Nyle Fort, a minister, organizer and scholar, will present “Pandemic and Privilege” as part of Cal State San Bernardino’s Conversations on Diversity series, hosted by the University Diversity Committee (UDC), on Tuesday, May 19, from noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom.

The virtual event will explore the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on people of color.

“COVID-19 is the deadliest pandemic in over a century,” according to an email from the UDC. “While the pandemic affects everyone it disproportionately harms black and brown communities. Racial inequality in heath, medical care, wealth, employment, housing, and incarceration all impact death and infection rates.”

Based in Newark, N.J., Fort is an activist who is committed to global transformative justice. He traveled to Ferguson, Mo., to help build the Movement for Black Lives, a collective of more than 50 organizations representing thousands of black people from across the country. After his time in Ferguson, Fort created “7 Last Words: Strange Fruit Speaks,” a liturgy commemorating the last words of black people killed by police and vigilantes.

Fort also participated in the International Fellowship of Reconciliation’s multinational effort to challenge racial violence.

Additionally, Fort has focused on helping those in need, and established Newark Books and Breakfast, a monthly program that provides free books and breakfast to local youth and families.

Fort has spoken at various prestigious institutions, including Harvard University, University of Amsterdam, and the Malcom X and Betty Shabazz Center. In addition, his writings have been featured in academic presses, including Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy as well as Socialism and Democracy. He has also been featured in popular media outlets such as The Guardian, HuffPost and The Root.

Fort is a current Ph.D. student in Religion and African American studies at Princeton University. He received his bachelor’s degree in English from Morehouse College and his master’s degree in divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary.

The University Diversity Committee began its Conversations on Diversity series in spring 2005 and strives to bring three renowned speakers to campus on a specific topic of diversity each fall, winter and spring quarter. Topics include, but are not limited to, race, ethnicity, religion, women’s issues, gender and sexual orientation.

To learn more about the quarterly series, visit the Conversations on Diversity webpage

For more information or accommodations, please visit the University Diversity Committee website or contact Twillea Evans-Carthen at (909) 359-5029.