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British Social and Political Commentator Lola Adesioye to Speak at Ramapo College on February 2

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)January 14, 2015

MAHWAH, NJ — Lola Adesioye, a prominent British social and political writer, commentator and activist, will speak at Ramapo College on Monday, February 2 at 5 p.m. in the Sharp Theater at the Berrie Center on campus. In an address entitled Modern Black Britain and Its Parallels with the Contemporary Obama-Era African American Experience, she will examine the experience of people of African descent who were born and are living in the United Kingdom today with how that experience compares to the African American experience in the United States today.

The event is sponsored and funded by the Schomburg Visiting Scholar Program. The event is co-sponsored and coordinated by the African Ancestry Month Planning Committee at Ramapo. It is free and open to the general public.

Adesioye will explore current notions of race and identity, the experience of black Britons within a shifting socio-political landscape and interactions with law enforcement and the justice system. She will also address how people of African descent have influenced popular culture, arts, and music and used these latter forms of expression as a vehicle for collective struggle. She will also participate and speak in two classes on campus as part of her visit.

Adesioye earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in social and political science from Cambridge University. The British Broadcasting Corporation asked her to participate in Black Ambition, a six-part television series which followed and charted the experiences of eight Cambridge University students of African and Caribbean descent in an institution in which black students make up less than one percent of the entire university population.

Despite growing up in London, England, as the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Adesioye always had an interest in African-American culture. Her first exposure came through music, media and popular culture. At age 10, she accidentally picked up a book in her local library about the transatlantic slave trade. A fascination with American history was sparked. A family vacation to New York at age 16 sealed Lola’s passion for and an interest in contemporary American society and politics. She began to study and pay close attention to American current affairs, as well as making regular trips to other parts of the United States.

She has written for publications including Forbes Africa, the New Statesman, the Guardian, Economist, the Huffington Post, EbonyJet, CNN.com, TheGrio and TheRoot. Adesioye has also appeared regularly on the BBC, CNN, BET, MSNBC and the UK’s Sky News and Channel 4. She is the former deputy editor of award-winning NBC site TheGrio.com, having joined the site in its inception and building up the commentary/opinion part of the site. Adesioye is a former contributing editor to AOL Black Voices (now Huffington Post Black). She has been described as “one of Nigeria’s top 10 wordsmiths”, “an emerging face to watch” and “one of 11 sharp black commentators in America.” Now living between Boston and New York, she brings a unique global perspective to her work.

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About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Niche.com.

Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.  

Ramapo College’s over 40,000 alumni are the confident, intellectually curious, self-aware, and humble people who are highly sought after and who make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels.  Ramapo College is distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com. Every student at Ramapo is enrolled in its unique and award winning Pathways Program which equips and empowers students, across the continuum of their academic career, to secure internships, pursue graduate/professional school, and/or enter the job market. 

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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