February 27, 2015, BY Heather Johns

Academy Award-winning hip-hop recording artist, actor and activist Common will speak at Bucknell University on Tuesday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts. In "An Evening With Common," he will discuss a range of topics including race relations in the United States and his efforts to bring about change by empowering underserved children. The talk will be followed by a brief question-and-answer session with the audience.

WVIA will record the event and airs it on March 31 at 7 p.m., April 5 at noon and 11 p.m., April 9 at 7 p.m., April 24 at 7 p.m. and April 26 at noon.

Common is the third speaker in the Bucknell Forum series Revolution Redefined. The event is free and open to the public. For ticketing information, click here.

King of conscious hip-hop
Common rose to prominence as one of hip-hop's most poetic and respected lyricists. The two-time Grammy Award winner most recently won a Golden Globe Award for Best Song and an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Glory" from the 2014 film Selma, in which he co-starred as 1960s Civil Rights Movement leader James Bevel.

His other acting credits include his role as freed slave Elam Ferguson in the AMC historical drama series Hell on Wheels. Common has appeared in numerous films and narrated the award-winning documentary Bouncing Cats, about one man's efforts to improve the lives of children in Uganda through hip-hop/b-boy culture.

An author, Common has written three children's books — one of which, I Like You But I Love Me, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award — and his memoir, One Day It'll All Make Sense, explores his upbringing and familial relationships. In 2007, Common launched the Common Ground Foundation, which provides opportunities for youth to learn new skills, as well as a support system that fosters personal growth and empowerment. "I started the Common Ground Foundation because I wanted to help. Most of all help people to help themselves," he wrote on the foundation's website. "I always believed that if we started with the youth then we would be planting the seeds for our future to blossom. Give the children a sense of hope, self-esteem, and love that will better the world."

Ticketing information
Current Bucknell students, faculty and staff may receive up to two free tickets at the Campus Box Office's Weis Center location between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the day of the event. In order to receive tickets you must be present with your valid Bucknell University ID; you will not be permitted to use multiple Bucknell IDs to pick up additional sets of tickets.

A limited number of tickets for the general public will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Campus Box Office's Weis Center location beginning at 6 p.m. on the evening of the event. All individuals may receive up to two free tickets if seating is still available.

This is not a general admission event. All tickets will be distributed beginning with the best seats available.

Overflow seating will be available in Trout Auditorium in the Vaughan Literature Building. An ASL interpreter will be signing at the event for the deaf and hard of hearing community. If attendees need this service, they are asked to contact sebright@bucknell.edu for seating arrangements.

On the night of the event, the Weis Center lobby will open at 6 p.m. Doors to the auditorium open at 6:30 p.m. You must be seated by 7:15 p.m. Individuals who are not seated by 7:15 p.m. will forfeit their seats. Questions regarding this event should be directed to the Division of Communications by calling 570-577-3260 or by emailing theforum@bucknell.edu.

Bucknell Forum
Since 2007, the Bucknell Forum speaker series has featured nationally renowned leaders, scholars and commentators who have examined various issues from multidisciplinary and diverse of viewpoints. | Read about past Bucknell Forum speakers Neil Gaiman, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jane Goodall and Laverne Cox.

Through the voices of renowned agents of change, the current Bucknell Forum series, Revolution Redefined, will explore social change and how it has — or has not — evolved over time, as well as how individuals can grow to become global citizens who make meaningful, lasting impacts on society in a variety of ways.

Among the principles guiding the Bucknell Forum Task Force is to strengthen the mission, vision and reputation of the University and the goals of The Plan for Bucknell, which includes connecting the University with the community.

For more information about Forum events, call 570-577-3260.