Solmaz Sharif

Iranian-American Poet

An Evening with Solmaz Sharif

Thursday, November 30, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Poet Sharif, a National Book Award finalist, will share work that explores, in eloquent detail, the conduct of contemporary war, the intimacy of loss, and the unbearable—but necessary—power of language. A book sale and signing will follow the presentation.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Department of English, the Creative Writing Program, the Department of American Studies and the Women’s & Gender Resource Center.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Photo Credit: Arash-SaediniaBorn in Istanbul to Iranian parents, Solmaz Sharif’s astonishing debut collection LOOK (Graywolf Press) was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award and 2017 PEN Open Book Award. In LOOK, she recounts some of her family’s experience with exile and immigration in the aftermath of warfare—including living under surveillance and in detention in the United States—while also pointing to the ways violence is conducted against our language. Throughout, she draws on the Department of Defense’s Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, the language used by the American military to define and code its objectives, policies, and actions. The Publishers Weekly Starred Review said, “Sharif defies power, silence, and categorization in this stunning suite. In form, content, and execution, LOOK is arguably the most noteworthy book of poetry yet about recent U-led wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the greater Middle East.” And The New Yorker said: “By turns fierce and tender, the poems are a searing response to American intervention—‘Hands that promised they wouldn’t, but did.’”

In her essay, “A Poetry Of Proximity,” Sharif writes, “It can take sixteen seconds for a Hellfire missile with its trigger pulled in Las Vegas to reach Mazar-e-Sharif. This is both much and little, both closer and more distant than we have ever been in warfare….A poem is similarly much and little, distant and close, but where one tries to increase the distance between bodies, the other tries to close. Where weapons try to limit the possibilities of speech and thereby the possibilities of desire, of recognition, poetry exists in speech. Where one has no song, the other is only.”

Sharif’s poems and essays have appeared in The New Republic, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, jubilat, Gulf Coast, Boston Review, Witness, Volta, and others. The former managing director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, her work has been recognized with a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, scholarships the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a winter fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, an NEA fellowship, and a Stegner Fellowship. She has most recently been selected to receive a 2014 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award as well as a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship. She holds degrees from U.C. Berkeley, where she studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, and New York University. She is currently a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University.

Video of Lecture for Campus Viewing Only

The Opioid Epidemic in Central Pennsylvania

Monday, November 6, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.


Jack Carroll (moderator), Cumberland-Perry Drug and Alcohol Commission
Carrie DeLone, Holy Spirit-Geisinger
David Freed, Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office
Duane Nieves, Holy Spirit EMS
Kristen Varner, The RASE Project

Watch Live

This panel will address the current opioid epidemic in Central Pennsylvania, focusing both on the situation we face now and plans and opportunities for ending this significant problem.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology, the Program in Policy Studies, the Health Studies Program and the Wellness Center.

Biographies (provided by the panelists)

Jack Carroll is the executive director of the Cumberland-Perry Drug & Alcohol Commission.  The Commission is responsible for managing public funded substance abuse prevention, intervention, and treatment services for residents of Cumberland and Perry Counties.  Carroll has worked in several different capacities within the drug and alcohol field since his graduation from Penn State in 1976.

Carrie L. DeLone, M.D joined Geisinger Health System as the medical director of the Holy Spirit Medical Group in 2015.  DeLone is responsible for overseeing clinical operations at Holy Spirit Medical Group’s physician practices, leading process improvement and innovation-based activities, establishing long-range objectives, and monitoring financial performance. She also serves as a liaison with community and governing authorities.  She  served as Pennsylvania’s Physician General during the Corbett administration. In that role, DeLone advised the governor and the health secretary on all medical and public health-related issues. Prior to that, DeLone served as physician advisor for Holy Spirit and has more than 20 years of clinical experience. “Holy Spirit’s culture of personalized quality patient care coupled with Geisinger’s innovation is enhancing health care in our community,” says Dr. DeLone. She believes it is important to encourage patients to become active healthcare decision makers. “Ensuring that patients are getting the best care possible and supporting individuals when they are vulnerable is the most important goal we can have as a health care system.” Board certified in internal medicine, Dr. DeLone completed both a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in physiology before graduating from Temple University School of Medicine. She is certified by the American Academy of Coding Professionals.

