Past Programs

Monday, November 9, 2020

Virtual program on YouTube live, 12 p.m. EST

Livestream Link

Community, Connections and Commentary:
Perspectives on the US Elections from Bremen, Málaga, Moscow and Toulouse


Françoise Coste, representing Toulouse, France
Manuel Arias Maldonado, representing Málaga, Spain
Konstantin Sonin, representing Moscow, Russia
Neil van Siclen, representing Bremen, Germany
Sarah Niebler (moderator), Dickinson College

Given the interdependence of the world today, hearing global voices, views and perspectives is more important than ever. Join us and partners from our communities abroad for a discussion on the 2020 U.S. elections. Dickinson College collaborators representing Bremen, Germany; Toulouse, France;  Málaga, Spain;  and Moscow, Russia will give an in-depth analysis of the election results, bringing their insight and highlighting the impact of the elections both near and far.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues at Dickinson College.

Topic overview written by Gabriella Farrell ’21

Biographies (provided by the panelists)

Françoise Coste is a professor of American studies at the University of Toulouse – Jean Jaurès. She devotes her research to contemporary American politics, with a special focus on the history of women’s rights and on the contemporary conservative movement. Her biography of Ronald Reagan (Reagan Read more

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Virtual program on YouTube live, 12 p.m.

Livestream Link

Pandemic Preparedness and Environmental Awareness

Frédéric Keck

Laboratory of Social Anthropology
(CNRS-Collège de France-EHESS)

The current Covid-19 pandemic has connected public health concerns in the West (the fabric of vaccines, the use of masks and other distancing measures) with questions on what happens with bats in China, since Covid-19 is a zoonosis emerging from animal reservoirs. While preparedness asks us to prepare for future pandemics, and question how much we are prepared in the organization of public health, it also includes attentiveness to environmental changes as early warning signals of pandemics. Focusing on the perception of sentinels for influenza pandemics in Hong Kong, this talk will question how we can read viral mutations as signs of environmental changes.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of East Asian studies and anthropology.

Topic overview written by Amanda Sowah ’22

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Frédéric Keck is director of research at the Laboratory of Social Anthropology (CNRS-Collège de France-EHESS). After studying philosophy at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley, he has been researching the Read more

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Virtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.

Livestream Link

Open Forum with Auditor General Eugene DePasquale
Democratic Candidate for Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District

As we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, our foremost priority must be to find a vaccine for COVID-19 and stem the pain of its current economic impact on families and businesses. But as we get past the immediate challenges posed by the virus and its economic fallout, it is critical we begin to think about how we rebuild. Our world, pre-coronavirus, already faced another existential danger, one that is revealing the potential scope of the danger it presents with California suffering from its worst fire season in memory, climate change.

As policy makers, movement leaders, private industry and everyday citizens think about how we rebuild, we can and must factor sustainability and green technology into that equation. Eugene DePasquale, candidate for Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional district will be speaking about how we can use 2021 and beyond as a moment to set our economy and the world on a sustainable path by addressing climate change, structural economic challenges like income inequality, and setting the stage for future prosperity.

This event is also an open Read more

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Virtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.

Livestream Link

The State of Environmental Justice in Pennsylvania


Saleem Chapman, City of Philadelphia
Veronica Coptis, Center for Coalfield Justice
Adam Cutler, Fox Rothschild, LLP
Horace Strand, Chester Environmental Partnership
Heather Bedi (moderator), Dickinson College

Environmental justice aspires for all people- regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, or socioeconomic background – to have equal access to a healthy environment, including avenues to participate meaningfully in decisions regarding their environment. Environmental injustice examines which communities and places are disproportionately exposed to environmental health risks from industrial, municipal, commercial operations, or government policies. Research in the field of environmental justice has shown that people living in poverty, as well as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and their communities, are disproportionately impacted by environmental degradation and pollution.  This panel will focus on environmental justice work occurring in Pennsylvania, bringing together community representatives and members of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Environmental Justice Advisory Board to discuss progress and challenges to achieve environmental justice in the Keystone state. Panelists will reflect on the diversity of activism and legal actions taken to achieve environmental justice. Presenters will highlight contemporary and Read more

Monday, October 12, 2020

Livestream Event – 7 p.m.

