2021 - 2022

Copy of Copy of Untitled

The Fall and Future of Afghanistan

September 21, 2021

The Goldfarb Center hosted a conversation with Annie Pforzheimer, a recently retired U.S. diplomat who served as deputy chief of mission in Afghanistan, and John Turner, Associate Professor of History and Department Chair at Colby College. Moderated by Kimberly Flowers, Executive Director, Goldfarb Center.

The conversation covered the complex relationship between the United States and Afghanistan, the political and military realities of withdrawing troops, and the expected future of the Afghan people under Taliban rule. In addition, we touched on the progress made over the past two decades and the impact that the war’s end may have on U.S. power in the region. There was about a dozen questions from the engaged audience.

The event was open to the entire Colby community, including students, faculty, and staff.  Food and drink was provided.

2020 - 2021

Secretary Mayorkas

A Conversation with United States Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas P'22​

May 18, 2021

This virtual event featured a conversation between United States Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas P’22 and Associate Professor of Sociology Christel Kesler. Mayorkas will share the opportunities and challenges of his new role as part of President Joe Biden’s cabinet, as well as the experiences that inspired him to make positive changes in areas including immigration policy and national security. The discussion will explore his advice for Colby students as they move toward graduation, his perspective as a Colby parent, and how a liberal arts education best prepares you to be innovative and make an impact on your communities.

 

COVID

Deepening the Divide: How the Pandemic Exacerbates Disparities​

May 5, 2021
The Goldfarb Center hosted a virtual panel of experts on Wednesday, May 5th to discuss how the Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected marginalized communities, particularly communities of color in the United States. From misinformation to vaccine access, our guest speakers discussed the disparities that became clearer and wider by the pandemic and solutions to address the divide. Featured speakers included Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick, an epidemiologist and physician; J. Stephen Morrison, global health and policy expert from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); and Colby Professor Nadia El-Shaawari, a cultural and medical anthropologist. 
 
The event was moderated by Kimberly Flowers, Goldfarb Center Executive Director, and Josúe Gonzalas ’23, who represented the Goldfarb Student Executive Board. 
 
This recorded event is available for viewing via the YouTube link below. Closed Captions and ASL is available.
Goldfarb Center Freedom of Expression Policy Symposium

Goldfarb Center Freedom of Expression Policy Symposium​

April 26, 2021
Check out the Goldfarb Center’s live event recording to watch student semi-finalists present their policy proposals on how to reform the U.S. criminal justice system to achieve racial justice. Topics ranged from marijuana decriminalization to the prison-industrial complex to predictive policing tools and more. The top three winners are announced at the end of the event. The winners were decided by a faculty panel, including Professors Christel Kesler, Adam Howard, and Nadia El-Shaarawi. In addition, the Goldfarb Center’s annual theme for 2021-2022 was announced, as well as information about upcoming elections to join the Goldfarb Student Executive Board.
Procedural Justice in Policing

Procedural Justice in Policing: The Case of Stockton, California

April 13, 2021

Check out Goldfarb’s recorded event on YouTube by Charles A. Dana Professor of Sociology Neil Gross on criminal justice reform, focused on the potential and limitations of the procedural justice model. Procedural justice is the idea that police, prosecutors, courts, and other representatives of the state should do everything in their power to ensure that the procedures they are following are fair and impartial, and to demonstrate that fairness at every turn. He will share his research in progress on what procedural justice has meant for the police department in Stockton, a city of 310,000 in California’s Central Valley. Although procedural justice reforms have been far from a panacea, there is evidence to suggest that they have helped bring meaningful change to the Stockton police department, and may have laid the groundwork for still more meaningful change yet to come.

Wrongly Convicted: A Story of Injustice

Wrongly Convicted: A Story of Injustice

April 7, 2021

The Goldfarb Center hosted a powerful conversation between Executive Director Kimberly Flowers, Student Executive Board member Halle Carroll, and Anthony Ray Hinton, an author, advocate, and speaker who found his voice after being convicted for a crime he didn’t commit. He served as Alabama’s longest serving death row prisoner in history. For over an hour, Mr. Hinton exposed the realities of a prejudiced criminal legal system in Alabama, sharing intimate memories of his family and life. The day he got arrested, he remembered, he was mowing the grass for his beloved mother. When two police officers arrived in his front yard with a warrant for his arrest, Hinton remembers pleading with them to tell his mother what was happening. That day, the officers informed Hinton of a hard truth, that even if he was innocent, which Hinton had told them multiple times, it did not matter. First, he was facing a white judge, jury, prosecutor, and victim. And, they said, even if it was not him, he should “take the rap for one of his homeboys.” It was clear to Mr. Hinton that in his case, all he was guilty of was being black in America, and that fact would be and was enough to convict him. 

