The Black Student Union is proud to welcome Gary Tyler as the 2024 Black History Month keynote speaker. Please join us in Gund Gallery Community Foundation Theater on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 3:30 – 6 p.m. 

Gary Tyler was wrongfully convicted of shooting a white student in 1974 at the age of 16 by an all-white jury. For this, Tyler spent 41 years in prison where he led the Angola Drama club, worked in the hospice program and learned to quilt. Activists nationwide, including Rosa Parks, fought to get him released from a prejudiced sentencing.

Seven years after his release, Tyler debuted his solo art exhibit at the Library Street Collective in Detroit titled "We Are The Willing," which consists of a collection of quilts. His artistic output is powerful as "[Tyler] wanted to do something that was provocative, eye-opening, where the audience, when they leave, they’ll leave with an impression that this individual, you would say he didn’t allow the conditions of prison to dehumanize him."

Tyler's talk on Saturday will be about community activism and his perspective on community organization for activism and how we can improve.