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Dr. Cornel West, affectionately known to many as Brother West, is the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice 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 public 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 University Professor 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 is the first Black person to receive a Ph.D. In Philosophy from Princeton University.
He has written 20 books and has edited 13 and has written numerous forwards. 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. He will deliver the historic Gifford lectures at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland in Spring 2024.
Dr. West has produced three music albums: On Sketches of my culture, Street Knowledge, and Never Forget - in collaboration with artists such as Prince, Andre 3000, Jill Scott, and many others. He has also appeared on the albums of Bootsy Collins, Terence Blanchard, Raheem Devaughn (which received a Grammy nomination), and Arturo O’Farrell (which received a Grammy award). Currently, he is working on a music album with his brother, Clifton West. Dr. West also appeared in two Matrix movie series as Counselor West.
Dr. West launched his Philosophy course in MasterClass on Philosophy and a variety of other subjects.
Dr. West is married to Dr. Annahita Mahdavi West, a psychologist, and professor at Long Beach City College. She is an immigrant from Iran residing in America since the year 1990.
Dismantling the Empire
Vastly cutting back on military spending, dissolving non-defensive security alliances, including NATO and AUKUS, dismantling the global network of over 800 military bases and severing the link between U.S. foreign policy and corporate profits to respect national sovereignty and the principle of self-determination for people. The USA should be a decent and dignified nation among nations rather than an imperial power dominating every corner of the globe. Withdrawing foreign aid to Egypt, Israel, and any other countries violating the human rights of subjugated peoples. Increasing humanitarian aid to poor and vulnerable peoples around the world. Enabling international peace by highlighting ecological sustainability, abolishing nuclear weapons, and promoting diplomatic processes.
Massive investments in satisfying the social needs of everyday people. Medicare for all including humane mental healthcare, decriminalization of drugs, and creation of humane rehabilitation sites. Decent housing for all, quality education for all, free college tuition for all, and jobs with living wages for all. Abolishing poverty and houselessness. Targeting the vicious legacy of white supremacy by ending mass incarceration, demilitarizing policing (abolishing Cop-Cities), and promoting reparations for past unjust treatment of Black people. Prioritizing the empowerment of indigenous peoples. Protecting the reproductive rights of women and ending all forms of patriarchy. Securing the rights of LGBTQ+ and Trans-Peoples. Treating every migrant and asylum seeker with dignity and implementing fundamental changes in immigration policies. Public financing of elections with ranked-choice voting, eliminating the Electoral College and a national holiday for voting. Democratizing unaccountable monopolies and oligopolies with workers’ control.
Saving The Planet
Fighting back against the escalating ecological catastrophe by targeting the corporate greed of fossil fuel companies and resurrecting the Green New Deal. Shifting from extraction and emission to regenerative and renewable energy. Eliminating the environmental racism that disproportionately damages the life chances of poor people, especially poor people of color here and abroad. The future of life on this planet depends on this fundamental shift!