GRCC Diversity Lecture Series speakers look at politics, education, feminism

Oct. 10, 2018 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Topics at the heart of daily headlines will be tackled by speakers in Grand Rapids Community College's Diversity Lecture Series. 

The Diversity Lecture Series, sponsored by GRCC's Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Center for Equity and Inclusion, is intended to provide insight into other perspectives and to encourage civil debate and cultural understanding. All lectures are free and open to the public.

"It's important for us as a college and a community to listen to perspectives that may be different or even challenging," GRCC President Bill Pink said. "The Diversity Lecture Series traditionally has been effective for informing and discussing issues in a civil, respectful way."

The 2018-19 speakers are:

  • Ana Navarro, Republican strategist and political analyst, will discuss "The Political Outlook" on Oct. 24. Navarro, who has provided analysis for CNN, CNN en Español, Telemundo and ABC News, has served as ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, addressing human rights abuses in Cuba. She has also worked in the private sector, representing clients on federal issues such as immigration, trade and Central America policy.
  • Bakari Sellers, lawyer and activist, will present "Education, Civil Rights and Equality: Cornerstones for Our Future" on Feb. 13. Sellers made history in 2006 when, at the age of 22, he defeated a 26-year incumbent and became the youngest member of the South Carolina Legislature and the youngest African American elected official in the nation. In 2014, he was South Carolina's Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor. Sellers has been named to Time magazine's "40 Under 40" in 2010, 2014 and 105; and "The Root 100" list of the nation's most influential African Americans. He now serves on the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee's National Council.
  • Jessica Valenti, author and journalist, will talk about "Feminism Today" on March 20. A New York Times best-selling author of five books and a columnist at The Guardian US, she has led the national conversation on modern feminism for more than a decade. Her "Yes Means Yes" inspired sexual assault legislation across the country, and her most recent book, "Sex Object: A Memoir" was called "bold and unflinching" by Publishers Weekly. Valenti's articles have topped the most-read lists at The Atlantic, The Guardian US and The Washington Post.

All the lectures begin at 7 p.m. at Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE. Book signings will follow the lectures by Navarro and Valenti, and presentations are ASL interpreted. For more information, call (616) 234-3390.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.

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