distinguished speakers

Bold ideas and expertise about topics that affect our world.


“We are Unstoppable, Another World is Possible”
Emily Welty
Alumni Hall, Brumbaugh Academic Center
October 8, 7:30pm
Supported by the Will Judy Lectureship and the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies

As children we are often told that “life’s unfair” and that we need to accept and adjust to a world that feels unjust. However, some of the most meaningful parts of activism emerge from our willingness to insist that injustice and violence are not the way we are meant to live and to commit ourselves to the creation of new norms. From direct acts of resistance to advocacy at the United Nations, we will explore how the steady insistence that the world can be different has the power to transform both our daily lives as well as international conflict. Dr. Emily Welty – an academic, ecumenist, activist and artist living and working in New York City – explores how all of us can participate in acts of dissent and radical generosity.


“Black Lives Matter in Academic Spaces: Lessons for Critical Literacy”
Vershawn Young
Alumni Hall, Brumbaugh Academic Center
February 26, 2019, 7:30pm
Supported by the Calvert N. Ellis Memorial Lectureship and the Edwin A. & Susan R. Malloy Lectureship

Dr. Young is a trans-disciplinary scholar, teacher, performance artist, and actor. He often integrates training in multiple areas of arts and humanities into his published work and instruction. He has been writing about his sociolinguistic concept code-meshing, African American English, intercultural communication, performances of masculinity, and representations of race in art, film, and literature. This presentation analyzes several online performances from the Black Lives Matter Movement for the ways they utilize and blend standard academic literacies and African American rhetoric. These performances are discussed as pedagogies of possibility. This talk also points up the crucial roles that racial dignity, ethics and empathy should play in education.