‘A Community Conversation With Dr. Cornel West’ announced for the Basie Center Sept. 15


Tickets on sale this Friday, June 17 at 10am 

Co-sponsored by the Basie Center, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Monmouth University’s Social Justice Academy and Intercultural Center


(RED BANK | JUNE 14, 2022) The Count Basie Center for the Arts’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force, in conjunction with Horizon Blue cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Monmouth University’s Social Justice Academy and Intercultural Center, will proudly host American philosopher, author and activist Dr. Cornel West on Thursday, September 15 at 7PM at the Count Basie Center’s Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank.

Tickets for A Community Conversation With Dr. Cornel West go on sale this Friday, June 17 at 10am through theBASIE.org, the Basie Center box office and by phone at 732-842-9000.

“It is a blessing and honor to speak at the historic Count Basie Center for the Arts,” said Dr. West. “We shall keep alive his great legacy of integrity and dignity!”

Dr. Cornel West
Dr. Cornel West

“The Count Basie Center’s mission commands us to do work which amplifies and embraces the diversity of communities we serve,” said Bank of America’s Claudia Dulac, who serves on the Basie Center’s Board of Trustees and is co-chair of its DEI Task Force. “In Race Matters, Dr. Cornel West famously wrote, ‘None of us alone can save the nation or the world. But each of us can make a positive difference if we commit ourselves to do so.’ This event, as well as others the Basie Center has hosted, aims to make a positive difference and reflect our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in our community.”

“New Jersey is among the most diverse states in the nation, and we have so much that makes us proud,” said Alison Banks Moore, Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. “But, America’s long history of racism and the on-going acts of discrimination and hate are real and they affect the physical, mental and emotional health of those who experience the trauma directly or indirectly. We cannot truly heal and build a better future until we fully commit to understanding that history and how it shapes who we are today. On that, there is no greater, more eloquent or engaging authority than Dr. Cornell West.  Horizon is honored to partner with The Count Basie Center for the Performing Arts to advance the dialogue, improve understanding, and contribute to a more inclusive, just and healthy community here in New Jersey.”

“It is an incredible honor to co-host one of our country’s foremost educators, and we hope people of all ages join us for this critical dialogue,” says Dr. Zaneta Rago-Craft, Director, Monmouth University Intercultural Center and Advisor to the President on Diversity and Inclusion. “In a time when our world is grappling with complex issues and a renewed attention to the racial stratification of our systems and institutions, Dr. West’s visit is certain to shed light on the path before us that will lead us to a more just world.”

A Community Conversation With Dr. Cornel West is the latest in a series of events hosted by the Count Basie Center for the Arts, designed to engage the community in conversations that amplify our commitment to a diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible region. Earlier this year, the Basie Center hosted a screening of Who We Are, the powerful Sony Pictures Classics documentary focused on former American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Jeffery Robinson’s chronicle of racial injustice in America. In addition, the Basie Center’s partnership with New York’s Calpulli Mexican Dance Company has created annual, culturally-enriching celebrations of Día de Muertos and Cinco de Mayo.

For more information on this and other events at the Count Basie Center for the Arts, visit www.thebasie.org.


Count Basie Center for the Arts

The Count Basie Center for the Arts is New Jersey’s premier center for the cultural arts, dedicated to fostering powerful, inclusive artistic experiences and creative exchange of ideas. The Basie mission is to inspire, educate and entertain through its distinct and engaging cultural and artistic offerings that embrace and amplify the diversity of the region. As a nonprofit organization, the Basie is committed to enriching the community’s quality of life by generating opportunities for participation in the arts, partnering with schools, collaborating with other mission-based organizations and driving regional economic prosperity. To learn more about the Count Basie Center for the Arts, visit www.thebasie.org

About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (“Horizon”), the state’s leading health solutions company, is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health service corporation providing a wide array of medical, dental, vision and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of health care in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, patient-centered programs that reward the quality, not quantity, of care patients receive. Learn more at www.HorizonBlue.com. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving approximately 3.8 million members.

Monmouth University Social Justice Academy

The Monmouth University Social Justice Academy, generously funded by the Grunin Foundation, offers direct support to K-12 school systems in Monmouth and Ocean counties for their ongoing social justice education and curriculum development.

The academy kicked off in July 2021 with a year-long professional development series, including seminars and lectures led by experts in diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a two-week inaugural summer workshop to establish a strong experiential foundation for the program.

In 2022, the Social Justice Academy will expand to include five two-week summer workshops offering significant professional development in social justice, and the opportunity for educators to develop capstone projects to implement in their home schools and districts. Additionally, the academy offers funded project implementation during the school year in collaboration with a coach. There is no cost to participating K-12 schools or individual educators.

The Intercultural Center at Monmouth University

The Intercultural Center at Monmouth University (ICMU) cultivates a campus environment where all its members can thrive equitably. Opened in 2019, the Intercultural Center provides programs, educational opportunities, and policy/practice consultation that supports the academic, social, and professional success of historically underrepresented campus community members including, but not limited to, People of Color, LGBTQIA+, first-generation, low-income, international, and religious minority members of Monmouth University. In addition, the IC promotes university-wide shifts towards diversity, inclusion, and respect while fostering a sense of shared responsibility for enacting equity across our diverse community of students, faculty, staff, administration, neighbors, and alumni. The Intercultural Center reports to the Office of the President.

About Dr. Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West is the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary. Dr. West teaches on the works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as well as courses in Philosophy of Religion, African American Critical Thought, and a wide range of subjects — including but by no means limited to, the classics, philosophy, politics, cultural theory, literature, and music. He has a passion to communicate to a vast variety of publics in order to keep alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. – a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice.

Dr. West is the former Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton.

He has written 20 books and has edited 13.  He is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and for his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. His most recent book, Black Prophetic Fire, offers an unflinching look at nineteenth and twentieth-century African American leaders and their visionary legacies.

Within the past year, Dr. West has partnered with MasterClass to provide teachings on several courses such as his class with Pharrell Williams on Empathy, his multi-instructor class on Black History, Black Freedom & Black Love, and his standalone class on Philosophy. Visit www.cornelwest.com to learn more.