Common to keynote FMO's State of the Black Union

    Hip-hop artist and Dillo Day 2008 headliner Common will return to Northwestern as part of black student alliance For Members Only’s annual State of the Black Union speech. The two-time Grammy-winner will speak about empowering urban youth on Nov. 22 in Cahn Auditorium.

    The event title, “Retrospect for Life: A Common Perspective on Future Youth in Chicago,” is a play off of the artist’s single “Retrospect for Life” from the album One Day it’ll all Make Sense.

    “[Bringing Common] fit into one of FMO’s goals for the year which is to take more initiative in mentorship programs in our community,” said Sam Lozoff, FMO vice coordinator of programming. “Because Common started a foundation supporting urban youth empowerment, he has some experience in this topic.”

    Common founded the Common Ground Foundation, a non-profit organization focusing on youth development in underserved communities.

    Last year, Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson spoke to Northwestern and Evanston community members about President Barack Obama and the promise of a “post-racial” America.

    The State of the Black Union will be co-sponsored by the African American Studies Department, the Latino/a Studies Department and the Black Grad Student Association.

    Lozoff believes the event will appeal to several other student groups that operate mentorship programs.

    “It’s definitely not just something that should appeal to the black community at Northwestern, but something that should appeal to the broader Northwestern community,” he said. “This is pertinent to everyone that cares about social equality and educational equality.”


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