David J. Freed is serving his third full term as Cumberland County district attorney following his re-election in 2015. He has served as district attorney since December 28, 2005.  Prior to taking over as district attorney, he served as first assistant district attorney for five years, handling a caseload including homicides, violent felonies, complex drug transactions and arson cases.  He previously served as an assistant district attorney in Cumberland County and a deputy prosecutor in York County. Freed has also worked in the private practice of law concentrating on insurance defense litigation.  He graduated from Camp Hill High School, received his B.A., cum laude, from Washington and Lee University and his J.D. from the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law.  Freed lectures frequently on various law enforcement topics including Victims Rights and Services, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Trial Advocacy.  He has lectured for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute and the National College of District Attorneys.  He is a member of the National District Attorneys Association where he serves on the national Legislative Committee, Past President of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute.   He is former chair of the PDAA Education and Training Committee and current chair of the PDAA Communications Committee. In February, 2013, Mr. Freed received the Champion for Children Award from Fight Crime Invest in Kids Pennsylvania. Freed lives in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania with his wife Amy and children Thomas, Elizabeth and Natalie.  He is a past president of the Lion Foundation and a youth sports coach.


Duane Nieves has been a career paramedic since 1987. Throughout those years, he has served in the positions of staff paramedic, field supervisor, EMS continuing education coordinator, assistant chief and currently as director of field operations & chief at Holy Spirit EMS, A Geisinger Affiliate in Camp Hill, PA. Duane also serves as adjunct faculty for Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) EMS Programs, is a member of the Academic Advisory Committee for the HACC Paramedic Program, is president of Cumberland County EMS Council, and represents EMS on the Cumberland County Community Opiate Overdose Prevention Coalition. Since passage of PA ACT 139 of 2014, Duane has provided the required EMS agency oversight to Cumberland County Law Enforcement Agencies who elect to participate in the administration of Naloxone to patients believed to be suffering from opioid-related drug overdoses. Duane recently received recognition for this work in the form of two awards. In December, 2016 he received the “Exceptional Civilian Service Award” from the Cumberland County Chiefs of Police Association and in June, 2017, the “2017 Champions for Better Health – Community Impact Award” from Partnership for Better Health.

Kristin Varner, director of Carlisle programs, training, and advocacy of The Rase Project, received her B.A. from Shippensburg University in August 2000. Prior to joining The RASE Project, she worked as an assistant for the television station, WHTM ABC 27 in Harrisburg, PA. She was appointed to the Citizens Advisory Committee for Cumberland County Children & Youth in 2013 to serve as a representative of the recovery community. As an active member of the recovery community, Varner volunteers on several communities based committees such as The Substance Abuse & Prevention Coalition, The Local Housing Options Team and Committee Woman for Swatara Township. Recently she accepted a position as a board member of Carlisle CARES. She is also a member of Cumberland County Opiate Overdose Coalition (COOP). Currently, Kristin oversees all Carlisle RASE Programs, facilitates the RASE educational trainings, maintains the “In My Own Words Speaker’s Bureau” and is the responsible for all RASE advocacy efforts.

Related Links

Faces and Voices of Recovery
Get Naloxone Now
Cumberland-Perry Drug & Alcohol Commission 
Cumberland County Community Opiate Overdose Prevention Coalition
Cumberland County Medication Take Back Boxes
PA Dept. of Drug & Alcohol Programs Opioid/Heroin Overdose Reversal
Not One More
Cumberland-Perry Family Resources
The Harbor
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

Video of the Panel Discussion

Sean Sherman

Founder, The Sioux Chef

The Evolution of Indigenous Food Systems of North America

Friday, November 3, 2017
Stern Center, Great Room, 4:30 p.m.

