Past Programs

Kelly Brownell – “Joseph Priestley Award Recipient”

Duke University

Joseph Priestley Award Celebration Lecture

Harnessing Academic Work to Make a Difference: Food Policy as an Example

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

With the goal of more tightly connecting work in academic settings with the real world of social and policy change, a model of strategic scholarship will be described. Examples will be drawn from work on food policy (e.g., menu labeling, food marketing, soda taxes).

The Joseph Priestley Award recipient is chosen by a different science department each year.  The Department of Psychology has selected this year’s recipient, Kelly Brownell. The event is supported by the College’s Priestley Fund and is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of biology, chemistry, earth sciences, environmental studies, math & computer science, psychology, and physics & astronomy.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Kelly Brownell is dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, where he is also Robert L. Flowers Professor of Public Policy and professor of psychology and neuroscience.

In 2006 Time magazine listed Kelly Brownell among “The World’s 100 Most Influential People” in its special Time 100 issue featuring those “.. whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world.” Brownell was elected to membership in the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) in 2006 and has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association and the Graduate Mentoring Award from Yale University.

Prior to joining the faculty at Duke, Brownell was at Yale University where he was the James Rowland Angell Professor of Psychology, professor of epidemiology and public health, and director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. While at Yale he served as chair of the Department of Psychology and as Master of Silliman College.

Dr. Brownell has published 15 books and more than 350 scientific articles and chapters. He has served as president of several national organizations and has advised the White House, members of congress, governors, world health and nutrition organizations, and media leaders on issues of nutrition, obesity, and public policy.  He was cited as a “moral entrepreneur” with special influence on public discourse in a history of the obesity field and was cited by Time magazine as a leading “warrior” in the area of nutrition and public policy.

Joseph Priestley Lecture
The Priestley Award is presented by Dickinson College in memory of Joseph Priestley, discoverer of oxygen, to a distinguished scientist whose work has contributed to the welfare of humanity. The Priestley Award, first presented in 1952, recognizes outstanding achievement and contribution to our understanding of science and the world.

Video of the Lecture

Winona LaDuke – “Morgan Lecturer”

Executive Director, Honor the Earth

Morgan Lecture

The Next Energy Economy: Grassroots Strategies to Mitigate Global Climate Change & How We Move Ahead

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 
(Rescheduled from Fall 2016)
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Native American writer and activist Winona LaDuke will draw from her grassroots experiences, including the #NoDAPL movement at Standing Rock, to explore how we can move forward to create a new energy economy. A book sale and signing will follow the presentation.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Morgan Lecture Fund and co-sponsored by the Center for Sustainability Education, the Churchill Fund and the Departments of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Environmental Studies, American Studies, Anthropology & Archaeology and Political Science.  It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s  Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series and part of the Clarke Forum’s Fall 2016 semester theme, Food.

laduke_winona5-10(300)Biography (provided by the speaker)

Winona LaDuke is an internationally renowned activist working on issues of sustainable development renewable energy and food systems. She lives and works on the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota, and is a two-time vice presidential candidate with Ralph Nader for the Green Party.

As executive director of the Honor the Earth, she works nationally and internationally on the issues of climate change, renewable energy, and environmental justice with indigenous communities. And in her own community, she is the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, one of the largest reservation based nonprofit organizations in the country, and a leader in the issues of culturally based sustainable development strategies, renewable energy, and food systems. In this work, she also continues national and international work to protect Indigenous plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering.

In 2007, LaDuke was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, recognizing her leadership and community commitment. In 1994, she was nominated by Time magazine as one of America’s 50 most promising leaders under 40. She has been awarded the Thomas Merton Award in 1996, Ms. Woman of the Year (with the Indigo Girls) in 1997, and the Reebok Human Rights Award, with which in part she began the White Earth Land Recovery Project. The White Earth Land Recovery Project has won many awards, including the prestigious 2003 International Slow Food Award for Biodiversity, recognizing the organization’s work to protect wild rice from patenting and genetic engineering.

A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities, she has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues. She is a former board member of Greenpeace USA and is presently an advisory board member for the Trust for Public Lands Native Lands Program as well as a board member of the Christensen Fund. The author of five books, including Recovering the Sacred, All Our Relations, and a novel, Last Standing Woman, she is widely recognized for her work on environmental and human rights issues.

Morgan Lectureship
The Morgan Lectureship was endowed by the board of trustees in 1992, in grateful appreciation for the distinguished service of James Henry Morgan of the Class of 1878, professor of Greek, dean, and president of the College. The lectureship brings to campus a scholar in residence to meet informally with individuals and class groups, and to deliver the Morgan Lecture on topics in the social sciences and humanities. Recent scholars have been Jorge Luis Borges, Francis Fukuyama, Michael Ignatieff, Samantha Power, Art Spiegelman, Sandra Steingraber, Kay Redfield Jamison and Patricia Hill Collins.

