Tisch College Announces Virtual Events for Fall 2021

The diverse array of speakers include politicians, journalists, authors, and innovators

The Tisch College of Civic Life is hosting national and global leaders, award-winning journalists and authors, and groundbreaking innovators and activists for events this fall. All events this semester will be held virtually or livestreamed, allowing for Tufts students and members of the community to attend safely.

Featured speakers this semester include Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, author Isabel Wilkerson, and NBA assistant coach Sonia Raman, a Tufts alumna, among others.

This semester’s events lineup also includes the first-ever Spanish language Tisch College event, focused on the political future of Puerto Rico.

“This semester’s diverse array of speakers and virtual events are part of an important Tisch College tradition: hosting civic leaders from all walks of life to participate in meaningful conversations with the Tufts community on today’s most pressing challenges,” said Dayna Cunningham, Pamela and Pierre Omidyar Dean of Tisch College of Civic Life. “We hope these opportunities, offered in partnership with programs and departments from across the university, inspire students, faculty, staff, and alumni to engage, reflect, and act.”

The Susan and Alan Solomont Distinguished Speaker Series at Tisch College, or Tisch College’s Solomont Speaker Series for short, brings to campus (virtually and in person) a diverse group of leaders in civic life to share their perspective and expertise with the Tufts community.

The Solomont Speaker Series, formerly known as the Tisch College Distinguished Speaker Series, was made possible by a generous gift from the Solomonts in the spring of 2021 to endow the series and recognizes the many ways in which Alan and Susan Solomont have served and supported Tufts University and Tisch College. The series’ renaming honors Dean Emeritus Alan Solomont’s innovative leadership of Tisch College and his strong support for establishing and growing the program over the last seven years.

For more information about all events and to register, please visit tischcollege.tufts.edu/events.

Defining and Enacting Food Sovereignty in Native American Community Gardening, Culinary Work, and Land Defense
Thursday, September 9 | noon ET | Curtis Hall Multipurpose Room (livestream available)
Elizabeth Hoover, author, associate professor in the environmental science, policy, and management department at the University of California Berkeley
Register for the livestream here

Civic Life Lunch — The Salem Witch Trials: Hauntings from Our Civic Past
Marilynne K. Roach author, illustrator, and researcher; Rachel Christ, AG21, director of education at the Salem Witch Museum
Tuesday, September 14 | noon ET | virtual
Register here

Tisch College Solomont Speaker Series: Sonia Raman, J96
Wednesday, September 22 | 6:15 p.m. ET | virtual
Sonia Raman assistant coach of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. The first female NBA assistant coach of Indian origin, Raman was previously the head women’s basketball coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 12 seasons. Prior to her coaching career, Raman, a lawyer, worked for the federal Labor Department and for an investment firm in the risk and compliance division.
Register here

Tufts Constitution Day — Fulfilling the “Constitutional” Right to Vote: Election Reform, Voter Suppression, and the Electoral College
Pam Wilmot, voter advocate and vice president of state operations for Common Cause
Thursday, September 23 | 5 p.m. ET | virtual
Register here

A Conversation About the American Electorate
Sol Gittleman, H10, ABSP, Alice and Nathan Gantcher University Professor Emeritus, and Diane Hessan, J76, A11P, award-winning entrepreneur, innovator, voting expert, and author
Tuesday, September 28 | 6 p.m. ET | virtual
Register here  

Civic Life Lunch — Environmental Innovation: Lessons Learned from Indigenous and Afrodescendant Communities
Wednesday, October 6 | noon ET | virtual
Luis Gilberto Murillo-Urrutia, former Colombian minister of Environment and Sustainable Development
Register here  

Tisch College Solomont Speaker Series: Jan Grabowski
Tuesday, October 12 | noon ET | virtual
Jan Grabowski—author, Holocaust historian, and professor—is one of two editors of 2018’s critically acclaimed Night Without End: The Fate of Jews in Selected Counties of Occupied Poland. Grabowski is the co-founder of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research in Warsaw, and teaches at the University of Ottawa. Moderator: Edna Friedberg, historian at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
Register here

