The Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, Civil Rights Activist, to Speak at U.Va. Sept. 16

September 03, 2008

September 3, 2008 — The Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, civil rights activist and pastor of the nationally renowned Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City, will visit the University of Virginia Sept. 16 and 17 to participate in the Explorations in Black Leadership series. He will speak on "Integrity and Leadership" Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Newcomb Hall Art Gallery.

Butts, who was raised in New York City, was named senior pastor of the 200-year-old Harlem church in 1989 and also has served as president of SUNY College at Old Westbury for 10 years.

In addition, Butts is chairman of the board of North General Hospital in Harlem, chairman of National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS and vice chairman of the board of United Way of New York City.

A member of other boards dedicated to educational, religious and community fronts, he previously served as president of Africare, an independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in rural Africa.

Butts earned a B.A. in philosophy from Morehouse College, a master's of divinity in church history from Union Theological Seminary and a doctor of ministry in church and public policy from Drew University. Butts was an urban affairs instructor and served as adjunct professor in the African Studies Department at City College, New York. He continues to give lectures and speeches at colleges, universities and various organizations throughout the United States and abroad.

U.Va. history professors Julian Bond and Phyllis Leffler have co-directed Explorations in Black Leadership since 2000. Butts' talk is co-sponsored by the Institute for Public History, led by Leffler, and the Carter G. Woodson Institute of African-American and African Studies.