Video of Event for Campus Viewing Only

Bees and Beekeeping Today

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.


Olivia Bernauer, graduate student, University of Maryland
Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, beekeeper and professor, Rhode Island College
Rodney Morgan, beekeeper
Samuel Ramsey, doctoral student, University of Maryland
Marcus Welker, (moderator), projects coordinator, Center for Sustainability Education, Dickinson College

This panel explores the significance of bees and beekeeping from a variety of perspectives, including the recent entomological research, the growth of beekeeping, and the work we are doing here at Dickinson.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Center for Sustainability Education, the Department of Biology and the Food Studies Certificate Program.

Biographies (provided by the panelists)

Olivia Bernauer is currently a second-year Masters student at the University of Maryland, College Park working in the vanEngelsdorp bee lab. Her ongoing research combines citizen science with a specimen collection to determine the most valuable pollinator plants for the native pollinators in the state of Maryland. Previously, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she worked to understand the response of bumble bee colonies to fungicide both in the field and in a controlled cage experiment.

Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban is a professor emerita of anthropology at Rhode Island College and is a faculty member of the doctoral program in education. She is also adjunct professor of African studies at the Naval War College, Newport. At Rhode Island College she taught courses on race, gender, African, Middle East and Islamic studies and received both the awards for Distinguished Teaching and Distinguished Scholarship.

Besides her academic history, she has been a beekeeper since 2003 as well as a beekeeping educator giving annual lectures for the Urban Agriculture program at Brown University. She was the main inspiration behind the installation of beehives for public education on the urban campus of Rhode Island College in Providence in 2010 where the RI Beekeepers’ Association Bee Schools are held each year in February and March. She also initiated a Bee Education Center on campus which offers educational tours of the beehives for school children from around the state on the environmental importance of bees.

Her academic experiences include living and conducting research in the Sudan, Egypt and Tunisia. Her research subjects cover: Islamic law and Islamic society, women’s status in Muslim societies, race, ethics and anthropological research, human rights and cultural relativism, and comparative studies in law and society. She is the author of several books including Islamic Law and Society in the Sudan, Ethics and the Profession of Anthropology: Dialogue for Ethically Conscious Practice, and most recently a textbook Ethics and Anthropology, Ideas and Practice.

Rodney Morgan has been a beekeeper for the last 10 years.  He currently manages 35-50 hives throughout the year, with several of the hives located at Dickinson College Farm.  Rodney works as an electronics technician, but also owns and runs Whistleberry Farm in Boiling Springs, along with his wife, Lynne.  They grow a variety of produce in addition to beekeeping and are regular vendors at the Farmers on the Square Market in Carlisle and the Dillsburg Farmers Market.

Samuel Ramsey‘s enduring interest in entomology started 19 years ago and shows no signs of waning. A Ph.D. student studying in Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp’s lab at the University of Maryland, College Park; Ramsey tries to maintain a focus on how insect research can benefit the public through development of IPM strategies and STEM outreach initiatives. Ramsey studied entomology at Cornell University as an undergraduate focusing on predatory/parasitic insect behavior. His current work focuses on the effects of honey bee parasites on individual and colony level survivorship specifically targeting Varroa destructor.

Marcus Welker came to Dickinson in fall 2015 after completing his master of science in ecology and evolutionary biology degree at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. At Dartmouth, Marcus studied Atlantic salmon migration and traveled to Alaska, Greenland, and Svalbard to learn more about the effects of climate change on the Arctic. While not studying, Marcus learned to keep honeybees, ride and maintain bicycles, and brew beer. Marcus enjoys sharing his passions for the outdoors, the environment, and sustainability with the Dickinson community and is excited to mentor students, staff, faculty, and alumni in the art and science of beekeeping.