When Halle asked how to communicate the injustice of the legal system in America, Mr. Hinton suggested reading his own case. Indeed, Mr. Hinton’s struggle to get a fair trial with adequate legal representation proves his attorney, Bryan Stevenson, right when he maintained that, “our criminal justice system treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent.” If you would like to watch this powerful speaker again, you can visit the Goldfarb Website and YouTube channel, or read his book, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row (2018).

L. Pitts

Lovejoy Award: Leonard Pitts, Jr.

April 6, 2021

Leonard Pitts Jr. is widely known for his nationally syndicated Miami Herald column that often addresses issues of race and racism, politics, and culture.

In a career that spans close to 45 years, Pitts has worked as a columnist, a college professor, a radio producer, and a lecturer. He is also the author of a series of critically acclaimed books, including Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood, and his latest, The Last Thing You Surrender. Pitts was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2004.

Mr. Pitts was joined in conversation by former Miami Herald Editor Mindy Marqués, a member of Colby’s Lovejoy Award Selection Committee. Click below to learn more and see the recording.

Fulbright Program

International Migration During Uncertain Times: What Triggers the Flow?

March 18, 2021

In mid-March, the Goldfarb Center, in collaboration with the Maine Chapter of the Fulbright Association, hosted a panel focused on the topical subject of international migration and the global circumstances (such as the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and food insecurity) that drive its flow. Our distinguished panelists included Erol Yayboke, deputy director and senior fellow with the Project on Prosperity and Development (PPD) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Dr. Susan Rottman, a faculty member in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Southern Maine, and Kathleen Newland, a Senior Fellow and co-founder of the Migration Policy Institute. 

Throughout the evening, the panelists spoke on a wide range of topics regarding migration trends. When discussing the Coronavirus’s impact on these trends, the panelists highlighted its influence on global inequality within and between countries and the triggering nature of lockdowns for refugees from oppressive states. When faced with the question of how to improve the rhetoric behind international migration, each panelist had suggestions at the ready. Improved communication with a receiving country’s population on the part of the administration in power, including highlighting the economic benefits of migration, was the first suggestion. However, Dr. Susan Rottman also emphasized the need for academics studying the topic to use their positions to explain better the benefits and costs of migration to the general public. Erol Yayboke stressed the importance of that role, stating that in some circles “the plural of anecdote is data,” suggesting that without more explanation, the actions of one immigrant could be extrapolated to the rest. 

To wrap up the evening, Christal Kesler, our moderator, asked about the role that climate change could play in the future of global migration. Each panelist acknowledged that while climate change as a primary factor for relocation seemed to be a problem for the future, it was having impacts today, including perhaps being one of the sparks behind the Syrian Refugee Crisis.

Community Conversation

A Community Conversation about Violence against Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders

March 15, 2021

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been ongoing and increasing violence directed at Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). The Goldfarb Faculty Advisory Committee was pleased to sponsor a community conversation to process and discuss this dire issue. The event featured faculty members Laura Fugikawa (WGSS & American Studies), Jin Goh (Psychology), and Lindsay Mayka (Government) who discussed the role of immigration policies, historical events, stereotypes, and other factors that in order to understand ongoing anti-AAPI violence. 

 

This event was sponsored by the Goldfarb Faculty Advisory Committee.

 

US Presidential Leadership Event

U.S. Presidential Leadership During Times of Crisis

March 11, 2021

In the midst of the chaos of the past year, between the Coronavirus, protests for racial equality, and the events of January 6th at the capitol, one big question seemed to be on the minds of scholars, journalists, and the general public alike: the role of the President in the United States. NPR White House Correspondent, Tamara Keith, Chair of Bowdoin College’s Government Department, Andrew Rudalevige, and Assistant Professor of Government at Colby College, Nick Jacobs, all sat down with Christal Kesler and Student Moderator, Lukas Alexander ‘22, to discuss the role of Presidential leadership in times of crisis. 

Each panelist brought their own unique perspective to the discussion. With NPR, Tamara Keith had personally questioned President Trump about everything from Coronavirus to the Black Lives Matter Protests over the summer of 2020. Andrew Rudalevige has written extensively on the role of Presidential power, particularly the use of executive orders to exercise power. And in his research while at Colby, Nick Jacobs focuses on federalism in the United States, often questioning the impact the White House and the Presidency have on national politics. 

