Distinguished Speakers Series

The American Democracy Project has created a proud tradition of vibrant intellectual exchange through its distinguished speakers series.

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Each year, ADP awards grants to academic departments and campus organizations to support lectures on topics related to its mission of promoting civic engagement. Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.

Spring 2018 Speakers


Marvin McMickleDr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration
The Rev. Marvin A. McMickle, PhD
Friday, January 12, at 11 am
Rochester Educational Opportunity Center
161 Chestnut Street

Born in Chicago in 1948, Dr. McMickle served as the senior pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland, OH, from 1987 to 2011. He led the church in establishing a ministry for people affected by HIV/AIDS — the first of its kind in the country. Under his leadership, the church tithed one-tenth of its annual income to community-based programs every year.

He is a member of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, and has authored 14 books and dozens of articles that regularly appear in professional journals and magazines. He has served as president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School since 2011.

McMickle's talk will be followed by a screening of the film Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise and the traveling museum exhibit Journey to the North, about the Underground Railroad.


Dijana JelacaA Good Wife: The Sound of Silence: Engendering Ethno-Politics
Dr. Dijana Jelača
Monday, January 29, at 6:30 pm
Liberal Arts Building, McCue Auditorium  

Kicking off the Brockport International Film Festival, Jelača will introduce, screen, and discuss the award-winning Serbian/Bosnian film A Good Wife, which she screened at the 2017 Bosnian Film Festival in New York City. The film is a moving story about the difficult dialogues common to illness, trauma, and national conflict.

Jelača is the author of Dislocated Screen Memory: Narrating Trauma in Post-Yugoslav Cinema and teaches in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University. 


Kristin GossLocked and Loaded: The Great American Gun Debate in a Polarized America
Dr. Kristin Goss
Monday, February 12, at 6 pm
Cooper Hall, New York Room

Goss will trace the major continuities and changes in gun politics and policy over the past 15-20 years and discuss how gun policy is a reflection of the 2016 election. She is co-author of the book The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know as well as other publications on public policy and gender.  


Timothy RobinsonThe Black Superhero in 'Postracial' Popular Culture
Dr. Timothy Robinson '98
Saturday, February 24, at 1 pm
Liberal Arts Building, Room 206

Robinson received his bachelor’s degree in English from Brockport, where he was a McNair Scholar. His work examines the intricacies of race and gender in popular cultural genres, including comic books, film, and television. This lecture is part of Brockport’s annual SEGue symposium for English graduate students, which is also free and open to the public.


LtCol Kate GermanoFight Like a Girl
LtCol Kate Germano, USMC (Ret.)
Thursday, April 5, at 7 pm
Seymour College Union, Ballroom West

A 20-year-career Marine and combat veteran, Kate became a national figure in the press in 2015 by speaking out against gender bias and advocating for higher expectations and standards for women in the military. She has been featured by The New York Times, TIME magazine,
U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Post, NPR, C-SPAN, PBS Newshour, and many more.

Following her talk, Kate will sign copies of her book, Fight Like a Girl: The Truth Behind How Female Marines Are Trained.


Tom NicholsThe Death of Expertise
Dr. Tom Nichols
Tuesday, May 1, at 6 pm
Liberal Arts Building, McCue Auditorium

Nichols will speak on the themes of his recent book, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters, in which he argues that democracy only works with an informed citizenry and explains how uninformed citizens are failing in their duty. Nichols is professor of national security affairs at US Naval War College; adjunct professor at the Harvard Extension School; and a five-time undefeated Jeopardy! champion.

Last Updated 11/20/18

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