Video of the Panel Discussion

Lila Abu-Lughod – “Morgan Lecturer”

Professor, Columbia University

Morgan Lecture

Muslim Women and the Freedom to Choose

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

What can we learn from public debates about Muslim women that hinge on a right – the “right to choose freely”- that has been enshrined in international feminist conventions and that animates the popular American imagination about such practices as veiling and arranged marriage?  Anthropologist Abu-Lughod will examine the everyday lives of young women in one Egyptian village to open up new ways of thinking about choice and to expose the politics of common fantasies about this right. A book sale and signing will follow the presentation.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues, the Morgan Lecture Fund and the Churchill Fund. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Lila Abu-Lughod is the Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science at Columbia University where she teaches anthropology and women’s studies.  A leading voice in the debates about culture, gender, Islam, and global feminist politics, her books and articles have been translated into 14 languages. Her scholarship, mostly ethnographic and based on long term fieldwork in Egypt, has focused on the relationship between cultural forms and power; the politics of knowledge and representation; and the question of human and women’s rights in the Middle East and globally. Her award-winning books include Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society (whose 30th anniversary edition with a new Afterword was published in September 2016);  Writing Women’s Worlds: Bedouin Stories (1993); and Dramas of Nationhood: The Politics of Television in Egypt (2005). Her most recent book,  Do Muslim Women Need Saving? was published by Harvard University Press in 2013. A founding member of the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University, she has also published on memory, and violence, having co-edited a book called Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory (2007). She has just begun work this year on a collaborative project funded by the Henry Luce Foundation on “Religion and the Global Framing of Gender Violence.”

Morgan Lectureship
The Morgan Lectureship was endowed by the board of trustees in 1992, in grateful appreciation for the distinguished service of James Henry Morgan of the Class of 1878, professor of Greek, dean, and president of the College. The lectureship brings to campus a scholar in residence to meet informally with individuals and class groups, and to deliver the Morgan Lecture on topics in the social sciences and humanities. Recent scholars have been Jorge Luis Borges, Francis Fukuyama, Michael Ignatieff, Samantha Power, Art Spiegelman, Sandra Steingraber, Kay Redfield Jamison and Patricia Hill Collins.

Video of the Lecture

Sonya Renee Taylor


These events are part of “Love Your Body Week

Your Body is Not an Apology

Thursday, February 23, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

This performance by author/poet Sonya Renee Taylor uses popular education, performance poetry and media examples to introduce participants to the concepts of body terrorism and radical self-love.

Workshop: 10 Tools for Radical Self Love

Friday, February 24, 2017
(Open only to Dickinson community. RSVP to  – Space is limited)
TIME & LOCATION CHANGE: Noon – 1:30 p.m. in Althouse 106

Can you re-imagine a relationship with your body and your life that is not adversarial? In this two-hour workshop get practical tools and a step by step action plan that can dramatically shift your relationship with your body from enemy to gorgeous partner in creating your most unapologetic life of radical self-love!

These events are sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues, the Churchill Fund, the Division of Student Life, the Women’s and Gender Resource Center, the Popel Shaw Center for Race and Ethnicity, the Office of LGBTQ Services, and the Departments of Sociology, Psychology and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Sonya Renee Taylor is the founder and radical executive officer of The Body is Not An Apology (TBINAA), an international movement, digital media and education company committed to radical self-love and body empowerment as the foundational tool for social justice and global transformation. TBINAA reaches over 250,000 people weekly in 140 countries with their content and educational projects. Taylor’s work as an award-winning performance poet, activist, speaker, and transformational leader continues to have global reach. She has appeared across the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, Canada and the Netherlands. Sonya and her work has been seen, heard and read on HBO, BET, MTV, TV One, NPR, PBS, CNN, Oxygen Network, The New York Times, New York Magazine,,, Huffington Post, Vogue Australia,, Ms. Magazine and many more. She has shared stages with such luminaries as Carrie Mae Weems, Theaster Gates, Harry Belafonte, Dr. Cornell West, Hilary Rodham Clinton, the late Amiri Baraka and numerous others. Sonya continues to perform, speak and facilitate workshops globally.  Visit her at or

Video of the Presentation

Yoga for Every Body

Tuesday, February 21, 2017
HUB, Dance Studio, Noon – 1 p.m.

Our spectacular, local yoga instructor Michele Landis, owner of Simply Well Yoga, will conduct a yoga class for everyone–all levels, all bodies, all ages.  Mats are provided or bring your own!

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and is part of Love Your Body Week.

Biography of Michele Landis

Michele Landis is the owner of Yoga at Simply Well. Michele teaches yoga and works as a one-on-one holistic health coach in Carlisle, PA. She graduated with honors from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York, NY. The Institute for Integrative Nutrition is the only nutrition school integrating all of the different dietary theories, combining the knowledge of traditional philosophies with modern concepts such as the USDA food guidelines, the glycemic index, the Zone and raw foods. Michele’s passion is helping her clients cook more and buy and eat local, seasonal foods. She earned her teacher certification in Kripalu Yoga from the Karma Yoga Lifestyle Program of the renowned Kripalu Institute in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. At the Kripalu Institute, where she studied and served on staff for almost two years, Michele learned the value of incorporating work as a spiritual practice through daily workshops, yogic breathing, nutrition, and connection to nature and community. Michele’s own connection to nature is reflected in her passion for backpacking. She has hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine, and has taught day-hiking classes at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, where she first began practicing yoga. Michele has also hiked the Colorado Trail and New England’s Long Trail. She holds an associate degree from the Harrisburg Area Community College.