Committed to revitalizing Native American cuisine, Sherman will share his  research uncovering the foundations of the Indigenous food systems. There will be a book sale and signing following the presentation.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the the Office of Dean & Provost – Neil Weissman, the Center for Sustainability Education, the Department of Anthropology & Archaeology, American Studies, Environmental Studies, and the Food Studies Program.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, has been cooking in Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana for the last 27 years.  In the last few years, his main culinary focus has been on the revitalizing of indigenous foods systems in a modern culinary context.  Sean has studied on his own extensively to determine the foundations of these food systems which include the knowledge of Native American farming techniques, wild food usage and harvesting, land stewardship, salt and sugar making, hunting and fishing, food preservation, Native American migrational histories, elemental cooking techniques, and Native culture and history in general to gain a full understanding of bringing back a sense of Native American cuisine to today’s world.  In 2014, he opened the business titled, The Sioux Chef as a caterer and food educator to the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area.  In 2015 in partnership with the Little Earth Community of United Tribes in Minneapolis, he and his business partner Dana Thompson designed and opened the Tatanka Truck, which features pre-contact foods of the Dakota and Minnesota territories.  Chef Sean and his vision of modern indigenous foods have been featured in many articles and radio shows, along with dinners at the James Beard Foundation in Milan and also Slow Foods Indigenous Terra Madre in India.  The Sioux Chef team continues with their mission statement to help educate and make indigenous foods more accessible to as many communities as possible.

Video of the Lecture

Paul Offit

Pediatrician and Expert on Vaccines, Immunology and Virology

The Vaccine-Autism Controversy

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

How have scientists, the media, and the public dealt with the question of whether vaccines cause autism? A book sale and signing will follow the presentation.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Physics & Astronomy and the Health Studies Program.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Paul A. Offit, MD is the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as well as the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology and a professor of pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a recipient of many awards including the J. Edmund Bradley Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics from the University of Maryland Medical School, the Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development from the Infectious Disease Society of America, and a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. Offit has published more than 160 papers in medical and scientific journals in the areas of rotavirus-specific immune responses and vaccine safety. He is also the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq, recommended for universal use in infants by the CDC; for this achievement Offit received the Luigi Mastroianni and William Osler Awards from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the Charles Mérieux Award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases; and was honored by Bill and Melinda Gates during the launch of their Foundation’s Living Proof Project for global health. In 2009, Offit received the President’s Certificate for Outstanding Service from the American Academy of Pediatrics. In 2011, he received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Biologics Industry Organization (BIO), the David E. Rogers Award from the American Association of Medical Colleges, the Odyssey Award from the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, and was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2012, Offit received the Distinguished Medical Achievement Award from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Drexel Medicine Prize in Translational Medicine fro the Drexel University College of Medicine. In 2013, he received the Maxwell Finland award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, the Distinguished Alumnus award from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the Innovators in Health Award from the Group Health Foundation. In 2015, Offit won the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching from the University of Pennsylvania and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2016, he won the Franklin Founder Award from the city of Philadelphia, The Porter Prize from the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal, and the Jonathan E. Rhoads Medal for Distinguished Service to Medicine from the American Philosophical Society.

Offit was a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is a founding advisory board member of the Autism Science Foundation and the Foundation for Vaccine Research. He is also the author of six medical narratives: The Cutter Incident: How America’s First Polio Vaccine Led to Today’s Growing Vaccine Crisis (Yale University Press, 2005), Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases (HarperCollins, 2007), for which he won an award from the American Medical Writers Association, Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure (Columbia University Press, 2008), Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All (Basic Books, 2011), which was selected by Kirkus Reviews and Booklist as one of the best non-fiction books of the year, Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine (HarperCollins, 2013), which won the Robert P. Balles Prize in Critical Thinking from the Center for Skeptical Inquiry and was selected by National Public Radio as one of the best books of 2013, and Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine (Basic Books, 2015), selected by the New York Times Book Review as an “Editor’s Choice” book in April 2015. Offit has also written Pandora’s Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong (National Geographic Press/Random House, April 2017) and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Science and Health (manuscript in preparation). In 2017, he also became a weekly columnist for The Daily Beast.

Video of the Lecture

Franklyn Schaefer – “Wesley Lecturer”

Pastor, Activist and Author

Wesley Lecture

An Indictment of the United Methodist Anti-Gay Doctrine

Thursday, October 26, 2017
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

Does the United Methodist anti-gay doctrine violate John Wesley’s “do-no-harm” rule? Testimonies of queer church members and an analysis of a study by the American Psychology Association strongly suggest that it does.

