News | 27 October 2014

Founders Celebration Recipients Share Commitment to Social Justice


Toni Morrison explores where goodness and evil vie for attention in literature and life.

Acclaimed author Toni Morrison believes evil characters are hogging the limelight in literature “while goodness sits in the audience and watches, assuming it even has a ticket to the show.

Evil is treated as part of a “thrilling intellectual journey,” while good characters are muted and good intentions are all too often dismissed as “stupid,” Morrison, 83, told a capacity crowd at the Rio Theater in Santa Cruz on Saturday (October 25).

Morrison was in town to deliver the Peggy Downes Baskin Ethics Lecture before heading to the Cocoanut Grove ballroom, where she accepted the UC Santa Cruz Foundation Medal. Her appearance was one of the highlights the 2014 UC Santa Cruz Founders Celebration.

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Image caption: Chancellor Blumenthal presents author Toni Morrison with the 2014 UC Santa Cruz Foundation Medal at the Founders Celebration. Earlier, Morrison spoke to a full house at the Rio Theatre. (Photos by Steve Kurtz)