SDS/Weather Underground veteran to speak
Dan Berger
October 2003

A former member of Students for a Democratic Society and the Weather Underground Organization will be speaking in Gainesville on October 1 and 2.

Bill Ayers was a leader in SDS in the mid to late 1960s, playing a major role in the organization's activism to stop the Vietnam War and in support of the Black liberation movement. Ayers also pioneered the development of the Weather Underground, a white anti-imperialist organization that took credit for more than 20 bombings of government and corporate buildings in the 1970s without harming anybody.

He is now a school reform activist, distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois- Chicago and director of the Small Schools Workshop there. Because he began teaching in a civil rights school in the 1960s, Ayers connects his teaching to his years of social justice work. He has written extensively about social justice, democracy and education; Ayers is the author or co-editor of several books on education, including the award-winning To Teach as well as Teaching for Social Justice and A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court. His latest book is a memoir, Fugitive Days.

Ayers will be doing three public talks during his brief stay here. He will be speaking on October 1 at 7 p.m. on the University of Florida campus. Entitled "To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher," this presentation will connect his movement experiences to his teaching philosophy (location TBA). This event is sponsored by the Education College Council and the Department of History.

On October 2, Ayers will be hosting a discussion on "Good Girls, Bad Girls: Young Women in Trouble with the Law" as part of the Gender Conversations series sponsored by Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research in the Ruth McQuown Room, 219 Dauer Hall. That same evening, the Civic Media Center will be hosting a reception, book signing and talk by Ayers about his memoir Fugitive Days and his experience in the Weather Underground. The reception will began at 6 p.m., and the talk, "Fugitive Days: Looking Back, Looking Forward," will begin at 7 p.m. All three events are free and open to the public.

The Hippodrome Theater will be showing a new documentary, "Weather Underground," starting Friday, October 3. For more information on Ayers, see For more information on these events, call the Civic Media Center at 373-0010 or Dan at 372-8457.

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