Activist, Olympian speaks on campus

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Ever dreamt of being or meeting an Olympian? Come to Pacific University’s 2012 Whiteley Distinguished Lecture: “Olympic Champion, Olympian Activist: John Carlos Speaks.”

John Carlos took home a bronze medal in the 1968 Mexico City games with his performance in the 200-meter dash and is a member of the Track and Field Hall of Fame.

As he stepped to the podium to receive his medal, Carlos and his teammate, Tommie Smith, wore black socks and no shoes to represent impoverished people who had no shoes of their own.

Shocking at the time with racial rights movements on the rise, he raised a black-gloved fist to reflect the strength of the human spirit. His raised fist became a symbol in the African American Rights movement.

After his Olympic career, Carlos went on to play football for the Philadelphia Eagles and for the Canadian Football League, but retired due to a knee injury. He also succeeded in equaling the world record for the 100-meter dash.

Though his actions were severe enough to provoke death threats, he was unafraid to speak the truth about the problems of the world.

Carlos today continues to work both globally and within communities to improve human rights conditions, while also acting as both a school counselor and a track and field coach at Palm Springs High School in California.

Carlos speaks in part with the Benjamin and Elaine Whiteley Distinguished Lecture is an annual offering of the College of Arts and Sciences made possible by the generous support of the Whiteleys. The College’s School of Social Sciences is presenting this year’s lecture.

This lecture will take place on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Taylor-Meade Performing Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public. A book-signing session will follow the lecture.


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