Over the hour-long panel, all three of the panelists acknowledged that President Trump challenged the norms, both academic and journalistic, of the Office of the President. Both Professor Rudalevige and Professor Jacobs highlighted the academic perspectives. Jacobs pointed out that while  he had written and read extensively on federalism and had drawn the conclusion that presidential rhetoric did not hold as much power as was often attributed to it, President Trump’s rhetoric on a given topic often changed its national dynamic. Rudalevige highlighted that often academics separated the “presidency” from specific presidents, but Trump’s actions sometimes had people questioning the office itself. 

Ultimately, our three panelists granted the unusual nature of President Trump’s four years, but suggested that President Biden may signal a return to “normal” in the United States, at least in terms of crisis management. They highlighted the Biden Administration’s eagerness to communicate with the Press and the Public regarding Coronavirus updates. However, they all also stressed that it could be too easy to give credit to the Biden Administration, as they are doing the minimum of what used to be expected from the Office of the President. 

Should Supreme Court Justices have term limits?

February 25, 2021

Each year the Cotter Debate Series brings experts to campus that are at the forefront of their fields with the goal of debating pertinent topics to the United States and beyond. This year the focus fell on the Supreme Court of the United States and whether or not its judges should have term limits imposed upon their tenure on the bench. Suzanna Sherry, a professor of Law at Vanderbilt University, has written extensively on the Supreme Court (read her article, “Our Kardashian Court, and How to Fix it”), and argued for the merits of lifetime appointments for our highest court. Ilya Shapiro, the director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, took the opposing position, informed by his research for his most recent publication, Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court (2020). Our two debaters joined us via Zoom which allowed for our audience members to actively participate in the debate with their submitted questions, despite the need for social distancing precautions.

Over the course of an hour, guided by questions posed by student-moderator Andrew Ordentlich ’22, our two experts discussed a range of problems facing the Supreme Court today, including the partisan divide in nominations and confirmations, the impact of the two types of constitutional reading (originalists and textualists), the over professionalization of judicial nominations, and the contentious proposal of packing the court.  During their lively back and forth, Professor Sherry and Mr. Shapiro shared many moments of consensus, both acknowledging that while the Supreme Court is a vital part of our checks and balances system, it has fallen victim to, at least in part, the partisan politics plaguing the rest of our country’s institutions.

Though our experts argued for opposite positions, they demonstrated that a lively debate can be cordial even in particularly partisan times. All are welcome to view this highly informative debate recording on YouTube!

Toward An Unfractured Future:

Fracking, Health, Human Rights & Climate Justice
February 23, 2021

Using fresh drinking water as a club, fracking shatters our nation’s bedrock to bring bubbles of oil and gas out of the dark heart of our planet and up to the sunlit surface. It’s a technique of fossil-fuel extraction that is banned in many parts of the world but which has allowed the United States to become the world’s leading producer of oil and gas—in the midst of a climate emergency. In this new political moment, and with fracking in the daily headlines, this talk examines the climate, health, racial justice, and human rights implications of fracking and charts a path forward to an unfractured future.  For the past decade, biologist Sandra Steingraber has made the health and climate harms of fracking the focus of her research and writing as a co-founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking and Concerned Health Professionals of New York. 

At the event, Steingraber presented this evidence forward in her talk and also described her experience as a civil disobedient within the anti-fracking movement, willing to go to jail for climate justice when science is ignored.

JanPlan Alumni Career Panel

January 26, 2021

Meredith Allen ’21, a member of the Goldfarb Student Executive Board, hosted  a career panel discussion with alumni who work on Capitol Hill. Speakers included Chris Gorud ’11, Chief of Staff, Congressman Alan Lowental (D-CA); Elizabeth Allen ’15, Senior Health Policy Advisor, Congressman Michael Burgess (R-TX); and Nick Zeller ’13, Communications Director, Congressman Jared Golden (D-ME). The informal Zoom event provided a space for students to ask questions about the day-to-day life of a Congressional staffer, the highlights and challenges of working for a member of Congress, as well as internship and job advice. This event included all majors, and was useful for first-year students curious about a career in public affairs as well as for seniors seeking post-graduation job advice. 

Chris Gorud studied government at Colby and has worked on Capitol Hill since he graduated in 2011. Since 2017, he has worked for Congressman Alan Lowenthal and became his Chief of Staff in January this year. Prior to this change, he was the congressman’s Legislative Director and coordinated his work on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Previously, he worked for over five years for Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) in roles ranging from Scheduler to Senior Legislative Assistant, and in 2011 he interned in the office of Sen. Shaheen (NH). At Colby, he was active in the Outing Club and interned on political campaigns in Maine and New Hampshire in 2008 and 2010.

