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Memorial service to celebrate the life of poet June Jordan
10 September 2002

A memorial service celebrating the life of June Jordan, a University of California, Berkeley, professor, poet and activist, will be held this Sunday (Sept. 15) in Wheeler Hall auditorium.

June Jordan, "Poet of the People" (Jane Scherr photo)

Jordan, an award-winning poet and one of the most published African American writers in history, died of cancer on June14 at age 65. She founded and directed for 12 years a UC Berkeley course called "Poetry for the People" that taught undergraduates to read, write and critique poetry from various cultures.

Jordan's family has planned the 1. p.m. service, which is being sponsored by the campus's Department of African American Studies.

The Wheeler Hall auditorium will accommodate invited family members, friends, and UC Berkeley faculty, staff and students. Free tickets for remaining seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at noon in front of Wheeler Hall. The service also will be broadcast live in rooms 145 and 155 of nearby Dwinelle Hall for overflow guests.

Speakers will include UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl; Jordan's collaborator Adrienne Torf; poets Adrienne Rich, Cornelius Eady and Janice Mirikitani; activist and author Angela Davis; poet and writer Sara Miles; scholar Bernice Johnson Reagon; musician Vicki Randle; and, speaking via videotape, authors Alice Walker and Toni Morrison.

Also present will be former "Poetry for the People" students, many of whom went on to lead "Poetry for the People" workshops at Berkeley High School, Glide Memorial Church, Dublin Women's Prison and Bay Area cultural centers.

For more information about Jordan, see a Media Relations news release.