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Space Telescope Science Institute
Hard Science/Soft Skills

Kevin Powell

This Man’s Work: Ending Violence Against Women and Girls

  Kevin Powell
  John Bahcall Auditorium
  2pm May 2, 2016

The environment we grow up in, human interactions we have, things we see and hear in the media, are all examples of factors that shape our thinking and who we become as individuals. Speaking very personally, Kevin talks about how he was socialized from boyhood on, throughout his schooling, the mass media culture, his community, and religious institutions he attended, to view women and girls as separate and unequal to men and boys. This “education,” Kevin believes, is why so many boys grow into men rooted in male privilege, sexism, and violence in various forms against women and girls. Indeed Kevin’s speech focuses on the shared responsibility it takes to end violence against women and girls, especially since much of the gender violence on the planet is men and boys assaulting women and girls in one form or another. He directly engages the issue and problem of male privilege and the role it plays in leaving a humanitarian issue to the oppressed group. Kevin draws from his own experiences in acknowledging his own privilege and mistakes, and how that informs his community organizing and activism today. Kevin offers a study guide of alternative definitions of manhood rooted in self-love, peace, vulnerability, honesty along with material (books, blogs, films, etc.) for attendees to explore beyond this interactive conversation.

Kevin Powell is one of the most acclaimed political, cultural, literary and hip-hop voices in America today. Kevin studied at Rutgers University and has gone on to be the author of 12 books, including his newest title, The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood. Kevin's writings have also appeared in CNN.com, Esquire, Ebony, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, ESPN.com and Vibe Magazine, where he worked for many years as a senior writer. Kevin routinely appears in interviews on television, radio, and in print and on the Internet discussing major issues of our time.

As an acknowledgement of Kevin's life of public service and his dedication to literature and the arts, Cornell University recently became the owner of The Kevin Powell Collection, documenting nearly 30 years of his work to date in print, photos, videos, books, handwritten notes, speeches, and select memorabilia.