Lester Spence

Johns Hopkins University

Trump, Race, and the Slow Death of Democracy

Thursday, February 16, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m. (New Location)

Spence will talk about the causes and the potentially stark consequences of Donald Trump’s election. While some point solely to racial politics, Spence examines the role of the neoliberal turn.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Churchill Fund, the Popel Shaw Center for Race and Ethnicity, the Division of Student Life, and the Departments of American Studies, Political Science, Sociology, and the Program in Policy Studies. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series. This event was initiated by the Clarke Forum’s student project managers.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Lester Spence is an associate professor of political science and Africana studies at Johns Hopkins University and the Center for Emerging Media Scholar in Residence. Spence  specializes in the study of black, racial, and urban politics. Over the past decade Spence published articles on American institutional legitimacy in the wake of the contentious 2000 Presidential election, the effects of long-term black political empowerment on black participation, the role of media narratives on black attitudes about HIV/AIDS, and the determinants of support for black nationalism. But with his first and second books (2011 W.E.B. DuBois Distinguished Book Award Winner Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-hop and Black Politics and Knocking the Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics) he’s become particularly interested in studying the causes and consequences of growing inequality within black communities.

In the classroom Spence strives to accomplish three goals: To infuse a love of learning and the life of the mind; to clarify the role politics plays in the world; and finally, to increase the capacity to change it. In 2009 he received an Excellence in Teaching Award from Johns Hopkins University. In 2010 he received an Arts Innovation Grant to fund a course that combined Black Politics and Documentary Photography. In 2016 as a Center of Social Concern Engaged Scholar Spence taught two “deep dive” courses designed to get students to understand the political circumstances leading up to the Baltimore Uprising.

Video of the Lecture

Community Responses to Anti-Muslim Hatred

Monday, February 13, 2017
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.


Joyce Davis (moderator), founder and president, World Affairs Council
Samia Malik, director of education, Council on American-Islamic Relations Harrisburg chapter
Ikram Rabbani ’17, student, Dickinson College
Ann M. Van Dyke, Community Responders Network

Since 2015, attacks on Muslims have spiked in the United States, including Central Pennsylvania. This evening’s panel will discuss community responses designed to combat anti-Muslim hatred by promoting pluralism and interfaith dialogue.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Middle East Studies Program.

Joyce M. Davis is director of communications for the City of Harrisburg and supervisor of WHBG Channel 20, the region’s government and public affairs television station.  She also is founder and president of The World Affairs Council of Harrisburg. A former foreign correspondent and foreign editor for National Public Radio and Knight Ridder Newspapers, Davis is author of many articles, broadcasts and two books: Between Jihad and Salaam: Profiles in Islam and Martyrs: Innocence, Vengeance and Despair in the Middle East. Davis is a member of several boards, including the World Affairs Councils of America, United Way of the Capital Region, Elizabethtown College, Penn State School of Humanities Advisory Board and State Street Academy of Music. Davis has received numerous awards, including the U.S. State Department’s Distinguished Service and an honorary doctorate from Kyrgyz International University for her work in advancing a free and independent press in the former Soviet Union, and for securing the free flow of information to Kyrgyzstan during the downfall of its dictatorial regime in the “Tulip Revolution” of 2005.

Samia Malik is from Chennai, India, where she attended St. Ursula’s Catholic high school and Stella Maris University. As a student, Malik was active in varsity track and field, basketball, and volleyball as well as debate and literature clubs. A member of several interfaith organizations, Malik serves as director of education for the Council on American-Islamic Relations Harrisburg chapter, co-chair for the Community Responders Network, and board member of the Pennsylvania Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Network. Malik is a task force member of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and board member of the South Central Pennsylvania chapter of the ACLU. She volunteers at an interfaith shelter for the homeless, a shelter for battered women and children, and the Central Pennsylvania food bank. A spokesperson for several area mosques, Malik is a frequent speaker at colleges, schools, churches, and synagogues. For her work in interfaith relations she has received awards from The World Affairs Council of Harrisburg and Market Square Presbyterian Church.

Ikram Rabbani was born and raised in Flushing, NY, a predominantly Muslim Pakistani-American community,  and is currently studying 20th century American History, Secondary Education, and Philosophy at Dickinson. Rabbani devoted his career at Dickinson to prepare himself to teach high school history in an inner city public school. He conducted research in South Africa regarding race and education in Apartheid and Post-Apartheid South Africa, while also comparing those to pre- and post 1954 education in the United States.  More recently, Rabbani studied in Israel and Palestine, focusing primarily on the conflict and attempts at conflict resolution. At Dickinson he works at the College Farm, Media Center, and is the president of the Muslim Students Association.

