The Basie presents a community conversation with Dr. Cornel West

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originally published: 06/17/2022

(RED BANK, NJ) — The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force of the Count Basie Center for the Arts, in collaboration with Horizon Blue cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and the Academy of Social Justice and Intercultural Center at Monmouth University, will host American philosopher, author and activist Dr. Cornel West on Thursday, September 15 at 7:00 p.m. Count Basie Center Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank.

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

“The Count Basie Center’s mission directs us to do work that amplifies and embraces the diversity of the communities we serve,” said Claudia Dulac of Bank of America, who serves on the Basie Center’s board of directors and is co-chair of its DEI working group. “In Race Matters, the famous Dr. Cornel West wrote: “None of us alone can save the nation or the world. But each of us can make a positive difference if we commit to it. This event, along with others the Basie Center has organized, aims to make a positive difference and reflect our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in our community.

Tickets range from $29 to $65 and are available for purchase online, at the Basie Center box office and by phone at 732-842-9000.

“New Jersey is one of the most diverse states in the country, and we have so much to be proud of,” said Alison Banks Moore, vice president and chief diversity officer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Jersey. “But, America’s long history of racism and ongoing acts of discrimination and hatred 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 this history and how it shapes who we are today. On this subject, 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 dialogue, improve understanding, and contribute to a more inclusive, just, and healthy community here in New Jersey.

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“It’s an incredible honor to co-host one of our nation’s greatest educators, and we hope people of all ages will join us for this critical dialogue,” said Dr. Zaneta Rago-Craft, Director of the Intercultural Center at Monmouth University and Advisor to the President on Diversity and Inclusion. “At a time when our world is grappling with complex issues and renewed attention to the racial stratification of our systems and institutions, Dr West’s visit is certain to shed light on the path 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 documentary from Sony Pictures Classics focused on former American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Jeffery Robinson’s chronicle of racial injustice in America. Additionally, the Basie Center’s partnership with New York’s Calpulli Mexican Dance Company has created culturally enriching annual celebrations of Día de Muertos and Cinco de Mayo.


The Count Basie Arts Center is located at 99 Monmouth Street in Red Bank, New Jersey. This is New Jersey’s premier cultural arts center, dedicated to promoting powerful, inclusive artistic experiences and the creative exchange of ideas. Basie’s mission is to inspire, educate and entertain through its distinct and engaging cultural and artistic offerings that encompass and amplify the region’s diversity. As a non-profit organization, La Basie is committed to enriching the quality of life in the community by generating opportunities for participation in the arts, partnering with schools, collaborating with other mission-driven organizations and boosting regional economic prosperity.


Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (“Horizon”), the state’s leading health solutions company, is a not-for-profit fee-based health services company offering a wide range of medical, dental, vision and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading healthcare transformation in New Jersey by working with physicians and hospitals to deliver innovative patient-centered programs that reward the quality, not the quantity, of care patients receive. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving approximately 3.8 million members.


The Monmouth University Social Justice Academy, generously funded by the Grunin Foundation, provides direct support to K-12 school systems in Monmouth and Ocean Counties for their continuing education in social justice and program 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 an inaugural summer workshop two weeks to establish a solid 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 schools and districts. ‘origin. In addition, the academy offers the implementation of funded projects 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 (ICMU) cultivates a campus environment where all of its members can thrive equally. Opened in 2019, the Intercultural Center provides programs, educational opportunities, and policy/practice consultations that support the academic, social, and professional success of historically underrepresented members of the campus community, including but not limited to limited to, people of color, LGBTQIA+, first generation, low-income, international, and religious minority members of Monmouth University. In addition, IC promotes university-wide changes toward diversity, inclusion, and respect while fostering a sense of shared responsibility for implementing equity in our diverse community of students, faculty, staff, administration, neighbors and alumni. The Intercultural Center reports to the Office of the President.


Dr. Cornel West holds the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Professorship at Union Theological Seminary. Dr. West teaches the works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as well as courses in philosophy of religion, African-American critical thinking, and a wide range of subjects – including, but not limited to, classics, philosophy, politics, cultural theory, literature and music. He is passionate about communicating with a wide variety of audiences to keep the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. alive – a legacy of speaking the truth and witnessing love and justice.

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