Civil Rights Activist and educator DeRay Mckesson ’07 joined Bowdoin students, alumni and families Tuesday evening via Zoom to speak on his experiences as an activist in the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and as Director of the Council on Criminal Justice Task Force on Policing.
In response to the January 6 attack on the Capitol, the College hosted the first of a series of virtual conversations on the current state of our democracy on Thursday. The webinar featured Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University Timothy Snyder and was moderated by Associate Professor of History Page Herrlinger.
This Wednesday, over 50 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to the Bowdoin community in May of 1964, the annual lecture commemorating King took place online, featuring renowned speaker and author Beverly Tatum, H’06. Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College, is the author of the bestselling book “Why Are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria” and a leading speaker on issues of race and racism.
Programming for this year’s Black History Month opened with a dialogue between three prominent alumni. This conversation, a reflection on the history, barriers and foundational principles of the Harlem Children’s Zone, was moderated by President Clayton Rose and featured founders of the Harlem’s Children’s Zone Geoffrey Canada ’74 H’07, George Khaldun ’73 and Stanley Druckenmiller ’75 H’07.
In an email to the campus on Thursday afternoon, President Clayton Rose announced the launch of a semester-long lecture series titled “After the Insurrection: Conversations on Democracy.”The series includes six events featuring speakers who are experts on voting and extremism, including Senator Susan Collins (R-ME).
Nestled in the back of the Fort Andross building directly overlooking the Androscoggin River, Frontier has served as a community gathering place for over a decade. In addition to a restaurant and a coffee bar, Frontier is an event space that showcases art, music, performance and film.
THRIVE and the Center for Multicultural Life partnered to hold a “Through the Decades” alumni panel on Monday evening. The panel consisted of six alumni of color who discussed their experiences at the College. Present on the panel were Tyree Jones ’82, Elijah Whitehead ’94, Chris Knight ’07, Andrea Navarro ’10, Zully Hatch ’11 and Elly Veloria ’20.
On Tuesday, the Office of Alumni Relations hosted an hour-long talk with Alvin Hall ’74 discussing his new podcast, “Driving the Green Book,” which documents a road trip he took from Detroit to New Orleans. The talk, moderated by President Clayton Rose, delved into the origins and purpose of this project.
On Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours before the results of the U.S. presidential election were announced by major news outlets , four history professors—Geoffrey Canada Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History Brian Purnell, Professor of History Dallas Denery, Associate Professor of History Meghan Roberts and Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies Matthew Klingle—gathered for the fourth panel in the department’s fall semester programming on the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, titled “The 1619 Project and Making Sense of the 2020 Election.” The panel began with a discussion about the legacy of Black women in American politics, with Roberts quoting from Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University Martha Jones’s 2020 book, “Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All.” Roberts noted that Stacey Abrams has devoted herself to political organizing in Georgia since her loss in the state’s 2018 gubernatorial race.
On Monday night, Representative Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) spoke to members of the Bowdoin community over Zoom on a range of issues, including the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the recent presidential election and climate change. Haaland was elected to the House of Representatives in 2018, and, as a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, was one of the first two Native American women to serve in Congress.
On Tuesday evening, in collaboration with the government department and Bowdoin Votes, the McKeen Center for the Common Good hosted a panel titled “Anticipating the Unanticipated: Puzzling Through What Might Happen Post-Election.” Moderated by Sarah Chingos, director of the Bowdoin public service initiative, the panel featured Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of Government Andrew Rudalevige, Professor of Government Michael Franz and Assistant Professor of Government Maron Sorenson.
Three alumni gathered on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the life and legacy of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as well as the role of the Supreme Court following her death. Moderated by Katie Benner ’99, a journalist covering the Justice Department for the New York Times, the panel consisted of Nancy Bellhouse May ’78, a longtime Court observer and editor of The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process, and Dennis Hutchinson ’69, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, legal scholar and former federal clerk.
Despite challenges presented by COVID-19 and a remote semester, Career Exploration and Development (CXD) is finding ways to support Bowdoin students from a distance as they explore different career paths. The CXD eXplore Series, which began last weekend and continues this Saturday, brings together students and alumni to discuss possible career paths.
Family Weekend, a long-time Bowdoin tradition, has gone fully virtual for the fall 2020 semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The celebration, which started yesterday and will end on Saturday, features a mix of synchronous and asynchronous online events intended to recreate some of the essence of the traditionally in-person occasion.
On Saturday, the Student Center for Multicultural Life hosted a retreat for first-generation (first-gen) first-year students living on campus. The event, which lasted the better part of the day, took place in Farley Field House, where the 26 first-year participants, six first-generation upperclassmen discussion leaders and staff and faculty who participated in a panel and delivered presentations were able to safely gather while maintaining social distance.
Cara Drinan ’96, a professor of law at the Catholic University of America, joined Bowdoin students and faculty on October 7 for a virtual discussion titled “Race, Crime and COVID-19.” Drinan has become a prominent figure in the battle for criminal justice reform, specializing in the right to counsel and juvenile sentencing.