This lecture is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Center for Service, Spirituality and Social Justice with special thanks to the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church and co-sponsored by the Department of Religion, the Division of Student Life and the Office of LGBTQ Services. It is also co-sponsored by the Churchill Fund and part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Rev. Franklyn Schaefer is a United Methodist pastor, chaplain and author (Defrocked, 2014). He and his wife immigrated from Germany in 1990. After obtaining a master’s of divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary (1996) and following ordination as an elder (1998), he served two church appointments in Pennsylvania. In between appointments, he obtained a clinical pastoral education degree from Penn State University while working as a resident chaplain at Hershey Medical Center. (2001-2002). In a highly publicized United Methodist Church trial he was defrocked in 2013 for officiating at his son’s same-sex wedding after refusing to denounce gay marriage rights. He was reinstated on an appeal in June 2014, a ruling that was upheld by the Church’s highest Court in October 2014. Schaefer has became a national advocate for human rights while also pioneering the University U.M. Church restart in Isla Vista, California.

The Wesley Lecture
The Wesley Lecture grows out of the historical relationship between Dickinson College and the Methodist Church, a relationship that has its roots in the 19th century. The lecture highlights contemporary conversations and controversies in faith communities and in higher education about the importance and role of community, commitment, and service for the education of the citizen-scholar.

Video of the Lecture

Damián Sainz

Cuban Filmmaker

Imagining Cuba: Emerging Documentary Filmmaking within Social Change

Thursday, October 19, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Sainz explores the struggles of the emerging generation of documentary filmmakers in contemporary Cuba.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Departments of Spanish & Portuguese; Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies; Latin American, Latino & Caribbean Studies; Film Studies; the Women’s & Gender Resource Center; and First Year Seminars.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Damián Sainz  graduated from the University of Arts, Havana, Cuba with a degree in media arts and from the EICTV (International Film and Television School of San Antonio de los Baños) with a degree in documentary direction. Sainz also studied at the Mel Oppenheim Film School in Montreal, Canada and at the Cinema Department at HEAD Genève, Switzerland. Sainz has worked as director, editor and producer in documentary films in Cuba, Canada, Switzerland and Spain and has collaborated with visual arts projects like Galeria Continua, Inventario at the Ludwig Foundation and online project Docuselfie. His short documentary films, focused on LGBTQ culture in the island and Cuban youth, have been selected and awarded in several international film festivals like Havana Film Festival, Fribourg in Switzerland, FICUNAM in Mexico, DocumentaMadrid in Spain and FICU in Uruguay. Sainz teaches documentary cinema at the EICTV in San Antonio de los Baños, The Ludwig Foundation in Cuba and at the Cinema Program of Altos de Chavón in Dominican Republic. He lives and works as an independent filmmaker in Havana, Cuba.

Related Links

Video of the Lecture

Republican Politics Today

Thursday, October 5, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Watch Live


Reneé Amoore, Republican Party of Pennsylvania
Robert Borden ’91, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Brandon Ferrance, Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans
Jim Gerlach ’77, Business-Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC)
David O’Connell (moderator), Dickinson College

Drawing from state and national politics, this panel will explore who identifies as and what it means to be a Republican today. Particular attention will be paid to the definitions of conservatism and the challenges Republicans face in Pennsylvania as a swing state, adding context to political debates on Dickinson’s campus.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Division of Student Life, the Departments of American Studies and Psychology and the Program in Policy Studies.  This program was also initiated by the Clarke Forum Student Project Managers.

Biographies (provided by the panelists)

Reneé Amoore is a longtime advocate of clinically-appropriate and cost effective alternatives to expensive healthcare, and began her foray into the medical field as a registered nurse with training at Harlem Hospital School of Nursing. Earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Antioch University, Amoore catapulted from a career in nursing, to supervisor of a hospital program, and VP and COO of a social service organization.
In 1996 Amoore started her own company, which today consists of three divisions under the parent corporation, The Amoore Group (TAG).  The divisions of TAG provide diverse services, such as: PR/ marketing, government relations, health care consulting, job creation, education, workplace diversity, and early intervention/allied health services.

An active participant in shaping her community, Amoore was the first African American elected to the Upper Merion School District, where she served as the board’s vice president for four years. In 1992, she was elected to Pennsylvania’s Republican State Committee and became its deputy chair in 1996.

In 2004 she became the first female and African American to chair a Pennsylvania delegation to the Republican National Convention.  She also did role call at the 2000 Republican National Convention.  At the 2008 Republican National Convention she was a keynote speaker.  She has raised money for national, state and local candidates for the Republican Party.  She is a Republican strategist for Fox News, CNN and local Philadelphia stations.  She currently has a radio show, “Real Clear”.

