Educator, Activist, and Poet Ericka Huggins to Speak at COM

February 1st, 2018 - 9:28pm

Image: Ericka Huggins

Educator, Activist, and Poet Ericka Huggins to Speak at COM

Umoja Community welcomes speaker in honor of Black History Month 

KENTFIELD / NOVATO, CA—February 1, 2018—National Freedom Day is observed on February 1 and honors the signing of a joint resolution that proposed the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The ratification of this amendment on December 18, 1865, outlawed slavery. Since 1976, the month of February has been officially designated by presidential decree as Black History Month. 

In honor of Black History Month, the College of Marin Umoja Community presents a free lecture by educator, human rights activist, and poet Ericka Huggins. The lecture will take place on Thursday, February 8, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Building, James Dunn Theatre at the Kentfield Campus, with a reception following.

Huggins is an educator, former Black Panther Party member and political prisoner, human rights activist, and poet. For 37 years, Huggins has lectured in the United States and internationally on human rights, restorative justice, and the role of spiritual practice in sustaining activism and promoting social change. Her passion for inspiring transformation is evident as she imparts the importance of inclusive grassroots movements that honor the voices of the marginalized, especially our youth. 

After attending the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, Huggins committed her life to serving others. Her work as a speaker and facilitator is based on her belief in the greatness of each human heart. She maintains that each person has the ability to look there for the answers to questions about the future of our world. 

This event is presented by the COM Umoja Community. Umoja is a Kiswahili word meaning unity. At COM, Umoja is a community of educators and learners committed to the academic success, personal growth, and self-actualization of African American and other students. COM’s Umoja Community is part of a larger effort—the Umoja Diversity Partnership Pipeline—that seeks to increase the number of African Americans transferring to a UC campus.

As COM’s faculty coordinator of the Umoja Community, Social Sciences Instructor Walter Turner considers Huggins’ inspiring life story relevant and fitting for the times.

“Ms. Ericka Huggins is the perfect keynote speaker for the Umoja Black History Month program at College of Marin,” says Turner. “Her life story and her commitment to social change are inspirations for students and the community to continue their education and make a difference in the world.”

Umoja student Isaiah Tyson agrees.

“I’m most interested in her perspective on the role of colleges (specifically community colleges) in society and social causes,” said Tyson. “As someone that has spent her life in both education and activism, I feel as though she would be the perfect person to listen to on the relationship between them.”

Tyson, a second-semester communications major, believes the Umoja Community is an irreplaceable part of why he’s been successful at COM. The program has provided him with support in his studies and in aspects of life that stretch beyond campus. For him it’s much more than a group he can relate to and identify with; it also allows him the opportunity to participate in the community in a meaningful way. 

The Ericka Huggins lecture is sponsored by Associated Students of College of Marin (ASCOM) with additional funding provided by the Jay Pritzker Foundation. Free parking is available in COM parking lots from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. for this event.

Register for this free event online.


Image: Umoja logo

About College of Marin
Established in 1926, College of Marin remains committed to educational excellence, providing equitable opportunities, and fostering success in all members of its diverse community. With campuses in Kentfield and Novato, students of all ages have affordable access to an exciting variety of credit and noncredit courses as well as community education classes for lifelong learning. College of Marin is one of 114 public community colleges in California and approximately 13,000 credit, noncredit, and community education students enroll annually. 

College of Marin is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Boulevard, Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.