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Speaker series brings celebrated 'Voices of Inspiration' to BW

Voice of Inspiration logoA blockbuster lineup of inspiring trailblazers and innovators, including Danica Patrick, history-making, professional racing driver, and Dr. Mae Jemison, first woman of color in the world to travel in space, will headline Baldwin Wallace University's 2019-20 "Voices of Inspiration" speaker series.

The personal stories, insights and advice from these out-of-the-box thinkers and doers will challenge audiences to break through the artificial boundaries around their own potential.

As Jemison has been quoted as saying, "Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations."

Most "Voices of Inspiration" events are free, but tickets are required. Find information and ticket links at

Fall 2019 Series

The following inspirational pioneers are confirmed to appear for the BW series in fall 2019:

Dr. Mae Carol Jemison - history-making NASA astronaut

Dr. Mae Jemison

The first woman of color in the world to go into space, Dr. Mae Jemison served six years as a NASA astronaut. An engineer, entrepreneur, physician and educator, Jemison is at the forefront of integrating the physical and social sciences with art and culture to solve problems and foster innovation.

Today, Jemison leads 100 Year Starship®, a bold, far-reaching nonprofit initiative to assure the capabilities exist for human travel beyond our solar system to another star within the next 100 years. She was also the first astronaut to appear on "Star Trek." Her appearance is the culminating event at BW's symposium, "Solving for XX: Promoting Gender Parity in STEM Leadership and Research."
Funded by The Burton D. Morgan Foundation and Women for BW
Saturday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m. - STEM Lecture
Lou Higgins Center, Ursprung Gymnasium

Danica Patrick - professional racing legend

Danica Patrick

As the most successful woman in open-wheel auto racing history, Danica Patrick is one of the most recognizable athletes in the world. Her 2008 Indy Japan 300 victory stands as the only win by a woman in an IndyCar Series race.

Since retiring from racing, she authored a book, "Pretty Intense," and just launched a podcast of the same name where she talks with a variety of personalities about how they succeeded in their own personal "race." At BW, Patrick will be on the other side of the Q&A, as she shares her own perspective on the drive, personal philosophy and competitive energy that led her to win at the highest level.
Funded by the Boesel BW School of Business Lecture Series
September 28, 7 p.m. - Boesel Business Lecture
Lou Higgins Center, Ursprung Gymnasium

Robert Olen Butler - innovative, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

Robert Olen Butler

Author Robert Olen Butler has been called a "literary Houdini" for his "ability to seamlessly mix humor and poignancy." Butler, who draws on his experiences as a Vietnam Veteran, has published 16 novels, six volumes of short fiction and a book on the creative process.

In 2001, he did something no other writer has ever done: he revealed his writing process in real-time, producing a literary short story, live and online, in 17 two-hour webcasts. His lecture is titled "How to Win a Pulitzer Prize and Other Life Lessons."
Funded by BW's Marting Humanities Lecture Series
October 8, 4:30 p.m. - Mill Reading Series
Marting Hall, Room 114

October 9, 7 p.m. - Marting Humanities Lecture
Strosacker Hall, Sandstone III, reception to follow in the Cyber Café

Dr. Mahzarin Banaji - renowned "implicit bias" researcher

Dr. Mahzarin Banaji

The Harvard researcher known for groundbreaking research on "implicit bias," Dr. Mahzarin Banaji, presents "Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People." Banaji studies deeply buried bias which stems from factors like race, gender and sexual orientation and runs counter to our outward expressions of values and beliefs.

In her talk, Harvard's Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics will reveal how to "outsmart" mental blindspots, which can compromise personal and professional decisions if left unattended.
Funded by the BW Psychology Department's Kathryn Grover Harrington & Robert A. Harrington Distinguished Visiting Professor lecture series - 25th Annual
November 18, 7 p.m. - Harrington Psychology Lecture
Strosacker Hall, Sandstone III, reception to follow

Looking Ahead to Spring 2020

The Spring 2020 "Voices" lineup is still taking shape, but confirmed speakers include Father Gregory Boyle, founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention, rehab and re-entry program in the world. Boyle will appear on February 19.

In addition, BW's February 20 Faith and Life lecture series will feature provocative, American theologian Dr. Ilia Delio, a Washington D.C.-based Franciscan Sister who integrates religion and science, specifically physics and neuroscience, to inform a new way of thinking about evolution.

The BW "Voices" Tradition

With the support of generous donors and underwriters, BW annually brings to campus top speakers and performers, often around a theme, to challenge and inspire students. Most events are also free and open to the public.

In recent years, "Voices" lineups have featured award-winning actor Sterling K. Brown, CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, "Shark Tank" entrepreneur Daymond John and others.

Watch for updates to the 2019-20 "Voices of Inspiration" schedule.

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