Race in America forum features 'NY Times' columnist Charles Blow

The second installment of JHU Forums on Race in America will feature noted New York Times op-ed columnist Charles Blow, and registration for free tickets is open now.

Image caption: Charles Blow

Blow, who tackles hot-button issues in society and politics, will speak at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28, in Shriver Hall Auditorium on the Homewood campus.

In addition to his role as a columnist, Blow is a CNN contributor and often appears on other television and radio news programs. His memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, was released in September 2014.

His address to the Shriver Hall audience will include a question and answer session. Scholar and author Lester K. Spence, an associate professor of political science and Africana studies at Johns Hopkins, will be the host for the evening.

Before the forum, Blow will lead a writers' roundtable for Writing Seminars students, who are being selected through an essay submission.

Last spring, university leaders worked with the Diversity Leadership Council and the vice provost for institutional equity to launch the forums as a venue for discussion of social issues surrounding race. At that time, turmoil in cities across the country and in Baltimore sparked passionate conversations on the university's campuses. In April, acclaimed writer Ta-Nehisi Coates was the first speaker in the series.

Since then, "our community continues to engage with difficult issues of race and racism in American culture," Provost Robert C. Lieberman said in a message to the university community announcing Blow's visit. "President Ronald J. Daniels and I are excited to see the JHU Forums on Race in America evolve as part of a sustained universitywide exchange that will inform our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and academic freedom."

The event is also supported by the Diversity Leadership Council, the Office of Institutional Equity, the Center for Africana Studies, the Black Student Union, the Black Faculty and Staff Association, and Student Affairs.