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Entertainer, social activist Harry Belafonte to speak at Case February 7

Harry Belafonte
Harry Belafonte
photo courtesy of Grabow

Harry Belafonte—actor, singer and social activist—will speak at Case Western Reserve University on Tuesday, February 7 at 7 p.m. at the university's Strosacker Auditorium, 2125 Adelbert Road. The event is a free, but ticketed event.

When it comes to civil and human rights, "Harry Belafonte has used his extraordinary intelligence, vision, talent and visibility to bring those issues to the world's attention," said Eric Hammond, co-chair of Case's University Program Board (UPB), which is co-sponsoring Belafonte's visit to campus along with Kappa Alpha Psi, Alpha Omega Chapter fraternity.

"I don't think a lot of college students know him, but they should. It was he who bailed Martin Luther King out of the Birmingham jail. It was he who wouldn't perform in the south during the period of segregation. It was he who helped to organize the March on Washington," Hammond said.

Hammond, a senior majoring in political science and psychology, said he wrote a letter to Belafonte asking him to speak at Case, and the legendary entertainer responded within a few weeks. "He really wants to reach out to youth. He's done things and he's been so socially active," Hammond explained. He added that Belafonte will draw on his experiences to give a motivational talk.

Belafonte has been referred to as the 'consummate entertainer' because he has achieved success in the fields of music, movies, Broadway and television. In addition, he has played a pivotal role in the civil rights movements in the United States and globally. He conceived and helped organize the "We Are the World" project in 1985, which brought together dozens of popular singers and entertainers; the charity song resulted in millions of dollars donated for famine relief in Africa.

UPB will distribute free, advance tickets beginning January 27 for Case undergraduate students, followed by tickets being available on February 1 for faculty, staff, and the general public. Tickets can be picked up at the UPB office, located in the lower level of Thwing Center, 11111 Euclid Ave., from noon-4 p.m.

Any remaining tickets will be available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. For information contact the UPB Cultural Development committee at (216) 368-2438 or the co-chairs at the following email addresses:;; and


About Case Western Reserve University

Case is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case offers nationally recognized programs in the Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work.