Elizabeth Allen is the Health Policy Advisor for Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D., the Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health. Her primary responsibilities include drafting and coordinating the congressman’s legislative priorities in addition to staffing him for all Health Subcommittee activities. She has been on the front lines of health policy and navigating the government response during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to joining Dr. Burgess’ health team in November 2017, Elizabeth was a legislative aide for Senator Susan Collins working in the policy areas of healthcare and retirement security on the Senate Aging Committee. Elizabeth graduated from Colby in 2015 as a double major in government and economics, which led her to immediately move to Washington, D.C. to pursue a public affairs fellowship at VOX Global. Despite her interest in politics and role as the President of the Colby Republicans, she swore she would keep a safe distance from Capitol Hill and remain a mere observer; however, once she arrived in D.C., she could not resist the excitement of working in Congress.

As the Communications Director for Congressman Jared Golden of Maine’s Second District, Nick Zeller executes the congressman’s traditional and digital media strategy. His days include a lot of writing, managing relationships with reporters, building press events, and working with the congressman to deliver a consistent message through the tumult and chaos of today’s news environment. In the latter half of 2020, Nick took leave from the congressman’s office to run communications for his congressional campaign. After he graduated from Colby, Nick lived in DC briefly before heading to rural Thailand and Vietnam to teach English. Upon returning to the states, he interned with and was hired by Senator Maria Cantwell to work in her press shop. He joined then-Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s office in early 2018 to serve as communications director for her congressional office as she ran for U.S. Senate. At Colby, Nick was involved in SGA, led COOT trips, played rugby, and was a member of the alpine ski team. He lives in DC, but is plotting a return to Maine in the next year or two. When he’s not working, he spends a lot of time riding or working on bikes, developing a repertoire of solid pie recipes, and trying not to look at Twitter.

2019 - 2020

A Conversation with Mr. Jeffery Robinson: The Role of Race in the Criminal Injustice System

A renowned lawyer who has been fighting for justice for almost 40 years, Jeffery Robinson is the deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) national office and director of the ACLU’s Trone Center for Justice and Equality, which houses the organization’s work on criminal and racial justice issues. He is a dynamic, sought-after speaker on the role of race in the criminal justice system and a nationally recognized trial attorney, having tried over 200 criminal cases to verdict.

It was moderated by Goldfarb Center Executive Director Kimberly Flowers, Grace Hillis ’24 from the Goldfarb Student Executive Board, and Emmanuel Sogunle ’21 from the Student Government Association.

Be sure to check out the recorded video from the Goldfarb Center’s event to see these timely issues debated on criminal justice and racial inequities, which is the Center’s public policy theme of the year.

A Conversation with Congressman Hank Johnson: The U.S. Criminal Justice System & Racial Inequities

October 28, 2020

Representative Hank Johnson of Georgia’s fourth district, now in his seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives, is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Secretary of the Congressional Black Caucus. As the author of the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act, a part of the Congressional Black Caucus’s response to police and vigilante violence against African Americans across the country, he was a perfect speaker for this year’s annual theme, U.S. Criminal Justice System and Racial Inequities.

The discussion was opened by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and African-American Studies Dr. Cheryl Townsend Gilkes and moderated by Goldfarb Center Executive Director Kimberly Flowers, Halle Carroll ’23, and Reagan Dennis ’23. The group discussed the presidential candidates’ stances on criminal justice reform, the War on Drugs, mass incarceration, and a number of other pertinent subjects regarding criminal justice.

Check out the recorded video below!

Debate Watch Parties

First Presidential Debate – September 29, 2020
Vice Presidential Debate – October 7, 2020
Final Presidential Debate – October 22, 2020

The Goldfarb Student Engagement Committee joined forces with ColbyVotes to host Colby College’s first-ever officially registered debate watch party with the Commission on Presidential Debates on the lawn of Dana Hall. The series of events continued a week later with the Vice Presidential Debate between current Vice President Mike Pence and Vice Presidential candidate and current Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), followed by the final debate, hosted in Page Commons. Pizza and refreshments were served and lots of fun Goldfarb-branded items, including fleece blankets, beanies and water bottles were given out to the first 25-35 attendees.

A Conversation with Naomi Klein

October 6, 2020

On Tuesday, October 6, the Center for the Arts and Humanities, Environmental Humanities, the Lunder Institute for American Art, the Colby Museum of Art, the Oak Institute for Human Rights, the Environmental Studies program, and the Goldfarb Center hosted a live Zoom webinar with Naomi Klein. Klein was selected as the fall 2020 keynote speaker for the humanities theme, Boundaries and Margins. Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist, and international and New York Times best selling author.

