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Cornel West keynote speaker of NMSU's Dona Ana County Black Expo Banquet

New Mexico State University's Black Programs and the New Mexico Office of African-American Affairs present keynote speaker Cornel West for the upcoming Dona Ana County Black Expo Banquet.

West, known mainly for his democratic and sometimes provocative views, will deliver a speech titled "Education under Arrest."

"He will be talking about how education can bring out quality in regards to diversity as a process toward better learning and the achievement of educational goals," said Festus Addo-Yobo, director of Black Programs at NMSU.

The philosopher, activist and academic has been on many television shows including "The Colbert Report," "Real Time with Bill Maher" and "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson." He has written more than 19 books on topics such as race and ethnicity, social class and democracy.

"A lot of students come onto our campus with multiple identities, in terms of race and ethnicity, which provides for a big picture regarding how the institutions can systemically leverage diversity for student learning and institutional excellence," Addo-Yobo said. "Colleges are trying to transform in terms of social justice. We want to help students who are trying to recreate themselves as global citizens."

The event is part of the Black History Month series and will include dinner and a performance by the NMSU Gospel Choir.

The banquet is from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 8 in the Corbett Student Union Ballrooms.

Tickets are available at the Pan American Ticket Office or www.ticketmaster.com Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for students. For more information contact Black Programs at 575-646-4208.