Writer & Filmmaker
Cornel West is a prominent philosopher, activist, author, and professor, currently serving as the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary. Dr. West first began his teaching career at Union Theological Seminary in 1976, when he was just 23 years old, and has since taught at Yale, Princeton, -- where he received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy, and where he still holds the title of Professor Emeritus -- Harvard, -- his alma mater -- and the University of Paris. He has authored 20 books, best known for his classics Race Matters (1993) and Democracy Matters (2004), has produced three spoken word albums, one of which he collaborated with Prince and other notables, and has appeared in over 25 documentaries and films. Additionally, he is a frequent commentator on political and social issues across several media outlets. A provocative democratic intellectual, Dr. West initially supported Barack Obama in his 2008 presidential campaign, but soon after, became one of President Obama’s fiercest critics from the left; throughout President Obama’s two terms, Dr. West cited vehement opposition on everything from his handling of the financial crisis to his handling of his Black identity and racial issues.
“Empathy is not simply a matter of trying to imagine what others are going through, but having the will to muster enough courage to do something about it.” Cornel West