Nikki Giovanni To Feature As Inaugural Lecturer At Edward Waters College President’s Distinguished Speaker Series

Jacksonville, FL – September 21, 2018Stay Woke: The Edward Waters College (EWC) President’s Distinguished Speaker Series will commence on October 18, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. on the EWC campus, featuring world renowned author, poet and activist, Nikki Giovanni. The speaker series is a student and campus-wide academic and experiential engagement initiative intended to present a robust and varied collection of distinguished and scholarly speakers to the EWC campus community. The new initiative seeks to engage the views, ideas, and espoused ideals expressed by national thought leaders, authors, entertainers, activists, advocates, athletes, educators, business leaders, and opinion shapers who will be featured as a part of the series. 

“The primary aim of the series is to broaden the perspectives of our college community and widen our students’ overall academic experience beyond the classroom,” said EWC President & CEO, Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr.  “We intend for this vehicle to serve as a platform to provoke meaningful discussion, reflective and critical thinking, and provide enriching insight and illumination into the critical issues of our time,” President Faison said.

The series is aptly titled ‘Stay Woke,’ as a timely colloquialism, evincing a focus upon the continuous expansion and development of the overall knowledge base of EWC’s academic community while also interfacing intentionally with culturally-based issues and promoting socially conscious and socially responsible activism in a millennial and post-millennial era.

Accordingly, the incomparable Nikki Giovanni, is an award winning American poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. One of the world’s most well-known African-American poets, her work includes poetry anthologies, poetry recordings, and nonfiction essays, and covers topics ranging from race and social issues to children’s literature. She has won numerous awards, including the Langston Hughes Medal and 7 NAACP Image Awards. She has been nominated for a Grammy Award for her poetry album, The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection. Additionally, she has been named as one of Oprah Winfrey’s 25 “Living Legends and authored three New York Times and Los Angeles Times Best Sellers. A frequent lecturer and reader, Giovanni has taught at Rutgers University, Ohio State University, and currently at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where she serves as a University Distinguished Professor.

“Indeed, it is truly an honor for EWC to welcome Dr. Nikki Giovanni as our inaugural speaker for this highly anticipated series and we anticipate that this exciting new initiative will accelerate the academic focus of our students, while creating an environment that attracts even more scholars to the educational experience at Edward Waters College” said President Faison.

The series, featuring Nikki Giovanni, is free and open to the public and will begin
Thursday, October 18, 2018
at 6:00 p.m. in The Milne Auditorium
on the Campus of Edward Waters College



About Edward Waters College

Edward Waters College (EWC), accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges, and Schools (SACS) and member of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), is a private, historically black, urban college which offers a liberal arts education with a strong emphasis on the Christian principles of high moral and spiritual values. EWC was established in 1866 and is an African Methodist Episcopal Church-related institution of learning. It is the first private institution of higher education in the State of Florida.

Justin Walker