Writer Alice Walker has received a new invitation to speak at the University of Michigan after she was disinvited from the 50th anniversary of the university's Center for the Education of Women for her views on Israel.
The Department of Afroamerican and African Studies plans to invite Walker to speak on campus, according to a blog post written by the university's provost Martha Pollack.
Walker has supported a cultural boycott of Israel and Israeli institutions, including penning a letter to Alicia Keys asking her not to perform in the country. She also rejected an Israeli publishing house request to translate her book The Color Purple in Hebrew.
Pollack in the letter reiterated the university’s “firm commitment to free speech and to the expression of diverse viewpoints.”
“At the same time, we respect the right of individual academic units to make decisions about whom they invite to campus, consistent with university principles and values,” she wrote.
Pollack added that the women’s center “apologized for the way the interaction with Ms. Walker was handled and has made clear to me that their decision was not driven by the content of speech.”
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