April 5, 2010
Elizabeth Klipp, 404-413-1356
ATLANTA - Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker will speak at Georgia State University at 6 p.m., April 8, in the GSU Sports Arena, located at 125 Decatur St.
Tickets for Walker's lecture are free and available to Georgia State students and employees, as well as the general public, at the information desk in the Student Center, at 44 Courtland St. Seating may be available the day of the event, if tickets remain.
Walker's lecture is part the 4th biennial Cultural Competency Conference, hosted by Georgia State's Counseling and Testing Center within the Division of Student Affairs. Walker will speak on the conference's theme, "From Theory to Practice: Honoring the Seen, Unseen and In Between of Cultural Identity."
"Alice Walker continues to use her creative genius to express her wish for wholeness for those who have been erased from history, torn from their racial heritage, silenced, mutilated, and denied freedom," said Jill Lee-Barber, director of psychological and health services at the GSU Counseling and Testing Center.
Perhaps best known for her novel, "The Color Purple," Walker was the eighth child of Georgia sharecroppers. After a childhood accident blinded her in one eye, she went on to become valedictorian of her local high school and attend Spelman College and Sarah Lawrence College on scholarships, graduating in 1965.
Walker volunteered in the voter registration drives of the 1960s in Georgia and after college, worked in the Welfare Department in New York City. Walker married in 1967 and divorced less than a decade later. Her first book of poems came out in 1968 and her first novel was published just after her daughter's birth in 1970.
"The Color Purple," which was released in 1982, introduced Walker to a wider audience and earned her the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The novel was made into a movie by Steven Spielberg.
Walker also published a biography of the poet, Langston Hughes, and worked to recover and publicize the nearly-lost works of writer Zora Neale Hurston. Walker is credited with introducing the word "womanist" for African-American feminism.
In 1989 and 1992, in two books, "The Temple of My Familiar" and "Possessing the Secret of Joy," Walker took on the issue of female circumcision in Africa.
Walker's works are known for their portrayals of the African-American woman's life, depicting sexism, racism, poverty and the resulting struggle. She also portrays the strengths of family, community, self-worth and spirituality. Walker continues not only to write, but to be active in environmental, feminist causes, and issues of economic justice.
The Cultural Competence Conference is designed to promote multicultural education and awareness among mental health professionals and educators. Registration is required to attend the conference. For more information, visit: http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcou/cultural/index.htm