Author Ta-Nehisi Coates to speak on campus.

Author Ta-Nehisi Coates will speak about racial diversity in America at IU at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23 in the Musical Arts Center.

Coates is the author of “Between the World and Me,” which addresses what it means to be black in America, according to an IU press release. The New York Times bestseller is written in the form of an emotional letter to his teenage son.

Coates is also an Atlantic national correspondent, according to the release. His article, “The Case for Reparations,” addresses how to repay African-Americans for a system of institutional racism that, he argues, robbed them of their wealth and success for generations.

Coates is one of 24 recipients of this year’s MacArthur Fellowship, often called the “Genius Grant” award, from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, according to the release. The foundation called Coates, “a highly distinctive voice (who is) emerging as a leading interpreter of American concerns to a new generation of media-savvy audiences and having a profound impact on the discussion of race and racism in this 

After speaking publicly, Coates will meet privately with a racially diverse group of students attending the Public Policy and International Affairs Program conference at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Michael Wilkerson, director of the conference and SPEA’s Arts Administration program, said in the release the opportunity to speak with this racially diverse group of students is what 
initially drew Coates to IU.

“The issues he raises in his books and articles are similar to issues these students will face in their careers in public service,” Wilkerson said in the release.

SPEA arranged the event, while the Media School, the College Arts and Humanities Institute and the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs co-sponsored the event.

“Ta-Nehisi Coates’ writing is provocative and impassioned, the topics are timely and his speeches draw huge crowds wherever he goes,” Michael McGuire, SPEA’s executive associate dean, said in the release. “We’re proud that, with our campus partners, we can bring him to Bloomington.”

The event is free, but ticketed. Tickets will be available at the MAC box office and online beginning at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, according to the release. One person can purchase up to two tickets, whether purchasing at the box office or online.

Tickets are valid until 12:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, according to the release. Any available seats will then be filled by those in a stand-by line. Doors to the MAC will open at 11:30 a.m.

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