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Lecture Series Archive

Clarence Jones
The 21st Century Challenge of the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

May 1, 2019

clarence jonesMartin Luther King Jr. was the 20th century's pre-eminent apostle of non-violence and the pursuit of justice. From Dr. King's beautifully illustrated philosophies in his 1963 Letter From A Birmingham Jail to the powerful "I Have A Dream" speech, Jones' finds that 50 years later, the same challenges of racial segregation and unfair treatment are still posed for civil society today.

Dr. Jones is currently an Adjunct Professor, University of San Francisco and a Scholar Writer in Residence at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute, Stanford University, and Palo Alto, CA. In a distinguished and heralded career, Clarence B. Jones served as political advisor, counsel and draft speechwriter for the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., joined Sanford I. Weill and Arthur Levitt, Jr. in Carter, Berlind & Weill, Inc. as an Allied Member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), becoming the “first African American “ partner in a Wall Street investment banking firm, has been twice recognized as Fortune Magazine’s “Business Man of the Month,” and founded successful financial, corporate and media-related ventures. He has also provided strategic legal and financial consulting services to several governments around the world including The Bahamas, The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Zambia.

 


Prince Emmanuel de Merode
Virunga: A Film Screening and Conversation

November 28, 2018

emmanuel de merode

Prince Emmanuel de Merode, a conservationist and anthropologist, works fearlessly to protect endangered wildlife as director and chief warden of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet.

Virunga is the the award-winning film exposing how he and a team of Congolese rangers risk their lives to de-militarize a national park formerly controlled by rebel militias while striving to build a better future in the World Heritage Site.

Following the film, the prince was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree and answered questions about his experiences with wildlife conservation in a dangerous region.

View the Virunga Trailer:

 


Stephanie Kelton
But How Will We Pay for It? Making Public Money Work for Us

stephanie keltonMonday, October 15, 2018

Our nation’s finances are a blistering topic. Democrats blame Republicans for "blowing up the deficit" with tax cuts, while Republicans insist that programs such as Social Security and Medicare are the real drivers of our fiscal mess. As politicians fight over who’s at fault, an important debate is getting lost in the fog.

Professor Stephanie Kelton is a professor of public policy and economics at Stony Brook University. She casts a different light on these fiscal feuds and the budget deficit, arguing that both sides are missing the bigger picture when it comes to paying for our future.

Before joining Stony Brook, she chaired the Economics Department at the University of Missouri—Kansas City, where she taught for seventeen years. She served as chief economist on the U.S. Senate Budget Committee (Democratic staff) in 2015 and as a senior economic adviser to Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign. She is a former editor-in-chief of the top-ranked blog New Economic Perspectives and member of the TopWonks network of the nation’s best thinkers.

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Margaret Jay, Baroness Jay of Paddington
Margaret JayThe New Populism in America and Britain:  What Has Happened to Our Politics?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Right Honorable the Baroness Jay of Paddington, Labour politician and former broadcast journalist, is a pioneer of women’s issues and has longstanding interests in health and constitutional affairs.

Baroness Jay was a journalist for more than 20 years before becoming a force in British government. In 1992 she was appointed a "working peer" to the House of Lords by the Labour Party. In 1998, she became Leader of the House of Lords, and was also named Minister for Women, a position from which she pushed for changes in government policy. Today, the Baroness serves on committees in the House of Lords focusing on health, communications and international issues.

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Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
Achieving Gender Equality

September 12, 2016

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. Having devoted her career to issues of human rights, equality and social justice, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka has worked in government and civil society, and with the private sector, and was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in her home country of South Africa. Part of SB's  HeForShe: A Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality.

Created by UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women, HeForShe is a global effort to engage men and boys in removing the social and cultural barriers that Created by UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women, HeForShe is a global effort to engage men and boys in removing the social and cultural barriers that prevent women and girls from achieving their potential, and thus together positively reshaping society.

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Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
Looking at the Presidency: From Nixon to Obama

October 16, 2014
berstein and woodwardFew journalists in American history have had the impact on their era and their craft that Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein have.

In the 1970s they set the standard for modern investigative reporting with a series of articles for The Washington Post that unraveled the Watergate scandal and led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Four decades later, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and co-authors of All the President's Men and The Final Days are still leading the charge for informative, unbiased journalism.