She is also currently involved with the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber Executive Committee, CMS, Women Against MS, Take the Lead Event Committee, Vision 2020, and the Pennsylvania New Majority Council, while also serving as a Drexel University trustee, a member of Drexel University’s executive board, member of the Main Line board of governors, Main Line Health, member of the Urban Affairs Coalition and the chair of the Joint Board at Saints Memorial Baptist Church.

The Elevator of Achievement: Determination Requires a Choice, is a book written by Amoore in which she demonstrates how women can move up the corporate ladder by shaping their own attitudes about success, prejudice, oppression, equality, business, and leadership.

Robert Borden ’91 is the deputy staff director of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform under Chairman Trey Gowdy. He has served on Capitol Hill for more than 20 years. He was the director of oversight for Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leaders Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy. In that capacity, he coordinated the oversight and investigative activities of House committees. Borden has also served as the general counsel of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and before that the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. In addition, he served as counsel to the select committees that investigated the Benghazi terrorist attacks and the response to Hurricane Katrina.

Borden graduated from Dickinson College in 1991 and from American University’s Washington College of Law in 1994. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and his two daughters.

Brandon Ferrance is the chairman of the Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans, he is also currently serving on the executive committee of the Cumberland County Republican Committee as a vice chairman and the Credentials Committee of the College Republican National Committee. In the past he founded and chaired the Luzerne County Teenage Republicans, served as Northeast Central Caucus representative for the Pennsylvania Teenage Republicans, served as co-chairman, vice chairman, and secretary for the Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans, as well as working on numerous campaigns across the Commonwealth. He was recently named to PoliticsPA’s 30 Under 30 list as one of Pennsylvania’s 2016 Rising Stars. Raised in Luzerne County, he now resides in Cumberland County and attends school at Shippensburg University where he majors in political science.

Former U.S. Congressman Jim Gerlach (R-PA) serves as the president and chief executive officer of the Business-Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC).

He joins BIPAC following an extensive career in public service and the private sector. Rep. Gerlach served Pennsylvania’s Sixth Congressional District for 12 years where he most recently served on the House Ways and Means Committee and its Subcommittees on Health and Select Revenue. In the 113th Congress he was also the lead Republican on the Ways and Means Manufacturing Working Group. During his six terms in the House, from 2002-2014, Rep. Gerlach also served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Financial Services Committee, and the Small Business Committee.

National publications, including National Journal and Roll Call, have recognized Rep. Gerlach’s strong record as an independent voice. He is no stranger to difficult campaigns. The 6th District was ranked as the most competitive district in the nation between 2002 and 2008, according to a University of Minnesota survey.

Prior to his tenure with the U.S. Congress, Rep. Gerlach also served four years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and eight years in the Pennsylvania Senate. This public service was preceded by 10 years of private law practice in the Commonwealth.
Throughout his career, Jim has always stood for free enterprise. Gerlach was repeatedly named a “Guardian of Small Business” while serving the citizens of Pennsylvania as a state legislator and a Member of the U.S. Congress. While in Congress, he received perfect scores from BIPAC’s Outline for Prosperity, received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Enterprise award, and gained support from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

Active in his community, Gerlach served as a member of the board of directors of the Brandywine Health Foundation, as well as a member of the board of directors of MECA (Mission for Educating Children with Autism), the board of trustees of Dickinson College, the Chester County Agricultural Development Council, the West Brandywine Township Zoning Hearing Board, and the board of directors of the Brandywine Hospital.

oconneld OConnell DavidDavid O’Connell (moderator) is an assistant professor of political science at Dickinson College. His research interests include the presidency and religion and American politics. 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, WGAL 8 and WITF, and he has been interviewed by print outlets ranging from CNN to The Christian Science Monitor to the Associated Press. 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.