Livestream Link

Hedgehogs and Foxes:
Toward Climate Pragmatism

Armond Cohen – Rose-Walters Prize for Environmental Activism Recipient

Clean Air Task Force (CATF)

Climate change is the consequence of the uncontrolled use of fossil fuels, providing 80% of our energy, burned in billions of machines. It took us two centuries to create this complex global industrial system. Now we must replace it in a few decades with zero carbon machines while providing much more energy for the world’s poor. The philosopher Isaiah Berlin once cited a fable about two kinds of thinkers: “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” Hedgehog thinkers embrace single solutions to problems, while foxes see complexity, contingency, and risk. Climate pragmatism embraces multiple strategies and technologies, and a variety of market and policy approaches, to find what works. This is the moment for foxes, not hedgehogs.

This event is sponsored by the The Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism and co-sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Center for Sustainability Education.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Armond Cohen is executive director of the Clean Air Task Read more

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Virtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.

Livestream Link

The Path to Reparations:
No Yellow Brick Road

William Darity           A. Kirsten Mullen

 Duke University                        Artefactual

The co-authors of From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century will discuss the promise of and the obstacles to achieving reparations for descendants of U.S. slavery. They also will examine the benefits of mobilizing a reparations project to eliminate the black-white wealth differences in the United States. In addition, they will examine the flaws in existing legislation to promote black reparations.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Women’s & Gender Resource Center and the departments of sociology and history.

Topic overview written by Carolina Celedon ’22

Biographies (provided by the panelists)

William A. (“Sandy”) Darity Jr. is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics and the director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. He has served as chair of the Department of African and African American Studies and was the founding director of the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality at Duke. Darity’s research focuses Read more

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Virtual Program on YouTube Live, 7 p.m.
(Rescheduled from 4/21/20)

Link to Video of Presentation

Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants

César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández

University of Denver

Every year, the United States imprisons almost half a million people because of immigration law violations. In Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants, García Hernández explains that we haven’t always done things this way and argues that we shouldn’t.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of sociology; Latin American, Latinx and Caribbean studies; Spanish & Portuguese; the Program in Policy Studies and the Community Studies Center.

Overview of topic written by Gabriella Farrell ’21.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández is a writer and law professor at the University of Denver who focuses on migration policing. In December 2019, he published a book, Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants, about the United States’ reliance on prisons to enforce immigration law. In 2015, he published his first book, Crimmigration Law. His op-eds have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Newsweek, Salon, and Read more

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Virtual Program on YouTube Live, 7 p.m.

** Members of the Dickinson community will be able to view the recording of this program on our website here:  Audio/Video tab, Lectures for Campus-Only

Winfield C. Cook Constitution Day Address

How to Be an Antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi

National Book Award-winning Historian and Author of How to Be an Antiracist

When the first Black president headed into the White House, Americans were imagining their nation as colorblind and went so far as to call it post-racial. According to Kendi, since the 2016 election, people are awakening and seeing racial reality for the first time. With opened minds, people are actively trying to understand racism. In this lecture, Kendi will shift the discussion from how not to be racist, to how to be an antiracist. He will share his own racist ideas and how he overcame them. He will provide direction to people and institutions who want more than just band-aid programs, but actual antiracist action that will build an antiracist America. This discussion-led presentation will be moderated by Vincent Stephens, director of Dickinson’s Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity.

The program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and Read more

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Virtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m

Link to Video of Presentation

Race and Policing

Raff Donelson, Penn State Dickinson Law
Matthew Guariglia ’12, University of California-Berkeley
Stephanie Jirard, Shippensburg University
Vincent Stephens (moderator), Dickinson College

The murder of George Floyd catalyzed great social upheaval in the U.S. and prompted protests across the world. In addition to Floyd, numerous high profile cases of unarmed Black Americans killed by police, including Breonna Taylor and Elijah McClain, have garnered national and international attention already this year. The names of victims of police violence and brutality have become a rallying cry to “defund the police.” However, detractors of the protests insist that law enforcement officers serve as the “thin blue line,” preventing society from unhinging and degrading into criminality and chaos. This panel will explore the relationships between race and policing in the United States, including discussion of the history of the police and their response (at local, state, and federal levels) to protests since Memorial Day weekend.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Program in Policy Studies, the Women’s & Gender Resource Center, and the department of Latin American, Latinx Read more

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Virtual program on YouTube Live, 7 p.m.

