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Annual Lecture Series

The Barbara Jordan Lecture Series
In 2004, the Africana Research Center and the Department of African and African American Studies initiated the Barbara Jordan Lecture Series to recognize and introduce the Penn State community to the scholarship of an African American civil rights activist. The annual lecture will usually be scheduled in the fall semester and is named after Barbara Jordan because she was a modern day “giant” in activist scholarship and action that many young people may not know or recall due to her untimely death in 1996.
The Nelson Mandela Lecture Series
In 2005, the Africana Research Center and the Department of African and African American Studies initiated the Nelson Mandela Lecture Series to recognize and introduce the Penn State community to the scholarship of an African civil rights activist. The annual lecture will usually be scheduled in the spring semester and is named after Nelson Mandela because he is the by far the most noted civil rights activist who not only changed the sociopolitical structure of South Africa but also challenged the world to have a conscience in addressing human rights.