Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Converge Lecture Series cancels Junot Díaz lecture following allegations of sexual assault and aggression

Posted By on Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 4:37 PM

click to enlarge Junot Díaz was scheduled to speak at the Pinery on Aug. 5. - CHRISTOPHER PETERSON
  • Christopher Peterson
  • Junot Díaz was scheduled to speak at the Pinery on Aug. 5.

In May of 2018, the literary world felt a collective shockwave when author Zinzi Clemmons accused author Junot Díaz of forcibly kissing her, prompting three other female authors to come forward with allegations of Díaz’s aggression toward women. Díaz, the author of The Brief and Wondorous Life of Oscar Wao, among other prominent titles, has long been regarded as an icon of fine contemporary literature.

Díaz was scheduled to appear in Colorado Springs as part of the Converge Lecture Series on Aug. 5, but the organizers of Converge announced on Tuesday, June 26, that they have cancelled his engagement.

As reason, they cite Díaz’s silence in the weeks following these allegations, and say: “silence is an incomplete response to an important cultural moment.”

Bearing that in mind, Converge has organized a community conversation in place of Díaz’s planned lecture. On Aug. 12, Converge invites Colorado Springs to come together to discuss masculinity, patriarchy, consent and violence with a panel of experts (panelists to be determined).

The event will be free to attend for all interested in addressing these topics.

See below for a letter by Converge founder Samuel Stephenson regarding the decision:

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