Ann M. Van Dyke is a former civil rights investigator and trainer for the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission serving for 33 years. For more than twenty years, she worked with communities and schools affected by hate crimes and organized hate groups. She conducted training sessions on civil rights law, state and federal hate crimes laws, and civil tension for municipalities, schools, employers, and religious and civic groups. Van Dyke often partnered with the Pennsylvania State Police, the Office of Attorney General, and Pennsylvania and US Departments of Education, and the US Department of Justice. Since retirement, Van Dyke has been active in the Community Responders Network, which works to prevent and respond to bias incidents; Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence, an interfaith group that focuses on the trafficking, purchase and use of illegal hand guns; the Criminal Justice and Community Relations Task Force working to improve police-community relations in Harrisburg; and the Common Ground Community Center on Allison Hill, Harrisburg.

Video of the Discussion

Border Angels and AMIREDIS: The Sad Face of Undocumented Immigration

Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

Hugo Castro, Border Angels
José Luis Hernandez Cruz, AMIREDIS

Two members of the organizations Border Angels and AMIREDIS will share their work with organizing disabled and undocumented immigrants within Central and North America.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Departments of Spanish and Portuguese, American Studies, and Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies.


Hugo Castro is the son and grandson of Bracero Workers, Roberto Castro and Martin Velazquez. His childhood spanned both sides of the U.S. / Mexico Border. He was born in Salinas, Mexico, later his family migrated to Mexicali a town that borders Calexico, California, and after moving to the United States he graduated from Calexico High School in 1989.

Castro began organizing for immigrant rights in 2002, particularly around the Taft Correctional Institute where detained migrants suffered for 6 to 60 months in prison without contact from loved ones. Castro was mobilized by his incarceration in a federal, privately run, correctional institute. He served a two years sentence from 2001 to 2003 and was able to continue his education in prison. There he obtained an A.A in Liberal Arts, and A.S in General Business. Through his prison education he made the Dean’s List with a 3.78 GPA. After his goals and interests changed, starting with assisting fellow inmates, particularly migrants, to obtain medical attention, classes, and counseling.

Upon his release, he enrolled in SDSU, Imperial Valley Campus; Imperial Valley College; and Cetys University, Mexicali Campus. There Castro was nominated to Dean´s List on two occasions, obtaining a 4.00 GPA in 2005. His release also marked increased organizing of the migrant community in both Imperial Valley and Mexicali. His involvement was partially predicated on mass deportations in 2009, when Mexicali received hundreds of deported migrants daily. Castro cofounded a shelter for deported migrants called Hotel Migrante, which opened its doors in January 2010.

In 2009, Castro also joined the Border Angels. Through the Border Angels he coordinated a binational movement against Border Patrol Brutality, and Mexican Police Oppression against deportees, in Mexicali and Tijuana. He also coordinated occupy-like movements in Mexicali International Border, 2010 and 2013, in San Luis Sonora International Border, 2013, and in Tijuana, the longest of which was a 5 month-campaign, from August 7th to Dec 22, 2013. This campaign demanded that Mexican government authorities stop oppressing and illegally arresting deportees, and demanded programs to assist them. At the same time, Castro led a “sleep in” of 847 activists which contributed to the founding of The Baja California Migrant Support Council. Castro has also participated in the Border Angel’s Marchas Migrantes. One of these marches, a one-month Caravan from San Diego to Washington, helped spread awareness about immigrant rights. In his April 2013 he helped coordinate Caravan of Opening Doors to Hope with Father Alejandro Solalinde, Mexican Immigrant Rights Activist.

More recently, Castro has developed a network of immigrant rights activist and shelters in Baja California, and he supported efforts to form Veterans Without Borders, Deported and Families in Action, Angeles Sin Fronteras, and other emerging shelters.  As a result of massive migration of Haitians, Central Americans, and Mexicans fleeing violence, along with recently deported migrants, Baja California in general faces a severe humanitarian crisis. Castro took a leading role in supporting the opening of emergency shelters. And along with other Border Angels, he has developed a campaign to support emergent, needy shelters. As a leader of the Baja California campaign, he visits and supports 18 shelters by providing food and construction material.