Civic Life Lunch — The Oldest Colony in the World: Perspectives on Puerto’s Political Future
Wednesday, October 13 | noon ET | virtual
Journalist and author Ed Morales and international human rights lawyer, and Annette Martínez Orabona, F08, will lead a Spanish-language conversation about Puerto Rico’s political status, including legal, political, historical, and sociocultural aspects of its relationship with the United States. Moderator: Alberto Medina, the communications team lead at Tisch College’s CIRCLE and a native of Puerto Rico who has written extensively about this issue. Live captions in English will be provided for all attendees.
Register here

Tisch College Solomont Speaker Series: Peter Beinart - “Antisemitism, U.S.-Israel Relations & the Moral Responsibilities of Power”
Thursday, October 14 | 5:30 p.m. ET | virtual
The second installment of a year-long series focused on antisemitism, this event will focus on Peter Beinart’s career and on politics, foreign policy, and the American-Israel relationship. Beinart is a CNN political commentator, editor-at-large for Jewish Currents, and associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York. A Rhodes Scholar, Beinart is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace, a contributor to The Atlantic, author of three critically acclaimed books, and a senior fellow in international security at the New America Foundation.
Register here  

Tisch College Solomont Speaker Series & Tufts School of Medicine Common Book Keynote: Isabel Wilkerson, author of Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
Monday, October 18 | 5:30 p.m. ET | virtual
Author and journalist Isabel Wilkerson will discuss her bestselling book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, the 2021 Common Book selection for the Tufts University School of Medicine. In Caste, Wilkerson explores how our lives are defined by unspoken systems of divisions, linking together case studies in America, India, and Nazi Germany, and how those arbitrary hierarchies still divide us today. Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago bureau chief of the New York Times in 1994, making her the first Black woman to win a Pulitzer and the first African-American to win for individual reporting. Wilkerson is also the author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama in 2016.
Register here

Civic Life Lunch — King Boston: Building Boston’s Beloved Community
Imari Paris Jeffries, King Boston executive director, activist, educator, and veteran
Thursday, October 21 | noon ET | virtual
King Boston is a groundbreaking nonprofit organizing working closely with the City of Boston and the Boston Foundation to create a living memorial and bold programing to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, and their time and work together in Boston. It also seeks to continue the Kings’ work through the addition of the Center of Economic Justice, research and thought leadership, and innovative community programming like Embrace Ideas and the Embrace Ideas Festival. 
Register here

American Made: What Happens to People When Work Disappears
Farah Stockman, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
Monday, October 25 | 5:30 p.m. ET | virtual
Register here  

Civic Life Lunch – Somerville on the Move: A City Transformed and Forging a New Path Forward with Mayor Joe Curtatone
Wednesday, October 27 | noon ET | virtual
For almost two decades, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone has led the City of Somerville through extraordinary change. 
Register here  

Tisch College Solomont Speaker Series: John Kasich 
Thursday, October 28 | 5:30 p.m. ET | virtual
John Kasich is the former two-term Republican governor of Ohio, a CNN senior political commentator, bestselling author, and former FOX television host. With experience working in both the public and private sectors, Kasich was a U.S. Congressman for central Ohio for 18 years, after having first been elected to office at just 30 years old. In 2016, Kasich ran for president in the Republican presidential primary.
Register here  

Civic Life Lunch — Extreme Weather, Climate Change and the Fight for Environmental Change, with Doug Foy
Doug Foy, founder and CEO of Serrafix Corporation, and the secretary of Commonwealth Development under former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
Wednesday, November 10 | noon ET | virtual
Register here

Alan D. Solomont Lecture on Citizenship & Public Service: Senator Tammy Duckworth
Wednesday, November 17 | 5:30 p.m. ET | virtual
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) is an Iraq War veteran, Purple Heart recipient, author, and former assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Among the first group of Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Duckworth served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant colonel in 2014. She was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016 after representing Illinois’s eighth congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the Senate, Duckworth co-founded the first-ever Environmental Justice Caucus, and she sits on the Committees for Armed Services; Environment & Public Works; Commerce, Science, & Transportation; and Small Business & Entrepreneurship.
Register here  

Prof. Jonathan Kenny Memorial Lecture — Frontline Struggles: Environmental Health and Justice Communities 
Stephen Lester, science director of the Center for Health, Environment & Justice
Thursday, December 2 | noon ET | Curtis Hall Multipurpose Room (livestream available)
Register for the livestream here  

Robin Smyton can be reached at robin.smyton@tufts.edu.

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