Olympic gold medalist, rapper visiting CMU this week

Panel discussion, concert highlight homecoming events

| Author: Aaron Mills

Olympic champion swimmer Cullen Jones and rapper and record producer Rakim will be in Mount Pleasant this week as part of Central Michigan University's homecoming festivities.

Jones is a two-time Olympian with two gold and two silver medals. He was a member of the 4x100-meter freestyle relay team that set a world record in capturing gold at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Jones will hold a panel discussion at Plachta Auditorium at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14. CMU alumni Talia Mark Brookshire, director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Western Governors University, and former Detroit Free Press sports reporter Perry A. Farrell will facilitate the event.

Cullen Jones and Rakim
Cullen Jones (left) and Rakim (right) are coming to CMU as part of the Visiting Professors program.

Rakim, named one of the greatest MCs of all time by MTV and best known for being one half of the hip-hop duo Eric B. & Rakim, will perform at Plachta Auditorium on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 8:30 p.m.

Both events are free and open to the public with limited seating.

The visits are made possible by the Martin Luther King, Jr.-César Chávez-Rosa Parks Visiting Professors program, which aims to provide expertise and unique perspectives that otherwise would not be adequately represented by faculty. The CMU Office for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and CMU Black Alumni Association spearheaded the events as part of the university's dedication to fostering better understanding across diverse groups.

Rakim's visit will be his second with CMU students, having previously held a virtual class in February through the KCP Visiting Professors program. Abolitionist Teaching Network educator and social justice advocate Dr. Bettina Love is scheduled to visit CMU as a KCP Visiting Professor in February 2022.

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