 Link to Video of Presentation

Lethal Flows: The U.S. Role in Arms Transfers and Arms Trafficking to Latin America and the Caribbean

Adam Isacson

Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

Latin America has eight percent of the world’s population, but accounts for 33 percent of its homicides. Yet the U.S. government maintains robust military aid and arms sales programs, while U.S. territory is a hub for small arms traffickers. Adam Isacson of the Washington Office on Latin America walks through some of the main ways that U.S.-made weapons flow into the wrong hands throughout the Western Hemisphere, and what we can do about it.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of Spanish & Portuguese and sociology and the Security Studies Program. This event was initiated by one of the Clarke Forum’s student project managers.

Overview of topic written by Amanda Sowah ’22

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Adam Isacson has worked on defense, security, and peacebuilding in Latin America since 1994. He now directs Washington Office on Latin American (WOLA)’s Defense Oversight program, which monitors U.S. cooperation with Latin America’s security forces, as Read more

Glenn Stone

Washington University in St. Louis

Unraveled Myths: The Green Revolution and the Gene Revolution

Thursday, September 3, 2020 
Virtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.
(Rescheduled from 4/7/20)

Livestream Link

An expert in diverse types of agricultural systems around the world, Stone finds that two of the most cherished narratives of technological success in development aimed at improving agriculture in these communities fall apart under scrutiny.

The program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of anthropology, archaeology, history, and environmental studies and the Food Studies Program.

Overview of topic written by Scout Meredith Best ’21

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Glenn Stone is an anthropologist whose work centers on the politics and ecology of food and agriculture, including smallholder, alternative, and capitalist industrial agriculture and agricultural biotechnology (GMO’s).  His fieldwork has been in Nigeria, India, the Philippines, and Appalachia, with additional research in prehistoric archaeology in the U.S. Midwest and Southwest and in a biotechnology laboratory.  Author of one book and and over 70 academic articles, he has been awarded fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the School for Advanced Research, and most recently the Simon Guggenheim Foundation. He is Read more

Cathleen Cahill

Penn State University

Who Was A Suffragist: A More Diverse View

Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Virtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.

This lecture reveals the hidden histories of the Native American, Chinese American, African American, and Hispanic suffragists who not only challenged women’s inequality but also fought against the racial prejudices of the age. They marched in parades, debated with national suffrage leaders, and met with presidents and other politicians. They insisted that women in their communities also deserved the vote.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Women’s & Gender Resource Center and the department of women’s, gender & sexuality studies.

Overview of topic written by Amanda Sowah ’22

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Cathleen Cahill is a social historian who explores the everyday experiences of ordinary people, primarily women. She focuses on women’s working and political lives, asking how identities such as race, nationality, class, and age have shaped them. She is also interested in the connections generated by women’s movements for work, play, and politics, and how mapping those movements reveal women in surprising and unexpected places. She is the author of Federal Fathers and Mothers: A Social Read more

Courtney Ariel

Sojourners Contributor, Songwriter and Storyteller

Reimagining Citizenship: Thoughts on Relational Violence & The Construct of Whiteness

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 – 7 p.m.
Live Stream Event
Link to Live Stream

Ariel will explore how dismantling constructs of superiority can present a broader perspective on relational healing and citizenship within and around us.

Members of the public are invited to watch the discussion and submit questions in the comments section of the YouTube live stream. It is free and open to the public.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Courtney Ariel is a songwriter and storyteller and her music can be found on most streaming platforms. As a Sojourners contributor, she has written several articles including “For Our White Friends Desiring to be Allies,” and “How White Liberals Perpetuate Relational Violence.” Through her writing and music, Ariel is committed to speaking back —speaking truth — to systems of oppression, which she believes to be at the core of her resistance and pathway to liberation. Despite what middle school adolescence taught many of us, she thinks we are the coolest when we admit we aren’t certain, care deeply and continue trying. Let’s give it a shot.