Despite the challenges of a remote semester, the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) has been planning programs to engage and include the Latinx community during Latinx Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15.
On Thursday night, former Attorney General Eric Holder participated in a Zoom conversation with members of the Bowdoin community. Holder is best known for his service during the Obama administration from 2009 to 2015 as the first African American Attorney General in United States history, but he has also served in previous presidential administrations, including as Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton administration and as Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia during the Reagan administration.
In lieu of speaking about Joshua Chamberlain at the annual convening dinner, Senator Angus King (I-ME) took part in a Zoom conversation with the Bowdoin and Brunswick communities on Thursday night, addressing a variety of pertinent political issues, such as the upcoming election, the nomination of a new Supreme Court Justice, the growing partisanship in Congress and the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday night, in the first Santagata Lecture ever to be held virtually, Thomas Bracket Reed Professor of Government Andrew Rudalevige moderated a political debate between political journalists Jonah Goldberg and Mara Liasson. Goldberg is a conservative columnist and a former editor of “National Review,” a right-leaning magazine.
When she took to the stage in Kresge Auditorium on Tuesday night, April Ryan faced a nicer crowd than she’s encountered at the White House lately. In front of a packed audience of students and community members in Kresge Auditorium, Ryan spoke about her experience covering the White House and the long quest for a “more perfect union.” The event, sponsored by the African-American Society, was the the final program of Black History Month and Beyond and the first of Herstory, a celebration of Women’s History Month.
Bowdoin students and Brunswick residents gathered in Morrell Lounge on Wednesday night to share their perspectives on gun rights and gun control. The conversation was part of the What Matters series, organized by the Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good and Makeshift Coffee House, an organization that facilitates open conversations about various topics all around Maine.
Yesterday afternoon, Peter Skerry, a professor of political science at Boston College and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, shared his views on immigration policy in a talk titled “It’s Not About Your Grandmother! Some Dispassionate Reflections on Immigration.” Drawing on trends and attitudes towards immigration to the United States the past three decades, Skerry aimed to point out flaws in both the left’s and right’s dominant narratives on immigration.
In the introduction to her book “Bad Feminist,” Roxane Gay accepts the moniker because she is “flawed and human,” but that she feels a responsibility to raise her voice “to show all the ways we have room to want more, to do better.” At Gay’s Monday night talk, the Bowdoin community proved anxious to listen to that voice.
Students and faculty came prepared with questions to a talk by Larry Lindsey ’73, H’93 on Wednesday night, challenging him on issues ranging from climate change to racism while President Clayton Rose moderated. Lindsey is an economist who served in the White House as director of the National Economic Council under President George W.
Brooklyn-based lawyer Carrie Goldberg knew nothing about revenge porn—until she became the victim of it. The pawn of an ex-boyfriend’s online and offline sexual extortion, Goldberg says she started her own law firm to become the lawyer she needed when she was under attack.
Jose Antonio Vargas is home. His California driver’s license may look a little different than a citizen’s, but—in front of a packed Kresge Auditorium last night for the Kenneth V. Santagata Memorial Lecture—he shared his personal struggle to feel like he belongs in America as an undocumented immigrant, and he challenged Bowdoin students to undertake the uncomfortable conversations necessary in today’s immigration debate.
Students, faculty, staff and community members packed the Shannon Room last night to consider what types of environmental activism are most effective. The panel, titled “Consumerism, Activism, and Individualism: How to be a Better Environmentalist,” was planned by Lauren Hickey ’20 over the course of several months on behalf of the Office of Sustainability.
Journalist and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas will be speaking on campus next Thursday in the Kenneth V. Santagata Memorial Lecture. His talk, titled “Define America: My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” will take place in Kresge Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
Today, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton ’85 will return to Bowdoin to deliver a lecture titled “The Asian Century: Myth and Reality,” at 12:30 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium.
Prolific author and sociologist, Baptist minister, rap and pop culture connoisseur and dynamic storyteller, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson packed Kresge Auditorium on Tuesday to deliver the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture. Dyson’s talk, titled “MLK for the 21st Century,” set out to imagine King’s vision in the context of contemporary issues such as police violence, sexism, homophobia and patriarchal power, sexual violence and the #MeToo movement.
Spurred by student and faculty efforts to bring more diverse perspectives to campus, guest speaker Henry Olsen shared a decidedly conservative viewpoint this Tuesday in a talk titled “The Once and Future New Deal Republican: Saving Reagan From Reaganism.” As a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C., Olsen focused much of his talk on arguments he advances in his new book, “The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism.” He argues that President Reagan’s core principle was human dignity, not human liberty, and that Reaganism is similar to both Roosevelt’s New Deal policies and President Donald Trump’s economic policies.
Last Monday, Arthur C. Brooks and Frank Bruni participated in a discussion on campus titled “Talking Face-to-Face When You Don’t See Eye-to-Eye,” the latest installment in the College’s efforts to foster open discussion across the political spectrum.