Grammy winner Common to speak at University

Brianna Marshall, Senior Writer

The Bucknell Forum speaker series will welcome critically acclaimed performer and activist Common to campus on March 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts. Common is the next speaker in the Revolution Redefined series, which has previously featured other notable figures such as Jane Goodall and Laverne Cox.

The year of 2015 has proven to be a successful one for Common, with both Academy Award and Golden Globe wins for “Glory,” his contribution to the “Selma” film soundtrack made in collaboration with John Legend. His involvement with the film has recently drawn increased attention to his positive social change efforts regarding issues of race and culture with a particular focus on youth participation. The University is among many other institutions to invite Common to speak about his personal journey to success and his many advocacy projects.

Common has been a constant pop culture presence for the past 15 years, amassing numerous awards and nominations, including two Grammys. In addition to music, he has pursued acting and writing, making appearances in films including the Academy Award-nominated “Selma” and producing his memoir and various poetic works. Common has also dedicated his time to the establishment and development of the Common Ground Foundation, his non-profit organization that focuses on empowering underprivileged youth.

While Common may seem like a notable choice for the Revolution Redefined series, his campus visit hasn’t grabbed the attention of some University students.

“I’m not planning to go because I honestly don’t know who he is. I recently learned that he won some award and is an activist,” Brandon Neale ’15 said.

Other students are looking forward to what will hopefully be an inspiring evening.

“I am excited to see Common speak on campus next week,” Maria Jones ’15 said. “Hearing an Academy Award winner’s perspective on the various topics taxing our country today is not a common opportunity, and I look forward to what he has to say.” 

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