Not Racist or Antiracist? A Conversation with Ibram X. Kendi

September 16, 2020

On Wednesday, September 16, nearly 1,400 Colby students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, trustees, and donors attended an online conversation with bestselling author and leading scholar of race, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, on the topic of “Not Racist or Antiracist: What’s the Difference?” 

Colby President David Green and new Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Tayo Clyburn provided opening remarks and Assistant Professor of Government Carrie LeVan moderated. As part of the program, Kendi took pre-submitted questions from students, including two students from the Goldfarb Student Executive Board. 

George J. Mitchell Distinguished Lecture

September 10, 2020

On Thursday, September 10, the Goldfarb Center welcomed Ambassador Daniel Kurzter, the former Ambassador to Israel and Egypt and current S. Daniel Abraham Professor of Middle East Policy Studies at Princeton, who delivered a lecture titled “Middle East Conundrum: a Riddle, Wrapped In a Mystery, Inside a Conundrum.” The talk was live streamed on the Goldfarb Center’s YouTube channel, and has been watched over by over 300 people since its recording. Andrew Ordentlich ‘23, co-chair of the Goldfarb Student Executive Board, introduced the former Ambassador and Kimberly Flowers, executive director of the Goldfarb Center, hosted the lecture. Toward the end of the program, Ambassador Kurtzer took live questions from the audience. 

Past Events

COVID CHATS on Instagram Live

Senator Angus King – 7 April 20
Senator Susan Collins – April 22
Henry E. M. Beck ’09, state treasurer – April 27
Representative Matt Ritter ‘04 – April 28

Like others in the Colby Community, the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs has been thinking of creative ways to keep students connected and engaged during this difficult time. Next Monday we will be kicking off a live speaker series on Instagram to discuss the pandemic response with congressional, state, and regional leaders. Join us for conversations with speakers like Senators Angus King and Susan Collins. Follow @GoldfarbCenter on Instagram.

The series, all hosted on @GoldfarbCenter’s Instagram account, includes the following line up:

Wealth Inequality: What It Looks Like and Why It Matters

Wealth Inequality: What It Looks Like and Why It Matters

March 3, 2020

The wealth gap between the ​haves​ and the ​have-nots​ is at an all-time high, and the disparity is even larger among marginalized sects of the population. In line with the Goldfarb Center’s theme of racial income inequality this year, Christel Kesler, associate professor of sociology, joined us on March 3 to examine the role of policy on the growing wealth gap in the United States. In addition to the overarching issue of wealth inequality, Kesler’s talk zeroed in on wealth discrepancies based on race and gender.

As time goes on, fewer and fewer are in a position to accumulate wealth. Whether living paycheck to paycheck due to low wages, relying on a social safety net because of an inability to participate in the job market, or living as a single parent with bills piling up, myriad policies have widened the wealth gap tremendously over the last few decades.

Also important to discuss is how the wealth gap is further fissured due to race and gender inequality. To put the level of inequality into perspective, Professor Kesler shared that on average, black households own only 2% of the wealth that white households do. Wage gaps based on gender, as well as the bulk of single parenting falling to mothers, are additional ways in which some find it impossible to achieve upward mobility. Professor Kesler offered that there is no one policy change that will singularly close this cavernous gap.

 

Coronavirus Panel

February 25, 2020

Gail Carlson, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Susan Childers, Instructor of Biology, Walter Hatch, Associate Professor of Government, and Laura Seay, Assistant Professor of Government

In late February, members of the Colby Community gathered for a panel discussion on infectious disease and policy management. The discussion was initiated and moderated by Colby freshman Josh Brause ’23, freshman representative on the Goldfarb Student Engagement Committee. Panelists included Gail Carlson, associate professor of Environmental Studies; Susan Childers, instructor of Biology, Walter Hatch, associate professor of Government; and Laura Seay, Assistant Professor of Government. Goldfarb. The timely discussion centered around COVID-19, the virus responsible for our current pandemic. The situation has escalated significantly since the panel took place; what was at the time an isolated outbreak has since been declared a pandemic.

Professor Carlson provided the current data from the World Health Organization (WHO), a faction under the United Nations. At the time of the panel discussion, there were roughly 80,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, with 97% of those cases in China. She mentioned that COVID-19, along with SARS and MERS are all coronaviruses that cause acute respiratory illness. SARS was quickly contained, while MERS is still ongoing, however, there are only around 2,500 confirmed cases.

