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News Release

Moravian's Fall Convocation to Celebrate Start of 2011-12 Academic Year

Social justice advocate Jonathan Kozol to deliver Cohen Keynote Address

Bethlehem, Pa., September 15, 2011--The Moravian community (College, Seminary, and Comenius Center) will gather in Johnston Hall today from 10:00 a.m. to noon for Fall Convocation: an annual event that will begin the academic year with a celebration of academic excellence (second annual). The Convocation also will mark the official kick-off of the IN FOCUS | Poverty & Inequality thematic programming for 2011-12.

Educator, author, and social justice advocate Jonathan Kozol was chosen as this year’s Cohen Keynote speaker based on the 2011-12 IN FOCUS theme. He will speak to the campus community about, “Joy and Justice: A Challenge to the Young to Serve the Children of the Poor.” The general public may view the event via streamed video available in Prosser Auditorium (HUB).

Jonathan Kozol is a social justice advocate, educator and author. He has devoted nearly 50 years to the complex and urgent issues facing public education and to the challenge of providing equal opportunity within public schools to every child, regardless of racial origin or economic level. He has been called “today’s most eloquent spokesman for America’s disenfranchised” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Kozol’s book Death at an Early Age, a description of his first year as a teacher, is regarded as a classic by educators and has sold more than 2 million copies in the United States and Europe. His 1995 bestseller, Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation, which described his visits to the South Bronx, was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and praised by scholars such as Robert Coles and Henry Louis Gates. The book received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 1996, an honor previously granted to the works of Langston Hughes and Dr. Martin Luther King. Other works by Kozol include The Shame of the Nation, a 2005 exposé of conditions he found in nearly 60 public schools in 11 states, and Letters to a Young Teacher, his most recent book. Some of his books are now available at the Moravian College bookstore.

A variety of thematic programming is planned around this topic, beginning with Kozol’s speech at Convocation. For up-to-date information and scheduling throughout the year, visit the IN FOCUS website

Classes will not be held during the Convocation, and all administrative offices will close from 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. An all-campus lunch will be served immediately following the event in the PPHAC patio and the HUB Marketplace.

Moravian College encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided for the Fall Convocation event, please call Deborah Evans, 610 861-1340, at least one week prior to the event.


IN FOCUS is an innovative program to promote in-depth examination of complex issues from multidisciplinary perspectives. Through IN FOCUS the members of the Moravian College community engage in analysis and activism regarding important challenges facing human beings and the world in the 21st century.

Four issues have been identified as central to the Lehigh Valley, the US and the globe, including poverty and inequality, sustainability, health care, and war and peace. Each year academic and co-curricular activity will center on one of these challenges.

Our goal is for Moravian College, Moravian Theological Seminary, and the Comenius Center to realize the promise of becoming known as an institution that engages its students in the study of important issues that challenge humanity today and as we look to the future. Through grappling with complex problems, and examining them from several different perspectives Moravian’s graduates will be better prepared to contribute to a just society and a vibrant democracy.