Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 12:00 am

Grace Lee Boggs, a towering figure in many of the most important social justice movements of the past 60 years, will be the featured speaker at Grinnell College's celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The 97-year-old activist, writer and longtime civil rights leader will speak and answer questions at an event titled "What Time is it?: An Afternoon with Civil Rights Pioneer Grace Lee Boggs." Sponsored by the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights, the event will take place on Monday, Jan. 21, at 4:15 p.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center. The talk is open to the public at no charge.
Grace Lee Boggs was born in Providence, R.I. to Chinese immigrant parents in 1915. For more than 60 years, she has been politically involved in U.S. social movements: Labor, Civil Rights, Black Power, Asian American, women's and environmental justice. In the l940s and l950s she worked with West Indian Marxist historian C.L.R. James. She later moved to Detroit, where she married James Boggs, an African-American labor activist, writer and strategist. Working together in grassroots groups and projects, they wrote a book, "Revolution and Evolution in the Twentieth Century," which was published by Monthly Review Press in l974 and re-issued as a classic in 2009.
In 1992 Boggs founded DETROIT SUMMER with James Boggs and others. The multicultural, intergenerational program was designed to rebuild Detroit from the ground up. Boggs currently works with the Detroit City of Hope campaign and the Beloved Communities Initiative. In addition, she writes for the weekly Michigan Citizen.
Her autobiography, Living for Change, is widely used in university classes and will soon be published in China. Her most recent book with Scott Kurashige is The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century (University of California Press, 2011).
Boggs received her B.A. from Barnard College and her Ph.D. in philosophy from Bryn Mawr College.
Grace Lee Boggs's visit to Grinnell is co-sponsored by the Office of Intercultural Engagement and Leadership.
For more information, contact Sarah Purcell,, 641-269-3091. Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Information on parking and accessibility is available on the college website. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or