Woodward, associate editor for The Washington Post, and Bernstein, Visiting Presidential Professor at Stony Brook University, are both frequent contributors on MSNBC, CNN and all other major networks.

The lecture event also included a screening of the film All the President's Men at the Staller Center on October 14.

 


Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD
Ebola: Risks of Emerging Infections

September 3, 2014, Staller Center Main Stage

To watch the lecture, please see below:

Dr. Stanley is a distinguished biomedical researcher and chair of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. He was one of the nation’s highest recipients of support from the National Institutes of Health for his research focusing on enhanced defense against emerging infectious diseases.

He is an expert in the biological mechanisms that cells employ when responding to infectious agents such as parasites, bacteria and viruses — a process commonly called the inflammatory response. Dr. Stanley has published several scholarly articles about the characterization of key proteins and pathways involved in amebic, bacterial and viral infections, blood-borne pathogen risks in hemophilia therapy, and the identification of new strain-specific clones. Better defense against infection is a key focus of his research.

 


carl bernstein

Carl Bernstein
Why Isn't Our Government Working—And Can It?
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Carl Bernstein, is an author, political analyst and Visiting Presidential Professor at Stony Brook University. For 40 years, Bernstein’s books, reporting and commentary have revealed the inner workings of government, politics and the hidden stories of Washington and its leaders. In the early 1970s, Bernstein and Bob Woodward broke the Watergate story for The Washington Post, leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon and setting the standard for modern investigative reporting, for which they and The Post were awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Since then, Bernstein has continued to build on the theme he and Woodward first explored in the Nixon years — the use and abuse of power: political, media, financial and cultural.

On November 18, 2013, Bernstein’s lecture “Why Isn’t Our Government Working – And Can It?” stressed the importance of determining what news is. He also focused on the two overriding stories of today — the breakdown of the political system and whether it can be fixed, as well as whether we are going to be a nation of the wealthy, for the wealthy, by the wealthy at the expense of the great majority of our people.

At the end of Bernstein’s lecture, he specifically addressed Stony Brook’s students by saying that young people know they have been wronged. “If we are going to undo what has been done, we have to understand our history and how we got here,” said Bernstein. “And I sense from my students this great desire to understand this history. And one thing’s for sure: The best obtainable version of the truth has got to be part of the process of undoing…I look forward to hearing from you.”

 


Marian Wright Edelman Marian Wright Edelman
Best known as the founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), Marian Wright Edelman has long been at the forefront of advocacy for children and disadvantaged Americans. When she began her career in law in the 1960s, she broke barriers as the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar. She continued to pioneer civil rights causes through her involvement in the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Office and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign. Mrs. Edelman’s contributions to civil rights efforts are too numerous to list, but one only needs to pick up one of her books to understand the magnitude of her commitment to promoting basic freedoms for all Americans.

On May 7, 2013, Mrs. Edelman shared her story and thoughts on how we can best ensure a level playing field for all children. Her most visible contribution to this goal has been the establishment of the CDF Freedom Schools, which promote enrichment for underprivileged children through a balanced curriculum and supportive environment. At the culmination of Mrs. Edelman’s lecture, President Stanley announced that Stony Brook University would sponsor a CDF Freedom School during the summer.

Interested to learn about Stony Brook University’s 2013 CDF Freedom School? Please visit: http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/features-freedom.html

 


Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West

cornel west and tavis smiley

Award-winning broadcasters Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West came to Stony Brook on April 26, 2012, to discuss their book The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto. The dynamic duo challenged the audience to re-examine assumptions about poverty in America, ask what poverty really is, and how to eradicate it. 

Tavis Smiley is a broadcaster, author, advocate and philanthropist who is an outstanding voice for change. He is the first American to host signature talk shows simultaneously on both public television and public radio. In addition to his radio and television work, Smiley has authored more than 15 books. In 2009, he was named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”  

Dr. Cornel West is a revered educator and philosopher. He is the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University’s Center for African American Studies. Known as one of America’s most gifted, provocative, and important democratic intellectuals,  Dr. West is the author of the contemporary classic  Race Matters, which changed the course of America’s dialogue on race and justice;  the  New York Times bestseller  Democracy Matters; and the memoir  Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud.  He is the author of 17 other texts and recipient of the American Book Award. Dr. West holds more than 20 honorary degrees.