José Luis Hernandez Cruz is the spokesperson and leader of the Association of Returned Migrants with Disabilities (Asociación de Migrantes Retornados con Discapacidad, AMIREDIS). AMIREDIS is a group of thirteen Honduran migrants that were disabled by the infamous La Bestia freight train. Like other members of AMIREDIS Hernandez Cruz at first unsuccessfully immigrated north from Honduras, but in 2005 he used La Bestia to shorten his journey northward and lost limbs when he fell beneath the train wheels. Recognizing their common injury and their common plight once returned to Honduras where they could no longer work, Hernandez Cruz and others formed AMIREDIS. In 2016, Hernandez Cruz and AMIREDIS coordinated The Caravan of the Mutilated where these disabled men traveled the migrant trail in the hopes of illuminated the perils of the journey northward and to speak with President Barack Obama about the perils faced by Central American migrants. After being detained for 4 months in a Texas detention center, Hernandez Cruz and AMIREDIS have sought asylum in the United States and continued to speak out about the dangers and traumas produced on the migrant trail.

Video of the Lecture


Maly G. Jackson

Ethiopian Refugee

My Journey: Ethiopia to Israel

Thursday, February 2, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Jackson walked for three weeks from Ethiopia to Sudan together with her mother and baby sister as a seven-year-old fleeing Ethiopia and the religious and political strife that threatened the lives of the Ethiopian Jews. Jackson’s story takes us on her arduous journey and reveals the essence of Exodus as she, her family and friends fled Sudan on an Israeli Air Force commissioned-airplane which landed in Israel in December 1984.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Departments of Judaic Studies, Religion and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies and also the Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life. The event was organized by the Clarke Forum student project managers.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Maly G. Jackson, now 39, walked for three weeks from Ethiopia to Sudan together with her mother and baby sister as a seven-year-old fleeing Ethiopia and the religious and political strife that threatened the lives of the Ethiopian Jews. Maly’s father remained in Ethiopia. She and her mother and little sister, age 2, trekked across the desert and forest into Sudan where the risks of life in a refugee camp loomed before them. Maly’s story takes us on her arduous journey and reveals the essence of Exodus as she, her family and friends fled Sudan on an Israeli Air Force commissioned-airplane which landed in Israel in December 1984.

Maly met her husband William, who was serving in the United States Navy, while his ship was deployed to Israel. They now live in Harrisburg with their two children Ariella and Josh, who attend the Silver Academy of Harrisburg. During her free time she travels across the country speaking to Jewish communities, colleges and private organizations about her amazing journey. Maly’s sister P’nina, who made the journey through the Sudan on the back of her mother as a toddler, was the first Ethiopian Israeli on Israel’s Higher Education Council and is the Senior Shlicha (Emissary) of the Jewish Agency for Israel at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington: Maly has two younger siblings: Shlomo studying BA Gov’t at IDC Herzliya and Rina, who has recently completed her law degree and his completing her internship. Her mother still lives in Haifa, where Maly grew up upon arriving to Israel.

Thomas Palley

Senior Economic Policy Adviser to the AFL-CIO

Inequality and Stagnation by Policy Design

Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

This talk will survey competing hypotheses explaining the financial crisis of 2008 and the ensuing stagnation. How we explain these events is of critical significance since it influences how economic policy and society respond.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Churchill Fund, the Departments of Economics, International Business and Management, and the Program in Policy Studies. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Thomas Palley is senior economic policy adviser to the AFL-CIO. He was formerly chief economist with the US – China Economic and Security Review Commission. Dr. Palley is the author of numerous journal and magazine articles and several books, including From Financial Crisis to Stagnation: The Destruction of Shared Prosperity and the Role of Economics (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and Plenty of Nothing: The Downsizing of the American Dream and the Case for Structural Keynesianism (Princeton University Press, 1998). He holds a B.A. degree from Oxford University and a M.A. degree in international relations and Ph.D. in economics, both from Yale University. His writings on economics are available at

Relevant Reading

“The US Economy: Explaining stagnation and Why It Will Persist”

Video of the Lecture

Reproductive Rights: Religion, Ethics, and the Law

Monday, January 30, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.


Kathryn Ellis, Unitarian Universalist minister
David O’Connell
, assistant professor of political science, Dickinson College
Katie Oliviero
(also moderator), assistant professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies, Dickinson College

This panel will explore contemporary religious, ethical and legal debates and realities concerning reproductive rights in the United States.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Wellness Center and the Departments of Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies and the Health Studies Certificate Program.  This event was organized by the Clarke Forum’s student project managers.

Biographies (provided by the panelists)

Kathryn Ellis retired from the active Unitarian Universalist ministry on June 30, 2016.  Before seminary and ordination, she was a mental health counselor, a college counselor, a professor of counseling and a psychotherapist in private practice in Carlisle, PA. She is a trained facilitator for Our Whole Lives, a comprehensive sex education curriculum created by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. This is a sex affirmative and spiritual curriculum.

