2004-2005 Academic Year

Senator and Activist Tom Hayden to Deliver Keynote

Tom Hayden, former California state senator, will deliver a keynote address titled “The Role of the University in Social Change, the Long View,” at the Higher Education in the Crosshairs: Interdisciplinarity and Social Justice conference at 7:15 p.m., Friday, Feb. 11, in the McConnell Center Founders Room. The event is free and open to the public.

“Tom Hayden changed America,” the national correspondent of The Atlantic, Nicholas Lemann, has written. He created the blueprint for the Great Society programs, according to presidential assistant Richard Goodwin. He was “the conscience of the Senate,” said Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters. According to the Los Angeles Times, when he retired in September 1999 from the state legislature, he received the longest farewell of any legislator in memory.

Hayden’s legislative record includes groundbreaking legislation on behalf of women, African-Americans and Latinos, Holocaust survivors and this generation's immigrants working in sweatshops. While in Sacramento, he was regarded by the Sierra Club as the strongest legislative protector of endangered species in the nation. He was recognized as the legislature's foremost watchdog against special interest waste and abuse of power in cases ranging from the LA subway controversy to the UC Irvine fertility scandal. He led the battles in Sacramento to stop university tuition increases, reform the K-12 system, and clean up fiscal mismanagement at LAUSD.

Hayden’s talk is part of a two-day conference examining the relationship between interdisciplinary work, issues of social justice, and perceptions of the academy on the part of social justice advocates.

In strengthening current interdisciplinary formations, such as departments and programs, the goals of this conference are to discuss the theories, methods, and practices that work to change local and global social relations and to unpack and critique connections between interdisciplinary academic work and ongoing struggles for social justice.