The Case Western Reserve University School of Law's inaugural concert to benefit its Center for Social Justice will feature a very special evening with legendary folk musician Richie Havens at the intimate Ohio Theatre Friday, September 5 at 8 p.m.
Tickets for the show are $35 for the general public and $20 for students. A $5 discount is available for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum members.
The Center for Social Justice, which was established at the law school last fall, seeks to assist students financially who wish to pursue a career in social justice and to encourage all students to devote some time to public interest work during and after law school. Proceeds from the benefit concert will promote public interest work by funding scholarships and summer stipends for students aspiring to a career in social justice and by providing loan repayment assistance to graduates pursuing such careers.
"Richie Havens is a truly extraordinary performer and person," said Dean Gary Simson. "He is the perfect choice for this event, and we are honored and excited that he agreed to do it."
The center commemorates the school's historic commitment to social justice. Dating back to its first entering class in 1892, the School of Law has provided a welcoming environment to students of all races and creeds. Among the law school's most illustrious graduates are Fred Gray and C.B. King, two giants in the area of civil rights litigation. The Center for Social Justice aims to honor the influential civil rights attorneys who graduated from the school as well as assists groups who currently experience discriminatory treatment.
In addition to diminishing financial obstacles for students, the center seeks to expand curricular offerings in the social justice area and to provide programming that focuses on discrimination of all kinds and on the legal system's response to disadvantaged and underserved populations.
"I feel strongly that the role of a law school is very special in our society, and that developing a sense of social responsibility is part of the ethical training we all talk about," said Simson.
Havens, who performed for nearly three hours as the opening act at Woodstock in 1969, rose to fame in the mid-to-late 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene and has released more than 25 albums and toured tirelessly in his career. His latest album, Nobody Left to Crown, was released July 29.
His music, through a poignant and soulful singing style, conveys messages of community and personal freedom. Freedom, an improvised version of the old spiritual Motherless Child, is now considered the anthem for the Woodstock generation and was a request by the Dalai Lama at a special performance decades later. His work was recognized in 2003 by the National Music Council with the American Eagle Award, presented for "providing a rare and inspiring voice of eloquence, integrity and social responsibility."
In addition to his music, Havens is known for his charitable work. In the mid-1970s, he co-founded the Northwind Undersea Institute, an oceanographic children's museum on City Island in the Bronx, New York. The museum led to the creation of The Natural Guard, an organization that educates children about the environment. Havens, who performs at a number of benefit shows each year, was awarded the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award in 1991.
"The Center for Social Justice honors the Law School's history of seeking to make the law work for all," said Laura Chisolm, the center director. "We are so excited to have the legendary Richie Havens, a champion of civil rights and social justice since he came on the scene at Woodstock nearly 40 years ago, as the first performer to do a benefit concert for the center.
Prior to the show Havens is offering a limited number of fans and guests the opportunity to meet with him from 6:30-7:30 p.m. for a reception in the Allen Theatre lobby. This VIP package, which includes preferred seating and the pre-show reception, is available for $100.
Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.