Seven authors, nonprofit directors, columnists and scholars will speak about contemporary
issues in social justice, religion and diversity this year during the 2012-2013 University of
Dayton Speaker Series.
The UDSS committee selected the speakers from over 100 online nominations based on their
fit with the series’ theme of “Education for Transformation,” said Sheila Hassell Hughes, chair
of the UDSS committee and English department.
The UDSS lineup includes nonprofit director Dan Gediman; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
Isabel Wilkerson; novelist, essayist and poet Ana Castillo; author and Interfaith Youth Care’s
founder and director Eboo Patel; civil rights lawyer and New York Times’ best-selling author
Michelle Alexander; Pulitzer Prize-winning author and New York Times’ columnist Nicholas
Kristoff; and New York Times’ best-selling and internationally-published author Ken Robinson.
“We have a lot of really big names and a really dynamic group,” Hughes said. “We’re just
The UDSS’s “Education for Transformation” theme isn’t solely focused on higher education,
Hughes said, but on educating on a diverse range of topics including poverty, personal
philosophies, religious and racial discrimination, immigration and imprisonment.
Hughes said the UDSS committee intentionally selected a diverse lineup of speakers, and
the UDSS committee itself represented a wide array of departments and groups, including
communication, student development, biology, music, library research, education and more.
Hughes said she expects that the speakers’ wide range of specialties will attract a UD student
audience from an equally diverse range of interests and disciplines.
In addition to the seven speaker events, there will be a film screening of “Nuremburg: Its
Lessons for Today,” followed by a panel discussion.
“All [UDSS events] relate to the question ‘What does it mean to educate a society or a
citizenship in order to change our world?’” she said.
All UDSS events will be free to attend, open to the public and located on campus. The series
will begin with Gediman’s speech at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, in the Kennedy Union
Ballroom and will continue throughout the academic year until its April 16 conclusion with
In addition to their actual speeches, the speakers will host additional programs and visit
classrooms during their visits to UD in an effort to communicate with students more directly,
According to its website, the Speaker Series grew from four speakers last year to seven this
year. Last year’s series, themed “Building Movements for Social Justice,” included Vandana
Shiva, Ottmar Edenhofer, Ebony Utley and David Suzuki.
Several speakers for the 2012-2013 UDSS were chosen in collaboration with co-sponsoring
UD groups. Patel’s speech will be part of the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
celebration; UD’s Social Justice Convention co-sponsored Kristoff’s speech on human
trafficking and Robinson’s speech will be part of the annual Brother Joseph W. Stander
To view the complete UDSS lineup with times, locations and detailed speaker information
included, visit go.udayton.edu/speakerseries.