Joe Biden to visit campus next week
Vice President of the United States Joe Biden will visit Rice University next week, Rice’s Office of Public Affairs confirmed. The exact time and location of the event have not been finalized.
Biden will participate in an event on the national Cancer Moonshot initiative he leads to accelerate cancer research, according to an anonymous source familiar with the plans. The source also said the event will be jointly hosted by the Baker Institute and MD Anderson.
In 2015, Biden had called for the creation of the Moonshot initative in order to increase resources dedicated to cancer and to bring together disparate cancer researchers. President Barack Obama announced the creation of the initiative in his 2016 State of the Union Address, and placed Biden at the helm. Biden convened a Cancer Moonshot Taskforce in February, bringing together federal agencies and allocating over $1 billion to the effort.
Biden’s expected visit marks the second high-level member of the Obama administration this year. Last April, Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the role of religion in world politics and diplomacy at the Stude Concert Hall. This event was also hosted by the Baker Institute.
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"The model [for discussions] has long been [that] it's a small group, usually of men, but a small group has met behind closed doors and made these decisions. And I think what all of us in all of our different work have said over and over and over again is that this has to be a public conversation. All stakeholders need to be involved in these decision-making processes,“ Anne Twitty, panelist at Monday’s webinar, said.
Last month, a group of Black students published a list of demands for the administration to “address the systemic oppression and inequity that is embedded within Rice’s history by acknowledging and amplifying voices, experiences and communities that have historically been unheard.” One of the six demands is to remove Founder’s Memorial, the statue of William Marsh Rice found in the Academic Quad, on the basis of Rice’s enslavement of 15 people and involvement in the cotton trade. This demand received particular attention with “Down With Willy,” a student-led social media campaign to demand the administration remove the statue.