Grammy Award winner and political activist, Mississippi rapper David Banner, is set to appear at Harvard University with The League of Young Voters for a summit of leading scholars, activists, and artists.
“The L.A. Riots: Twenty Years Later” Conference, to be held on April 27 and 28 at Harvard’s TSAI Auditorium in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will take a retrospective look at the six-day L.A. Riots of 1992, sparked by the acquittal of Los Angeles police officers who beat Rodney King on video. The conference also looks to examine the riots in the context of democracy and inequity today, a time of economic crisis and revolution in much of the world.
At the conference, Banner will discuss how America has changed from the days when Rodney King was assaulted to the Trayvon Martin uprising 20 years later. The rapper will be accompanied by Henry Louis Gates Jr., panelists from Harvard University, NYU, Temple University, and more.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to speak at Harvard…it is vital that we talk about what we can do to better ourselves and our communities; now and for the next 20 years. The people of America, especially our youth, have the power to be heard; to change legislation and positively impact our culture for generations to come,” Banner explained.
Banner has been outspoken about the recent murder of Martin, as well as the lives lost in the Tulsa, Oklahoma shootings, and he will discuss both issues during his appearance. He has appeared in the past on BET’s “106th & Park” and BlackEnterprise.com speaking about issues facing Black communities in the U.S.
Beyond the Harvard conference, Banner is promoting his 2M1 Movement, telling AllHipHop.com recently, “We are not simply characters in a video game being controlled by the invisible hand. Once this donation goal is met, I’m going to shoot a movie that will drop 5-22-2013, and a portion of the donations are also going to charity. Big shout out to Louie C.K. for the motivation.”