Professor Seay gave us a glimpse at the role of worldwide organizations responsible for addressing public health issues, such as the WHO Seay noted that politically, the WHO is operating on a delicate line of representing best practices in global health, while also maintaining strong relations with nations that are the site of ongoing outbreaks. Josh Brause ’23 noted that the WHO had recently issued a public health emergency declaration for COVID-19, urging the global community to take the disease seriously. Professor Hatch, whose area of study includes Asia, addressed criticism of the Chinese government, and why the decentralized nature of government may have led to the delay in reporting, as well as underreporting the scope of the outbreak.

How do pandemics like these emerge? Susan Childers explained how certain conditions lead to disease outbreaks like the one we’re battling globally. Bats, the species suspected to be the source of the virus, can pick up and spread diseases as they migrate. Many diseases are unable to survive in a bat’s body as they fly, however, some do. Environments with a mix of dead and live animals, wild and domestic, place stress on the live animals, weakening their immune systems and increasing shedding of the virus, which became zoonotic, meaning it can infect multiple different species.

For more information, be sure to follow the CDC guidelines to limit the spread. Stay home. Stay safe.

The Diversity Bargain and Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions, and Meritocracy at Elite Universities

How Elite Colleges are Failing Disadvantaged Students

February 20, 2020

Anthony Jack, Assistant Professor of Education at Harvard University | Author of The Privileged Poor

The Goldfarb Center, in collaboration with Campus Life, kicked off an inspiring and engaging semester of programming by welcoming Anthony “Tony” Jack, Professor of Sociology at Harvard University, to Mayflower Hill in mid-February. His research focuses on the closely-knit relationship between elite higher education institutions and privilege, particularly, how these institutions often fail poor students. Professor Jack noted that while institutions have become more diverse in many ways, many still fall short in addressing the inequities that pose as barriers to performing in a demanding and foreign environment.

Through personal anecdotes and data that emerged through his research, Jack zeroed in on the idea that access is not inclusion. Because a large percentage of students at elite institutions come from privileged backgrounds, schools often ignore the needs of students from lower income brackets who encounter a wide swath of different obstacles to educational attainment. Professor Jack stated that “rest was a luxury I could not afford.” While a student, he had as many as four jobs at a time to support both himself and his family. Anywhere he could pick up an extra shift, he would.

Professor Jack concluded by guiding the audience back to his central message: Access is not inclusion. Diversity has become a major marketing tool for institutions across the nation, but all too often, schools fall short in addressing the diverse and uneven needs of individuals. Jack offered that there are steps many elite colleges and universities are taking to address some of these hurdles, such as pre-orientation programs for students and families from low-income backgrounds to provide additional resources and support. He ended by stating that, in demanding change, “be unapologetic, be bold, be you.”

Putin, Russia, and the Media: Journalism in Contemporary Russia

October 1, 2019

At least 21 journalists have been killed in Russia since Putin became president in 2000, and 58 since the early 1990s. Given also state control of media, renewed protests against the administration, and growing economic and political problems at home, what are the prospects for journalists in present-day Russia who wish to write about these subjects? How can we understand the government’s attacks — physical, psychological and political — against the free press?

 

Professor Jamila Michener, Cornell University

“Engaging Race, Strengthening Community, Sustaining Democracy”

September 15, 2019

Race continues to play a fundamental role in shaping economic, social and political life in the United States and across the world. Yet, many Americans have limited knowledge of the historical and contemporary processes that account for racial inequality. As a result, few people are equipped to recognize and confront racial inequities in their own lives and communities. Americans’ collective inability to conscientiously contend with race enables systems of oppression, weakens bonds of community, and undermines democracy. In this talk, Professor Michener offers historically grounded, evidence-rich, practical insights on these longstanding dilemmas.

2018 - 2019

Meet and Greet with Andrew Rudman ’87

Meet and Greet with Andrew Rudman ’87

April 18, 2019

The Goldfarb Center offered a meet and greet with Andrew Rudman ‘87, a Managing Partner at Monach Strategies. Students had the opportunity to learn about Andrew’s path through the State Department, Commerce, and the private sector for an insider’s view of navigating Washington. Light refreshments will be served!

Mexico Under AMLO

April 18, 2019

AMLO—the President of Mexico—is riding high in the polls, with between 67% and 85% of the population approving of his performance. His first 4 months in office have been dramatically marked by halting the construction of Mexico City’s new international airport, suspending bids and auctions in the energy sector, and raising the minimum wage. He has targeted corruption in daycare and fuel and has pragmatically led in his relationship with the United States. Can he deliver? Andrew Rudman ’87 put the historic election of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (known as AMLO) into context and describe the objectives for his “4th Transformation” of Mexico. In his talk, Rudman described AMLO’s governing style, highlighted his accomplishments to date (after a mere four months in office) and discussed the challenges that could prevent him from delivering on his ambitious promise to reform Mexico.