Kathy has been told that one never really stops being a minister. She knows that one never really stops being a psychotherapist.  All of her career has been spent in listening and caring.

As a woman psychologist, most of her clients were women and indeed, most of those women were of reproductive age. Many of them had been sexually abused or assaulted. Probably almost all had experienced some form of sexual harassment. Very early in her career, she worked briefly as a counselor at an abortion clinic. She says she has never met a woman damaged from an abortion, but she has met some damaged by anti-abortion ideology.

Kathy was an undergraduate student between 1967 and 1971 at the height of the Women’s Liberation Movement, Second Wave Feminism.  This was before the Roe v. Wade decision, before the birth control pill was easily available for unmarried women and long before the morning after pill was invented.  Kathy was a feminist before knowing the word and has always been happy to call herself a feminist.  She regrets that in her day there were no women’s studies, no gender studies and no women’s history classes, but she has always educated herself.

Kathy is married to Richard Heckman, director of financial aid at Dickinson College. They are the parents of one adult daughter.

David O’Connell is an assistant professor of political science at Dickinson College. His research interests include the presidency and religion and politics. Professor O’Connell’s research has been published in Presidential Studies Quarterly, and his first book, God Wills It: Presidents and the Political Use of Religion, was recently re-released in paperback. Professor O’Connell is a frequent media commentator on American politics, having appeared on C-SPAN, ABC27, CBS21, FOX43, and WITF, and he has been interviewed by print outlets ranging from CNN to The Christian Science Monitor to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Professor O’Connell received his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University, and holds a B.A. in political science and economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, Professor O’Connell is finishing work on a statistical study that analyzes the ways in which Catholic members of Congress explain their positions on abortion.

Katie Oliviero is an assistant professor in Dickinson’s women’s, gender and sexuality studies department. Her teaching and research specializations include a transnational feminist analysis of how law, culture and social movements approach questions of reproductive justice, LGBTQ studies, immigration, and disability. Her book, Precarity Politics: How Conservatives and Progressives Mobilize Vulnerability and Risk in Political Debate builds from these specializations and is forthcoming from NYU press. Her reproductive justice research is particularly concerned with how antidemocratic forces over the past decade mobilize narratives of pain, disgust, vulnerability, informed consent and disability to restrict women’s access to health care, governmental benefits, abortion and birth control. Additional publications about same-sex marriage debates, immigration politics, gun laws and vulnerability politics appear in Debating Same-Sex Marriage in the Lesbian and Gay Movement (Minnesota UP 2013), Feminist Formations (2013, 2016); Signs (2011); and Women’s Studies International Forum (2009). A new project explores if concepts of precarity and resilience can rework existing feminism global justice frameworks, with an emphasis on sexual asylum policies, migration, women’s peace movements and disability. Oliviero holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in gender studies from UCLA, and a B.A. in women’s studies from Dartmouth College. Before joining the Dickinson faculty in 2014, Oliviero was a 2012-2014 American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow at the University of Colorado, Boulder’s women and gender studies program and law school. As a recipient of a 2010-2012 postdoctoral fellowship at Emory University School of Law, she taught classes in both the gender studies doctoral program and the law school under the auspices of the Feminism and Legal Theory Project as well as the Vulnerability and Human Condition Initiative.

Video of the Panel Discussion

Jenny Lee

Lee PosterVictoria University, Melbourne, Australia

Fat Activism Down Under

Thursday, December 1, 2016
Althouse Hall, Room 106, 7 p.m.

This talk explores the fat activist movement in Australia and New Zealand including fat  femme synchronized swim, fat burlesque, and the “plus size” fashion industry.  Lee will discuss the challenges of doing fat activism and scholarship, the complexities of dealing with the media and organizations that discriminate, the personal cost of fat activism, and the white privilege of prominent fat activists.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues.

J_Lee_12Biography (provided by the speaker)

Jenny Lee researches in the interdisciplinary fields of Fat Studies and Creative Writing at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. She is also a Research Associate of the Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing in ‘Culture and values in health’ at Victoria University.

She is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and Literary Studies and has published in academic journals and books, literary journals and magazines. She has presented her research at conferences in Spain, Portugal, Italy, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, and published work in England, Ireland, the U.S, and Australia. Her academic publications include, ‘Not just a type: diabetes, fat and fear’, in Somatechnics (2012); ‘Flaunting fat: sex with the lights on’, Queering Fat Embodiment (2014); ‘Hidden and forbidden: alter egos, invisibility cloaks and psychic fat suits’ in Fat Sex: New Directions in Theory and Activism (2015); ‘All the way from (B)lame to (A)cceptance: Diabetes, health and fat activism’ in The Politics of Size (2015) and the forthcoming ‘Stigma in practice: Barriers to health for fat women’ in Frontiers in Psychology: Obesity stigma in healthcare: impacts on policy, practice and patients. Lee’s creative publications include fiction, memoir and narrative non-fiction and she curates spoken word events for writers’ and queer festivals.

