This academic year has seen an array of events and experts on campus:
Former assistant secretary of education, now research professor of education at NYU, Ravitch lectured to an enthusiastic crowd in The Diana Center’s Event Oval about contentious issues in contemporary education: privatizing low test-scoring public schools, and the need to keep public schools public. Lee Anne Bell, director of the education program (right in photo at left), introduced Ravitch and later joined her as she signed copies of The Death and Life of the Great American School System, Ravitch’s newest book. Sponsored by For the Public Good Project.
How viable is the American Dream of home ownership in the wake of the current economic crisis that has seen home foreclosures soar? Anita Hill, professor of social policy, law, and women’s studies at Brandeis University and the 2012 Helen Rogers Reid Lecturer explored the notion of home as a site of social and economic security and shared ideas from her latest book, Reimagining Equality: Gender, Race, and the American Dream. Sponsored by the Barnard Center for Research on Women.
An annual event, the Torchbearers reception brings together Barnard’s student achievers with the generous alumnae who help support their studies. The event thanks our donors and congratulates and encourages the students in their pursuit of excellence.
Oprah Winfrey visited feminist, author, and activist Gloria Steinem on campus for an in-depth interview as a part of Oprah’s new series Oprah’s Next Chapter, which airs Sunday nights on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Oprah and Steinem along with 60 young women from Barnard had an open and frank discussion about everything from the current state of feminism to politics to women’s leadership.
Also at the Event Oval, actor, Obie award-winning playwright, and essayist Wallace Shawn read from an expanded version of “Why I Call Myself a Socialist,” taken from his 2009 collection Essays. Shawn urged his listeners to challenge given roles within a society, and stressed that communities should not believe in “fantasies” that “pigeonhole people into roles that can easily be considered [their] destiny.” The Barnard Forum on Emancipation and Politics and the Office of the President sponsored the event.
Barnard welcomed Kenyan activist and educator Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya for the premier event in the Women in the World on Campus Speaker Series, a new initiative of Newsweek/Daily Beast and the Women in the World Foundation. Ntaiya, the president and founder of the Kakenya Center for Excellence, spoke about her personal experience obtaining an education and achieving independence against great odds.
The White House Business Council, the White House Council on Women and Girls, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and Barnard College’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies hosted an Urban Economic Forum on campus to discuss the Administration’s commitment to supporting policies that create private-sector jobs and support the next generation of entrepreneurs who will not only strengthen our economy but compete globally. Barnard hosted the first of what will be a multi-city series.