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Enduring Questions:

The Mark Collier Lecture Series


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Lively Line-up for Next "Enduring Questions: The Mark Collier Lecture Series"

The 2012-13 EQ series will feature four engaging and diverse speakers beginning with the only person to win the three "P"s of journalism – the Pulitzer, the Polk, and the Peabody – and ending with an internationally acclaimed author who's been dubbed "a force of nature." In between, one of the world's most distinguished Hispanic journalists and a living legend of the civil rights movement will take the EQ stage.

The four luminaries will address the 2012-13 theme of “Human Rights and Responsibilities: Who Decides?" from their own distinct perspectives. The theme examines global perspectives on human rights. What are basic human rights? What role do international agencies play in creating systems of justice and peace? How do cultures vary in their interpretation of human rights? Is military intervention necessary to protect human rights, and, if so, under what conditions? How do we balance power, decision-making, and responsibility in relation to meeting basic human needs?

Here is the distinguished line-up of speakers:

Laurie Garrett

September 12, 2012 at 8 p.m.

Kleist Center for Art & Drama

Laurie Garrett is one of America's most eloquent and forceful speakers on global healthcare, infectious disease, and disease prevention. The only person to win the three "P"s of journalism – the Pulitzer, the Polk, and the Peabody – Garrett makes plain the science behind new threats to public health, both natural and man-made.  She is particularly adept at navigating the politics that help, and hinder, how we prepare, how we treat and how we respond to these threats.

A Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, Garrett is the bestselling author of The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance and Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health. She has written for Foreign Affairs, Esquire, and The Washington Post, and appears frequently on television shows such as "Nightline," "Charlie Rose," and "Oprah." Garrett is a past president and member of the National Association of Science Writers and has been awarded three honorary Ph.D.s, the latest in 2009 from Georgetown University. She also serves as a co-chair of the UNAIDS High Commission on HIV Prevention and worked as a script consultant to "Contagion," a film directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Matt Damon.

Ray Suarez

October 24, 2012 at 8 p.m.

Kulas Musical Arts Building

Author and Senior Correspondent for "The PBS NewsHour," Ray Suarez is one of the world’s most distinguished Hispanic journalists. He is currently at work on the companion volume to a forthcoming documentary series for PBS chronicling the history of Latinos in America. Most recently he is the author of a book examining the tightening relationship between religion and politics in America, The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America. Suarez also wrote The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration, and has contributed to several other books, including What We See, How I Learned English, Brooklyn: A State of Mind, Local Heroes, Saving America's Treasures, and Las Christmas.

Suarez has more than thirty years of award-winning experience in the news business. He came to "The NewsHour" from National Public Radio where he had been host of the nationwide, call-in news program "Talk of the Nation." Suarez currently hosts the monthly radio program “America Abroad” for Public Radio International and the weekly politics program “Destination Casa Blanca” for The Hispanic Information Telecommunications Network, HITN-TV. 

C.T. Vivian

January 23, 2013 at 8 p.m.
Kleist Center for Art & Drama

Appearance co-sponsored by the MLKing Week Committee

Rev. C.T. (Cordy Tindell) Vivian is a living legend of the Civil Rights Movement and continues his activism today, tirelessly working for the progress of African-Americans and the civil and political rights of all peoples. A Baptist minister, his first use of non-violent direct action was in 1947, to end Peoria's segregated lunch counters. Later he founded the Nashville Christian Leadership Conference, organizing the first sit-ins there in 1960 and the first civil rights march in 1961. Rev. Vivian was a rider on the first "Freedom Bus" into Jackson, Mississippi, and went on to work alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his Executive Staff in Birmingham, Selma, Chicago, Nashville, the March on Washington, Danville, Virginia, and St. Augustine, Florida. The summer following the Selma Movement, Rev. Vivian conceived and directed an educational program, Vision, and put 702 Alabama students in college with scholarships. The program later became Upward Bound (with a chapter at BW).

Over his distinguished career, Vivian has been asked to provide civil rights counsel to five different Presidential administrations – Johnson, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Obama – and has advised foreign heads of state. He has resided in Atlanta, Georgia for more than three decades. Though ostensibly retired, he continues to work on behalf of the needy, including victims of Hurricane Katrina. In 2008, Vivian founded the C.T. Vivian Leadership Institute, Inc. to create a model leadership culture for the purpose of "training and educating the new generation of grass-roots leaders inspired to mobilize a constituency."

Chris Abani

March 20, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Kulas Musical Arts Building

"Chris Abani may be the most courageous writer working right now," says author Dave Eggers.  Imprisoned by the Nigerian government as a teenager for his writings, Abani is one of the most admired novelists in the world today. He is also an evocative speaker whose keynotes – nearly musical in their fluidity, heartbreak, and joy – mix the personal and the political.  His luminous and very funny talks are a vital statement on the redemptive power of art to battle tyranny and to remind us of our common humanity. "Happiness," Abani has said, "is learning to live with difficulty and grace." 

One of the best writers to emerge from Africa in half a century, Abani is the recipient of the PEN Freedom-to-Write Award and many other prizes. His bestselling novel, Graceland, about an Elvis impersonator in Lagos, won the Hemingway/PEN Prize. His other works of fiction include The Virgin of Flames, Becoming Abigail, and the award-winning Song For Night, about a child soldier who has lost his voice. All three were named a New York Times Editor's Choice. Abani is currently Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz calls Abani “a force of nature." 


The Baldwin Wallace University Core Curriculum centers on a common course entitled "Enduring Questions for an Intercultural World." This course encourages us to wrestle with the timeless questions that unite humanity:

What does it mean to be a human being?

How do human beings relate to each other? 

How do human beings relate to the natural world?

The Series was established in 2006 in honor of Dr. Mark Collier, President of Baldwin Wallace University from 1999-2006, and represents an on-going commitment from the University to bring world renowned speakers to campus to extend the conversation beyond the classroom. 

The 2012-13 Enduring Questions Lecture Series is sponsored by the Academic and Cultural Events Series, the Office of Core Curriculum, the David Brain Leadership Program, the Office of Diversity Affairs, the Kamm Lecture Series, the Marting Lecture Series, the MLK Week Committee and the Enduring Questions Lecture Series Endowment.


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