Raised in Southern California, she graduated from Read more

How the Public’s Perception of Face Coverings and Face Masks Can Impact People of Color in the United States During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Thursday, April 30, 2020 – 7 p.m.
Live Stream Event
Live Stream Link


Safronia Perry, executive director of Hope Station

In Conversation with:
Linh Nguyen ’20, student project co-supervisor at the Clarke Forum
Carolina Celedón ’22, student project manager at the Clarke Forum

As of Sunday April 19th, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf updated the state response to the Coronavirus to mandate that essential employees wear masks at work. The wearing of face masks and coverings is very new for most Americans. However, in other countries, this practice was already common to guard against air pollution and the spread of disease. The lack of PPE in the United States during the Pandemic has resulted in health officials suggesting that people make their own face masks and coverings using bandanas and other cloth materials. In American cities in particular, bandanas of certain colors are associated with gang membership and violence. This conversation with Safronia Perry will explore how wearing face masks and coverings could intensify racial profiling and stereotyping of people of color in America.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Safronia Perry is the executive Read more

David McCormick

Bridgewater Associates

* We are conducting this event virtually. It was previously postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How Mentors Can Shape Your Future: A Conversation with a Global Leader

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 – 7 p.m.
Live Stream Event

Dickinson College President Margee Ensign and U.S. District Judge John E. Jones will converse with Bridgewater Associates CEO David McCormick (Bridgewater Associates manages approximately $160 billion in global investments). They will discuss the importance of mentorship and the role mentors can play in developing leadership skills.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Office of the President.  It is part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.


David McCormick is the CEO of the global investment firm Bridgewater Associates, responsible for overseeing the firm’s strategy, governance, and business operations. McCormick joined Bridgewater in 2009 and previously served as the firm’s president, before becoming Co-CEO in 2017 and the CEO in 2020.

Before joining Bridgewater, McCormick was the U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs in the George W. Bush Administration during the global financial crisis. Prior to that, he served in senior posts on the National Security Read more

John Henson

Dickinson College

The Science of COVID-19: Aspects of Infection, Immunity, Treatment and Testing

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 – 7 p.m.
Live Stream Event
Live Stream Link 

The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 has been called the “perfect pathogen” due to it being both highly infectious and virulent.  This presentation will provide an overview of our current understanding of how the virus damages the lungs, the good – and bad – of the resulting immune response, the potential for treatments/vaccines, and the mechanisms underlying the various testing strategies.

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


John Henson is the senior associate provost for Academic Affairs and the Charles A. Dana Professor of Biology at Dickinson College. Henson is a member of the biology department, contributes to the biochemistry and molecular biology and health studies programs, and has taught courses covering aspects of infection vs. immunity, global health and the origins of pandemics. He is a broadly trained cell biologist and comparative immunologist with a long record of external research support from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Henson worked on H5N1 pandemic influenza preparedness along with biological weapon nonproliferation while a William Read more

Dana Souders

Licensed Massage Therapist and Life Coach

Pursuing the Good Life During a Pandemic: Pause, Connect, Pivot and Re-Design

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 – 7 p.m.
Live Stream Event
Live Stream Link (available at 6:50 p.m. on day of event)

We have globally found ourselves in a collective pause from our daily routines and activities.  And in many ways life is now forever changed of how we will move forward.  We are at a crossroads of sorts.  Our nervous systems can be getting quite a workout these past weeks and months and it is important that we meet ourselves and each other with grace.  This talk will include some reflections regarding awareness and what happens in our bodies when we are in extended periods of stress and fight/flight/freeze response.  Some tools on how to calm the stress response by self regulating and co-regulating.  Join in as we explore some ways to support one another in finding our center in the dynamic sea of information and energy.  The Good Life, according to Souders, means being able to create a safe haven for ourself and each other as well as a launching pad of re-designing our lives anew as we move forward.

*Special Read more