Kevin Powell, activist, author, pop culture curator and co-founder of multicultural civil and human rights organization BK Nation, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in Sheldon Hall ballroom as part of SUNY Oswego's I Am Oz Diversity Speaker Series.

Doors will open for the free public appearance at 6 p.m.; a question-and-answer session and book signing will follow.

Legendary feminist Gloria Steinem called Powell "a charismatic speaker, leader and a very good writer (who) has the courage … to be fully human, and this will bring the deepest revolution of all."

Raised by a single mother in extreme poverty, Powell studied at Rutgers University thanks to New Jersey's Educational Opportunity Fund. He has gone on to author 12 books, including "The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy's Journey into Manhood."

Powell curated the first exhibit in the history of hip-hop at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, a display that later toured America and overseas. His work has appeared in such publications as Ebony, The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, ESPN and Vibe, where he worked as senior writer. He appeared on the first season of MTV's groundbreaking "Real World" in 1992, and produced a 1993 documentary, "Straight from the Hood: An MTV News Special Report," about post-riot Los Angeles.

At present he's deeply involved as president of BK Nation ("Building Knowledge"), a national organization based in New York City as "a movement of people from all backgrounds, combining grassroots activism, pop culture, technology, and social media to spark projects and campaigns led by the people, for the people."

Long a leader in national and global initiatives to end violence against women and girls, Powell has done extensive philanthropic and relief work following such catastrophes as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy and earthquakes in Haiti and Japan. He has held an annual party to benefit the homeless every year since 9/11.

Parking is free in the lots adjacent to and across Washington Boulevard from Sheldon Hall. Those needing accommodations to attend Powell's appearance should contact the Dean of Students Office at SUNY Oswego, 315-312-5483 or