Carlos O. Cortez, the brand new chancellor of the San Diego Neighborhood Faculty District, introduced Monday the cancellation of his investiture ceremony over criticism of the keynote speaker.
The free, public occasion with a keynote speech by writer Alice Walker was scheduled to be held Could 31 at Petco Park.
Walker, who acquired the Pulitizer Prize in 1983 for her acclaimed novel “The Colour Purple,” has been accused of taking antisemitic positions lately.
“Over the previous few weeks, issues have been expressed in regards to the political views and writings of the investiture keynote speaker, Alice Walker. On the similar time, others have expressed their assist of Ms. Walker,” Cortez stated in a press release.
“As a district that celebrates inclusion, we consider one of the best ways ahead can be to cancel the occasion altogether. I apologize for the ache prompted to any member of our group. The investiture scheduled for Could 31 won’t be held,” he stated.
In 2018, Walker stated in an interview with The New York Occasions that she is a fan of conspiracy theorist David Icke whose writings have antisemitic themes. Her personal current poem “To Research the Talmud” has been criticized as antisemitic. Walker, whose first husband was Jewish, denies that she is antisemitic.
Final September, the union representing the district’s academics accepted a decision condemning Israel and questioning the Jewish state’s proper to exist. Union leaders denied that the decision was antisemitic.
San Diego faculty district is among the largest in California with 100,000 college students at Metropolis, Mesa and Miramar faculties and the district’s persevering with training program.