Sharpen Your Mind || Oakwood University

Sharpen Your Mind


The “Sharpen Your Mind“ Lecture Series Mission is to Support Quality Education At Oakwood University By Providing Extracurricular Learning Opportunities Through Presentations By individuals Who Have Unique Viewpoints, Expertise, or Life Experiences With the Goal of exposing Students to  Broader Perspectives  of Intellectual thought.

Previous Speakers


Roland Martin

Roland S. Martin is a nationally award-winning and multifaceted journalist.

A nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate, Mr. Martin is the author of Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith, and Speak, Brother! A Black Man’s View of America, and “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House as originally reported by Roland S. Martin.”

Roland S. Martin Spoke at Oakwood University Chapel on April 3, 2012 at the Oakwood University SDA Church. External link


Nia Long

An exceptional actress and devoted philanthropist, Nia Long’s film and television career spans over genre and audience. This success has afforded her the opportunity to give back to the communities that have long appreciated her work

Nia Spoke on April 19, 2010 at 7:00 P.M.


Tim Wise

Tim Wise is among the most respected anti-racist writers and educators in the U.S., having spoken in 48 states and on over 400 college campuses. He has trained teachers, as well as corporate, government, media and law enforcement officials on methods for uprooting institutional racism, and is the author of four books. His latest is Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama--the first book since President Obama’s election that critically examines what his success means and doesn't mean when it comes to racism in the U.S.

Tim Wise spoke February 1, 2010 in Moran Hall.


Cornel West Ph.D.

Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual.  He is the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. He has written 19 books and edited 13 books.  He is best known for his classic Race Matters, Democracy Matters, and his new memoir, Brother West:  Living and Loving Out Loud.  He appears frequently on the Bill Maher Show, Colbert Report, CNN and C-Span as well as on his dear Brother, Tavis Smiley’s PBS TV Show.  He can be heard weekly on Tavis Smiley’s NPI radio program.

Cornel West Spoke for chapel, January 19, 2010 at Oakwood University Church (“The Legacy Of Dr. King”)


 Kemba Smith

As a newlywed, mother, advocate, consultant and public speaker, Ms. Smith has received numerous awards and recognitions for her courage and determination to educate the public about the devastating social, economic and political consequences of current drug policies.

Kemba presented on our campus October 19, 2009 in Moran Hall


Michael Eric Dyson Ph.D.

Hailed as one of the nation’s most inspiring African Americans, Michael Eric Dyson has been credited with revitalizing the role of the public intellectual with the fervor of an ordained Baptist minister.

Dr. Dyson Spoke at Oakwood University Chapel in March of 2009. Our student Enjoyed His Presentation.


Walter Kimbrough Ph.D.

Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough is the 12th president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas. As the first college president from the hip-hop generation, he is one of the youngest college presidents in the nation.

Dr. Kimbrough Kicked off Our Official Start Of The Lecture Series September 14. 2009. He Spoke about the dismal Enrollment and Graduation Numbers Of Black Males In Higher Education

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