EVENT:  Common, a Grammy Award-winning musician and actor, will speak at UC Irvine as part of New Narratives: Conversations on Identities & Culture. In a talk introduced by Thomas Parham, vice chancellor for student affairs, Common will discuss his career, social activism and philanthropic efforts on behalf of youth and minority communities. He also will answer questions from audience members.

WHEN/WHERE:  3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10, at the Bren Events Center (grid D6, bldg. 901 on campus map)

INFORMATION:  The event is free for UC Irvine faculty, students, staff and alumni. Tickets can be picked up at ASUCI and Student Life & Leadership offices starting April 4. General-admission tickets can be purchased for $10 at www.studentaffairs.uci.edu/newnarratives. Media planning to attend should contact Laura Rico at 949-824-9055 or lrico@uci.edu. Parking is available for $10 in the Mesa Parking Structure.

BACKGROUND:  New Narratives is a yearlong series of events promoting healthy intergroup communication and cooperation that’s sponsored by Student Affairs. Thomas Parham created the series in response to a need for greater understanding and dialogue around identities and culture. Its speakers, films, panel workshops and additional activities focus on topics related to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation and other social identities.

Common, born Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr. in Chicago, has won two Grammy Awards and appeared in the films “American Gangster” and “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” as well as the recently released “Now You See Me.” He currently stars in the acclaimed AMC television series “Hell on Wheels.” Common rose to prominence as one of hip-hop’s most poetic and respected lyricists, having recorded 11 albums. He’s also the author of the children’s book I Like You but I Love Me, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. His philanthropic organization, the Common Ground Foundation, is dedicated to empowering and developing disadvantaged youth in urban communities by mentoring in three areas: character development, creative expression and healthy living.

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