News Releases

UWF celebrates Black History Month with renowned author and educator

The University of West Florida Office of Equity and Diversity will host renowned poet Clint Smith as the keynote speaker for Black History Month. The lecture will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23 in the University Commons Auditorium, Building 22, on the UWF Pensacola Campus.

Smith is a writer, acclaimed spoken word poet, award-winning teacher and doctoral candidate in education at Harvard University. His two TED Talks, “The Danger of Silence,” and “How to Raise a Black Son in America,” have been viewed more than 4 million times. In 2014, he earned the spotlight as the National Poetry Slam champion and Individual World Poetry Slam finalist.

“We are incredibly excited to bring Clint Smith to UWF,” said Dr. Doug Thompson, assistant dean for equity and diversity. “Clint is a nationally recognized poet who passionately shares stories of justice, education and community. I am expecting this to be a powerful evening and an amazing experience for our campus.”  

Smith is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and was named the 2013 Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Humanities Council. His work has appeared in “The New Yorker,” “The American Poetry Review,” “The Guardian,” “Harvard Educational Review,” and “Boston Review,” among others. His debut poetry collection, “Counting Descent,” was released in September by Write Bloody Publishing. Smith is also a finalist for an NAACP Image Award.

This is a free event, open to the public and will conclude with a book signing.

For more information about the Office of Equity and Diversity, visit To learn about additional Black History Month events at UWF, visit