suggs’ short visit to Drake would feel widely impactful — and accessible to students — while also highlighting contemporary civil rights work.

“Another partnership we have…is with the State Historical Society [of Iowa], and we’re working with the [Drake] History Department and students through the Deming Grant on campus,” Allen said. “We’ll be developing some materials that talk about local Des Moines and Iowa connections to civil rights that align with the same timeframe as what visitors would see in the exhibit.”

The exhibition will be open through March 1 and does not require sign-up. Those interested in attending Monday night’s event can still reserve their spot using the Eventbrite link on the University Calendar website.

To sign up for Tuesday’s event, visit this link

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