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Professor John Warfield Dies at 71

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posted: Monday October 29, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas—John Warfield, former director of the Center for African and African American Studies (CAAAS) in the College of Liberal Arts and associate professor of educational psychology at The University of Texas at Austin, died Oct. 25 in Kalamazoo, Mich., after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

Warfield taught at the university for 26 years and directed CAAAS from 1973 to 1986, before retiring in 1999. He earned a doctor's degree in counseling psychology from the University of Oregon.

As director of CAAAS, Warfield was the pioneering founder of the black community radio station, KAZI-FM, and a founder of a leading Austin grassroots organization, the Black Citizens Task Force. He also was an activist scholar who published in the area of race and sports, at a time when scholarship in this field was in its infancy.

"Warfield was an unapologetic crusader for racial and social justice who was committed to placing the intellectual resources of the center in service of the Austin community," Edmund Gordon, director of CAAAS, said. "He has been my model and inspiration and will be dearly missed."

"Warfield was truly a civil rights pioneer, and did not shy away from confronting discrimination against African Americans," Gregory Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement, said. "He was a major contributor to the civil rights movement at the university and gave a voice to those who were otherwise voiceless. One of his greatest contributions was helping to legitimize the academic pursuit of African American history. He also was one of the originators of the annual Heman Sweatt Symposium on Civil Rights, now in its 22nd year. The impact of his contributions will be felt for generations to come."

For details about Warfield's memorial to be held Dec. 7, contact the Center for African and African American Studies at 512-471-1784.

For more information contact: John Flemming, administrative assistant, Center for African and African American Studies, 512-471-1784.

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