Bakersfield College

Library shelf full of books

Cerro Visiting Authors

The Cerro Author program began at Bakersfield College with its first visiting writer, Luis Rodriguez, in 2007.

Made possible by a generous bequest by Delores Cerro, a local citizen who believed in the power of libraries to shape students’ lives, the Cerro Author program brings a prominent writer to the Bakersfield College campus each year.

Students, faculty, staff, and community members have an opportunity to hear the author speak about the creation of and themes within the writer’s works. Audience members are able to hear firsthand about both the challenges and rewards of the writing process from the vantage point of a professional author.

Current Author: Michael Eric Dyson

Andy WeirDr. Michael Eric Dyson – an American Book Award recipient and two-time NAACP Image Award winner – is one of the nation’s most influential and renowned public intellectuals. He has been named one of the 150 most powerful African Americans by Ebony magazine. The Philadelphia Weekly contends that Dr. Dyson “is reshaping what it means to be a public intellectual by becoming the most visible black academic of his time.”

Dr. Dyson’s numerous publications include Holler if You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac ShakurCome Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of DisasterThe Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, and Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America.  Dr. Dyson has taught at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities – including Brown, Chapel Hill, Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania. He is presently University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. His legendary rise – from welfare father to Princeton Ph.D., from church pastor to college professor, from a factory worker who didn’t start college until he was 21 to a figure who has become what writer Naomi Wolf terms “the ideal public intellectual of our time” – may help explain why author Nathan McCall simply calls him “a street fighter in suit and tie.”

Dr. Dyson appears at Bakersfield College as a Cerro Visiting Author and as part of African- American Heritage Month, in collaboration with Bakersfield College African-American Initiative Committee.


Schedule of Events

  • Thursday, February 8: Dr. Dyson at 10:00 a.m. in the Fireside Room. Open to all students

  • Thursday, February 8: Dr. Dyson at 2:00 p.m. in the Fireside Room. Open to all students

  • Thursday, February 8: Dr. Dyson at 7:00 p.m. in the Simonsen Performing Arts Center.  Free admission. Open to the public.


Past Authors

2016: Andy Weir

2015: Luis Urrea

2014: Kelsey Timmerman

2013: Patricia McCormick

2012: Julie Otsuka

2011: Mark Salzman

2010: Steve Lopez

2009: Reyna Grande

2008: Gary Soto

2007: Luis Rodriguez

Kern Community College District