Video of the Panel Discussion

Raquel Cepeda

Journalist, Critic, Filmmaker, and Autobiographer

Remixing the American Dream

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

The American Dream, Cepeda argues, is a pipedream for some and a birthright for others. Challenging the absurdity of the black-white national conversation about the American dream, Cepeda offers a working and accessible revision to suit generations of Americans, like her, who have been pushed to the margins.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Women’s & Gender Resource Center, the Popel Shaw Center for Ethnicity & Race, the Division of Student Life, and the Departments of Spanish & Portuguese, English, and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Born in Harlem to Dominican parents, award-winning journalist, cultural activist, podcaster, and documentary filmmaker Raquel Cepeda is the author of Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina. Equal parts memoir about Cepeda’s coming of age in New York City and Santo Domingo, and detective story chronicling her year-long journey to discover the truth about her ancestry, the book also looks at what it means to be Latinx today. Cepeda’s latest documentary Some Girls, produced by Henry Chalfant and Sam Pollard, focuses on a group of troubled Latina teens from a Bronx-based side prevention program who are transformed by an exploration of their roots via the use of ancestral DNA testing, followed by a treat to the seat of the Americas. Cepeda is currently in production on her next documentary and currently writing East of Broadway, a story about one community in New York as soon through the lives of several of its inhabitants. She lives with her husband, Sacha Jenkins, a filmmaker, musician, and creative agency partner, her daughter, 20, and five-year-old son in New York City, “…concrete jungle where dreams are made of [and] there’s nothin’ you can’t do…”

Richard Alley – “Joseph Priestley Award Recipient”

Pennsylvania State University

Joseph Priestley Award Celebration Lecture

The Good News on Energy, Environment and Our Future

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Watch Live

Humans have burned trees, whales, and now fossil fuels far faster than they grew back, enjoying the energy but suffering the environmental impacts and then shortages. Now, we are the first generation that can build a sustainable energy system, improving the economy, employment, environment, ethics, and national security.

The Joseph Priestley Award recipient is chosen by a different science department each year. The Department of Earth Sciences has selected this year’s recipient. 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, mathematics & computer science, psychology, and physics & astronomy.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Richard Alley (Ph.D. 1987, Geology, Wisconsin) is Evan Pugh University Professor of Geosciences at Penn State.  He studies the great ice sheets to help predict future changes in climate and sea level, and has conducted three field seasons in Antarctica, eight in Greenland, and three in Alaska.  He has been honored for research (including election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Foreign Membership in the Royal Society), teaching, and service.  Alley participated in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize), and has provided requested advice to numerous government officials in multiple administrations including a U.S. vice president, the President’s science advisor, and committees and individual members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.  He has authored or coauthored over 290 refereed scientific papers.  He was presenter for the PBS TV miniseries on climate and energy Earth: The Operators’ Manual, and author of the book.  His popular account of climate change and ice cores, The Two-Mile Time Machine, was Phi Beta Kappa’s science book of the year.  Alley is happily married with two grown daughters, two stay-at-home cats, a bicycle, and a pair of soccer cleats.

Related Link

Penn State Course: EARTH 104 – Energy and the Environment

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

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz – “Morgan Lecturer”

American historian, writer and feminist

Morgan Lecture

The Genocidal Foundation of the United States

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Dunbar-Ortiz will provide a history of settler colonialism and genocidal war that she argues forms the foundation of the United States. 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 Churchill Fund. It is  also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma.  As a veteran of the Sixties revolution, she has been involved in movements against the Vietnam War and imperialism, union organizing, and was one of the founders of the Women’s Liberation Movement in the late 1960s. Since 1973, she has worked with Indigenous communities for sovereignty and land rights and helped build the international Indigenous movement. With a doctorate in History, she professor emerita at California State University East Bay, and author of numerous scholarly Indigenous related books and articles, including Roots of Resistance:  A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico and The Great Sioux Nation, as well as a memoir trilogy and the award-winning book, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. Her book, Unloaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment, will be published in January, and a book challenging the concept of the United States as “a nation of immigrants” will appear in 2019.

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, Patricia Hill Collins, Winona LaDuke and Lila Abu-Lughod.

Video of the Lecture

Breaking Issue: North Korea Today

Thursday, September 7, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.


Jina Kim, Dickinson College
Richard Lacquement,  U.S. Army War College
Jeff McCausland, Dickinson College
Douglas Stuart (moderator), Dickinson College

Link to Live Stream

This panel of experts will share their ideas regarding the current North Korean political situation, including such perspectives as the relationship between North Korea and South Korea, tactics to control the nuclear threat, and U.S. policy.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Departments of Political Science, International Studies and East Asian Studies.

