Dyson and McWhorter to Headline First Annual President’s Lecture, Sept. 30

Dyson and McWhorter to Headline First Annual President’s Lecture, Sept. 30

Headshots of Dr. Dyson and Dr. McWhorter

(l-r) Michael Eric Dyson, PhD and John H. McWhorter, PhD

Fairfield University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, will host a virtual conversation with Michael Eric Dyson, PhD, and John H. McWhorter, PhD, titled “Race, Liberty & Justice: Diverging Perspectives With Eyes on the Prize,” Thursday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m.

In the 245 years since the authors of the Declaration of Independence put forth the “self-evident” assertion “that all men are created equal,” generations of civil activists have fought for the founding fathers’ bold vision of inalienable rights for all Americans.

And yet, stemming back to the institution of slavery in our country and beyond, we have yet to break free from the deep-rooted systemic inequities and racism of our social, political, legal, and educational institutions.

In the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts’ inaugural President’s Lecture, “Race, Liberty & Justice: Diverging Perspectives With Eyes on the Prize,” to be held virtually on Thursday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m., two of the country’s most prominent academics and public intellectuals on the topics race and social justice will share their diverging thoughts on how the Black community in particular can positively face its ongoing struggles against racial injustice.

A Detroit, Michigan native, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson earned his PhD in religion from Princeton University. Most recently a professor of sociology at Georgetown, Dr. Dyson will assume the roles of Centennial Chair and University Distinguished Professor of African and Diaspora Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences and University Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Society in the Divinity School at Vanderbilt University in January 2021. A globally renowned scholar of race, religion, and contemporary culture, Dr. Dyson is a New York Times contributing opinion writer, and a contributing editor at The New Republic and The Undefeated, an ESPN website.

An ordained Baptist minister, his most recent of more than 20 books, Long Time Coming: Reckoning With Race in America, was described in Gabino Iglesias’ review for NPR as “a timely, heartfelt book that uses history to slice our nation open and show how racism is a sickness that has shaped our culture and society in a variety of insidious ways.”

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Dr. John H. McWhorter earned his BA from Rutgers, his MA from New York University, and his PhD in linguistics from Stanford. Dr. McWhorter is currently an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, where he teaches courses in linguistics, philosophy, and music history. An acclaimed linguist and award-winning writer, he is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines including The New Republic, Time, and The Wall Street Journal.

Dr. McWhorter has authored more than a dozen books including this year’s Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America, about which Wall Street Journal columnist Jason L. Riley wrote “Woke Racism is a heartfelt evisceration of the sloppy thinking that forms the foundation of so much social justice activism today… McWhorter’s willingness to put unvarnished truth above politically correct niceties deserves our gratitude.”

Dr. Mark R. Nemec is the 9th Ignatian and first lay President of Fairfield University. A graduate of Loyola High School, Jesuit College Preparatory in Los Angeles, President Nemec earned a BA in English from Yale, and an MA in education and a PhD in political science from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Fairfield, Dr. Nemec served as the dean of the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Ivory Towers and Nationalist Minds: Universities, Leadership, and the Development of the American State. In addition to his role as President, Dr. Nemec is a professor in the Politics Department of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield. 

An Open VISIONS Forum (OVF) event, the inaugural President’s Lecture on Sept. 30 is part of a series of Fairfield University lectures in the Ignatian tradition of addressing social urgencies and engaging in diverse conversations in order to spark ideas and spur action. Upcoming OVF lectures in this year-long series include conversations with former Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin on Nov. 4, and LaTosha Brown, co-founder and executive director of Black Voters Matter, on Nov. 11.

The First Annual President’s Lecture, hosted by Fairfield President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, and featuring Michael Eric Dyson, PhD, and John H. McWhorter, PhD, will be presented in virtual format on Thursday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for this Open VISIONS Forum lecture are $10-$20 and available at Quickcenter.com. This and all upcoming premiere Quick events are free for Quick Center Members. To become a Quick Center Member today, visit quickcenter.com or call the box office at 203-254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396.

First Annual President's Lecture | Open VISIONS Forum
Michael Eric Dyson, PhD & John H. McWhorter, PhD

Date: Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Virtual on thequicklive.com


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