Her PhD research was in Creative Writing and Gender Studies, and explored the medical management of intersex bodies, and the consequences of this within families. This stemmed from Lee’s interest in bodies that Western culture considers non-normative, and engaged with notions of intrusion, discipline and punishment for certain bodies in our culture. Her post-PhD research has been in fat activism and fat embodiment. She is currently writing about intersections between fat and queer; fat stigma and barriers to health care for fat people, and fatness in pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and motherhood. She is a queer, feminist, fat activist.

Video of the Lecture


James McBride – “Mary Ellen Borges Memorial Lecturer”

McBride PosterAuthor

Mary Ellen Borges Memorial Lecture

The Good Lord Bird: Faith & American Slavery

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

In this presentation, which is based on his National Book Award winning novel, The Good Lord Bird, McBride shares the story of John Brown, using gospel and spiritual music of the time to frame his life and how it is presented in the book. He will be accompanied by his band, The Good Lord Bird Band. A book sale will follow.

This event is a joint venture sponsored by St. John’s Episcopal Church on the Square and the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Churchill Fund, the Division of Student Life and the Department of Religion.

mcbride_james(300)Biography (provided by the speaker)

James McBride is a renaissance man and a born storyteller. He is the author of The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother, a moving narrative about his mother, a white Jewish woman from Poland who married a black man, founded a Baptist church and put 12 children through college.

The Color of Water is an American classic, read in colleges and high schools nationwide. It has sold more than two million copies and spent two years on The New York Times Bestseller List. McBride’s second book, Miracle at St. Anna, is now a Touchstone/Disney film that he wrote the script for and was directed by American film icon Spike Lee. McBride co-wrote the film Red Hook Summer with Lee, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. A coming-of-age story about a young black boy, the film probes issues of race, neighborhood gentrification, impotent police, and the ravaging effects of drugs and gang violence on the African American community, to name a few.
His book, Song Yet Sung, is a national bestseller, the 2009 choice of “One Book/One Maryland” and is being adapted into a miniseries on FX. In his latest novel, The Good Lord Bird, McBride tells the story of a young boy born a slave who joins John Brown’s antislavery crusade—and who must pass as a girl to survive. The Good Lord Bird went on to win the National Book Award for Fiction in 2013, a prestigious honor amongst authors, and will be turned into a major motion picture starring Liev Schreiber and Jaden Smith.
McBride’s newest book, Kill ‘Em and Leave: Searching for the Real James Brown, is an authorized biography of James Brown, embarking on a search that leads from America’s South to England to New York. The book is due for release in March 2016, and uncovers the saga of Brown’s childhood, including a never-before-revealed story of Brown’s sharecropper family who were uprooted by America’s largest nuclear bomb-making facility.

A graduate of Oberlin College and the Columbia School of Journalism, McBride has written for The Boston Globe, People and The Washington Post. Also an award-winning composer and saxophonist, McBride has penned songs (music and lyrics) for Anita Baker, Grover Washington Jr. and Gary Burton, as well as for the PBS character “Barney.”
In his keynotes, McBride touches upon life’s rich lessons, exploring the nature of identity, race and heritage. He often appears with his own jazz ensemble, using music to inspire audiences and lift his colorful, often humorous stories to another level. He is an inspiring speaker, always delighted to meet students, non-judgmental, non-confrontational, speaking to the common good that unites us all. It is his mantra. “All of my work speaks to the commonality of the human experience,” he says. “That’s where I live, to move audiences to think, to question, and to find common ground.”

Mary Ellen Borges Memorial Lecture
The purpose of this Memorial Lecture is to honor the life and ministry of Mary Ellen Borges by establishing an annual event which will feature a person well qualified to address topics of importance relating to spiritual or social issues.

Such presentations may address a wide range of topics and issues which might have contemporary application or interest, or historical importance. These topics would not be limited to theological, biblical, or ecclesiastical issues, but also could include ethical, societal, psychological, philosophical, and scientific topics.

As a joint venture of St. John’s Episcopal Church, on the Square, Carlisle and the Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, this annual lecture is intended to bring the area religious community and the college community together as topics of importance and presenters of recognized accomplishment and authority are invited to address both constituent sponsoring groups.