The Diversity Bargain and Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions, and Meritocracy at Elite Universities

April 8, 2019

The Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs, Education Program, Sociology Department, and Interdisciplinary Studies Division hosted guest speaker Natasha Kumar Warikoo, Associate Professor of Education at Harvard University

Natasha Warikoo is an expert on racial and ethnic inequality in education. Her most recent book, The Diversity Bargain: And Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions, and Meritocracy at Elite Universities (University of Chicago Press, 2016), illuminates how undergraduates attending Ivy League universities and Oxford University conceptualize race and meritocracy. The book emphasizes the contradictions, moral conundrums, and tensions on campus related to affirmative action and diversity, and how these vary across racial and national lines. The book won multiple awards from the American Sociological Association, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the American Educational Studies Association.

Leading Diverse Organizations: Lessons from Military Commanders​

Leading Diverse Organizations: Lessons from Military Commanders

March 18, 2019

The military is one of the most diverse American institutions; success is a function of bringing people from different backgrounds and perspectives together to achieve a common goal. How do military leaders promote inclusivity? How are diverse talents identified? What gets in the way of leading a diverse organization? LCDR Melissa Maclin ’98, Naval Intelligence Officer and Commander (RET) Michael D. Wisecup, Colby Presidential Leadership Fellow, former Navy Seal explored these issues to help the audience develop their own inclusive leadership style.

We began with a small case study on the Bin Laden mission. Please take a look at this piece in the New Yorker or this Guardian article to refresh your understanding of this situation

Climate Change and the Threats to Global -and National- Security

Climate Change and the Threats to Global -and National- Security

March 14, 2019

The Goldfarb Center at Colby College hosted a lecture with speaker Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, USMC (Ret.) of the American Security Project. The world is heating up. Despite skepticism from climate change deniers, our bases and stations are literally going under water, and our military is seeing conflict accelerate – thanks to climate change. Increasing catastrophic weather is causing undeniable humanitarian crises – to which we have to respond. What does the future portend? What should we be doing about it? Who is most affected?

The lecture was free open to the public and was held in the Parker Reed Room of the Schair Swenson Watson Alumni Center

Education and Poverty: The High Cost of Attaining Equity

Education and Poverty: The High Cost of Attaining Equity

March 4, 2019

The Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs hosted guest speaker Roger Schulman, President, and CEO of Fund for Educational Excellence on March 4th for a 7 pm lecture in Roberts, Robins room. Mr. Schulman, who has over 20 years of experience in urban education works closely with a wide variety of district, foundation, and community partners to promote the Fund’s mission of increasing educational opportunities for Baltimore City’s public school students. He has been a leader in pulling together local and national coalitions to support such district-wide priorities as developing stronger school and classroom leaders, assessing school effectiveness, and improving literacy and graduation rates.

People, Borders, and Walls: Immigration Policy from Obama to Trump

February 21, 2019

Guest speaker Alejandro Mayorkas, Partner, WilmerHale, former Deputy Secretary, Homeland Security, and a Colby parent, rolled out DACA under President Obama. Before joining WilmerHale, Mr. Mayorkas served as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, where he managed some of the most complex and critical responsibilities of government, including preventing and responding to terrorist attacks on US soil, enhancing both the government’s and the private sector’s cybersecurity, enforcing the nation’s immigration laws, facilitating lawful trade and travel, and helping stricken communities recover from disasters. For his service as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Mr. Mayorkas received the Department’s Distinguished Service Award, its highest civilian honor; the US Coast Guard’s Distinguished Service Award; a special commendation from the National Security Agency for his achievements in national security and, specifically, cybersecurity; and numerous additional awards and commendations.

Ranked Choice Voting: Can it Work for the 2020 Presidential Election?​

Ranked Choice Voting: Can it Work for the 2020 Presidential Election?

February 7, 2019

Rob Richie, president, and CEO of FairVote spoke on Ranked Choice Voting and the moves to make it apply to the presidential primaries or caucuses (and general election) in Maine.

Richie has played a key role in advancing, winning, and implementing electoral reforms at the local and state levels. He has been involved in implementing ranked-choice voting in more than a dozen cities, cumulative voting in numerous Voting Rights Act cases, the National Popular Vote plan in 11 states, and promoting voter access proposals like voter preregistration and lower voting age.

