Booker to speak about diversity

The Honorable Cory A. Booker, mayor of Newark, N.J., will give a talk, “Bridging the Divide: The Strengths and Challenges of Diversity in America,” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 in the Mountainlair Ballrooms on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown.

This event is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by the WVU Center for Black Culture and Research.

In his two terms as mayor, Booker, 42, has set an ambitious agenda for Newark and, in the process, fashioned a national standard for urban transformation. He and his administration, together with the city’s residents, have more than doubled the rate of affordable housing production, undertaken a massive expansion of parks and recreation spaces, brought more than $1 billion of new economic development into the city and instituted sweeping education reform and crime reduction efforts.

Brands such as Panasonic, Manishewitz and have relocated their national and international headquarters to Newark. Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has gifted the city with $100 million for the school system.

These successes, along with Booker’s hands-on governance – he once pulled a constituent from a burning building – landed him on the 2011 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Booker received his B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University, a B.A. in modern history at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and his law degree at Yale University.