Biographies (provided by the panelists)

Jina E. Kim is visiting assistant professor of East Asian Studies with a focus on modern Korean history, literature, and media. Her research and teaching areas include Korea under Japanese colonial rule, transnational Asian studies, Korean diaspora, and Korean War, all of which pay close attention to the history of North Korea and North Korean relations with its East Asian neighbors. Her writings on these topics have appeared in Journal of Korean Studies, Review of Korean Studies, and Harvard Asia Quarterly, among others.

Richard A. Lacquement Jr. is the dean of the School of Strategic Landpower at the U.S. Army War College. As dean he oversees senior-level military education programs for more than 1200 rising national security professionals annually. The most considerable programs he leads are the one-year resident education program and the two-year distance education program that both award graduates a Masters of Strategic Studies degree in addition to Army and joint professional military education credentials. Lacquement is a political scientist with a doctorate in international relations specializing in security studies. During more than 29 years of active service in the U.S. Army, he was a strategist and field artillery officer, to include combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Before his military retirement in 2013, he had many senior level assignments, to include with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Joint Command in Afghanistan, as chief of plans for U.S. Forces Korea, and in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.  He had tactical assignments in U.S. Army Airborne, Air Assault and Armored units and teaching assignments at the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval War College.  He is the author of the book Shaping American Military Capabilities after the Cold War and several articles and book chapters on national security, the Army, civil-military relations, post-war drawdowns, stability operations and counterinsurgency. He holds a B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy, master’s degrees from the Naval War College and Army War College, and M.P.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University.

Jeff McCausland is the founder and CEO of Diamond6 Leadership and Strategy, LLC.  He is a visiting professor of International Security Affairs at Dickinson College and former dean of academics at the U.S. Army War College as well as distinguished visiting professor of research and Minerva chairholder.  McCausland is a retired U.S. Army Colonel, holds a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a West Point graduate.  His military assignments included: the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Army Staff; command of an artillery battalion during the Gulf War; dean of the Army War College; and director for Defense Policy and Arms Control, National Security Council Staff, the White House.  Since retiring from the military he has served as a chaired professor of Leadership at the U.S. Naval Academy and subsequently a visiting professor at the Penn State Graduate School of International Affairs prior to joining the Dickinson faculty.

McCausland is a national security consultant for CBS radio and television.  He has provided extensive analysis of American national security policy and the crisis in Korea for over fourteen years.  He is also a senior fellow at both the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership at the Naval Academy.  He has published and lectured broadly both in the United States and over twenty-five foreign countries on national security affairs, NATO, the wars in Afghanistan/Iraq, security in Asia, civil-military relations, and leadership development.

Douglas Stuart (moderator) is the first holder of the Stuart Chair in International Studies at Dickinson College.  He is also an adjunct research professor at the U.S. Army War College.  His research tends to focus on two topics: the history of, and proposals for reform of, the U.S. national security bureaucracy and U.S. foreign and security policies in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.  His writings on Asian security have appeared in several journals, including Asian Affairs, the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, and the Korean Journal of Defense Analysis.

Video of the Lecture


Lance Freeman

Columbia University

The End of the Ghetto? Gentrification in Black Neighborhoods 1980-2015

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

In the first decades of the 21st century gentrification has accelerated in black neighborhoods across a number of cities. This talk examines the prevalence of this trend, some possible causes and the implications for the Black Ghetto.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Black Student Union, the Departments of Political Science, Economics, and Sociology and the Program in Policy Studies. This is a Clarke Forum student project manager initiated  event.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Lance Freeman is a professor in the Urban Planning Program at Columbia University in New York City. His research focuses on affordable housing, gentrification, ethnic and racial stratification in housing markets, and the relationship between the built environment and well being. Freeman teaches courses on community development, housing policy and research methods.  He has also taught in the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Delaware.  Prior to this, Freeman worked as a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, a leading social policy research firm in Washington D.C.  Freeman holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Freeman has published several articles in refereed journals on issues related to neighborhood change, urban poverty, housing policy, urban sprawl, the relationship between the built environment and public health and residential segregation.  He is also the author of the book There Goes the Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up (Temple University Press). Freeman also obtained extensive experience working with community development groups while working as a community development coordinator for the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development and as a research associate at the Center for Urban and Regional Studies in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  Freeman also has professional experience working as a city planner for the New York City Housing Authority, and as a budget analyst for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

Video of the Lecture

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

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

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.


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


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

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.