Civil Discourse in an Uncivil Age

Civil Discourse in an Uncivil Age

December 3, 2018

Do our words matter?  Alexander Heffner, host of The Open Mind on PBS explores the increasing divisiveness in American life, the toxic climate of political rhetoric and violence, and the steps to correct this plague on our democracy. The discussion will consider how we the people, elected officeholders, digital platforms, and journalists can work to reverse the disunion.

Not only does Mr. Heffner’s show exemplify civility, but thanks to a 2016 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Mr. Heffner has spent significant time exploring free speech from the expression on college campuses to hate speech on the Internet.

Mr. Heffner has covered American politics, civic life and Millennials since the 2008 presidential campaign. He is a co-author of A Documentary History of the United States (Penguin, 2018). A native New Yorker, he is a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and Harvard. His work has been profiled in The Washington PostNew York TimesLos Angeles TimesDes Moines RegisterChristian Science MonitorVarietyMedium, and on NBC NewsMSNBCC-SPANNPRCNNBBC, and ABC, among other media outlets. His writing has appeared in TIMEUSA TODAYDaily BeastReutersRealClearPoliticsNYT’s Room for DebateThe Wall Street JournalBoston Globe and Philadelphia Inquirer, among other publications.  He was the political director for WHRB 95.3 FM and host of The Political Arena.

RANKED CHOICE VOTING: Maine’s experience and the Future​

RANKED CHOICE VOTING: Maine’s experience and the Future

October 29, 2018

The documentary film was followed by a discussion led by Sandy Maisel, Goldfarb Family Distinguished Professor of American Government, and Betsy Sweet, progressive lobbyist and 2018 candidate in Maine’s spring primary run under Ranked Choice Voting.

Ranked Choice Voting is a means of counting votes in races with more than two candidates. Each voter ranks the candidates in order of preference; after the votes are counted, if no one has a majority, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and that candidate’s votes are re-allocated to the voters’ second choice. The process is repeated until one candidate receives a majority.

Maine voters approved the use of Ranked Choice Voting by referendum; A court challenge has followed; Maine used the process for primaries last spring, the first time a state has done so. This fall Ranked Choice Voting will be used in the races for the United States Senate and Congress, though no state office (use in those elections is still under challenge). This program will discuss the procedure, how it was implemented, and what comes next.

Midterm Elections 2018 program Is this the Year of the Woman? Will women candidates and voters swing the Congress? ​

Midterm Elections 2018 program Is this the Year of the Woman? Will women candidates and voters swing the Congress?

October 25, 2018

Jennifer L. Lawless is the Commonwealth Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia. A perfect speaker to discuss the upcoming election with so many women on the ballot, she is a leading national expert on political ambition and women in American politics, the author or co-author of six books, including Women on the Run: Gender, Media, and Political Campaigns in a Polarized Era (with Danny Hayes) and It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office (with Richard L. Fox).

Lives Still in Limbo: UnDACAmented and Navigating Uncertain Futures

Lives Still in Limbo: UnDACAmented and Navigating Uncertain Futures

September 24, 2018

Roberto G. Gonzales, Ph.D. Harvard University Graduate School of Education

Due to the political gridlock in the U.S. Congress, the fate of more than two million young immigrants remains uncertain. With legalization efforts stalled, on June 15, 2012, President Obama introduced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a change in his administration’s enforcement policy that would temporarily defer deportations from the United States for undocumented youth and young adults, in addition to providing temporary Social Security numbers and two-year work permits. At the six-year mark, more than 814,000 young people have benefited from the program and, as a result, had taken giant steps towards the American mainstream. Things changed under the Trump administration. On September 5, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced an end to what had become a very successful policy. What does this termination mean for these young people and their families? Based on a multi-year study, Professor Gonzales provides some interesting answers to these vexing questions.

Roberto G. Gonzales is a Professor of Education at Harvard University Graduate School of Education.  Since 2002 he has carried out one of the most comprehensive studies of undocumented immigrants in the United States. His book, Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America, is based on an in-depth study that followed 150 undocumented young adults in Los Angeles for twelve years. To date, Lives in Limbo has won seven major book awards, including the Society for the Study of Social Problems C. Wright Mills Award, the American Education Research Association Outstanding Book Award, and the Law and Society Association Herbert Jacob Book Award. It has also been adopted by several universities as a common read and is being used by K-12 schools across the country in teacher and staff training. In addition, Professor Gonzales’ National UnDACAmented Research Project has surveyed nearly 2,700 undocumented young adults and has carried out 500 in-depth interviews on their experiences following President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.