Heidi Harmon and Black Lives Matter leader to speak at Cal Poly

Following recent alleged acts of racism and appearances on campus by conservative speakers, Cal Poly and liberal community members will team up to put on an event next week that will feature a star of the Black Lives Matter movement and San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon.

On May 29, Safer, Cal Poly’s sexual assault resource center, will host a Take Back The Night event. Take Back The Night is an international organization that aims to raise awareness about gender-based violence and support survivors. The event at Cal Poly will focus on the intersection of racism and gender-based violence, according to the university.

DeRay McKesson, a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter movement, will be the featured guest. McKesson is also the founder of Campaign Zero, an effort aimed at reducing police violence, and he is the host of the Pod Save The People podcast.

McKesson was named one of the world’s greatest leaders by Fortune Magazine in 2015. The following year, Time Magazine named him one of the 30 most influential people on the Internet.

In addition to McKesson and Harmon, the speakers will include Dawn Addis, of the Women’s March of San Luis Obispo, and Hunter Snider, who will speak on behalf of state Senate Majority Leader Bill Monning.

At least 10 organizations are co-sponsoring the Take Back The Night event. The co-sponsors include the Cal Poly Democrats, Cal Poly Counseling and Planned Parenthood Generation Action.

The event will be held at 6 p.m. on May 29 as the University Union Plaza.

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