Upcoming Speakers

September 2014

Thursday, September 4
Arkansas Repertory Theatre

Set in the musically-rich Tennessee city, “Memphis” tells the story of a local DJ with a passion for R&B music and an up-and-coming singer that he meets one fateful night on Beale Street. As their careers rise, their relationship is challenged by personal ambition and the pressures and prejudices of the outside world. “Memphis” has received eight Tony Award nominations and won four Tony Awards, including Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Orchestrations and Best Musical. Panelists will include members of The Rep’s creative team in a conversation about what it’s like to bring this exciting production to life.

*In partnership with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre

Tuesday, September 9
Jeremy Rogoff

Jeremy Rogoff is a social entrepreneur and educator. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Rogoff joined Teach for America as a high school teacher and athletic coach. After teaching algebra and Spanish in Clarendon, Arkansas, Rogoff moved to Washington D.C. to join the teaching staff at KIPP DC: College Preparatory, the highest performing open-enrollment school in the district. Rogoff recently took a break from the classroom to explore new approaches to supporting teachers in rural areas through targeted and engaging digital learning communities. At the Clinton School, he will release the findings of a summer pilot program that matched new teachers with remote instructional coaches.

Wednesday, September 10
John Sides and Lynn Vavreck

In “The Gamble,” professors John Sides and Lynn Vavreck take a look at the 2012 presidential election in the United States. However, they look beyond anecdotes and instead draw on extensive quantitative data about the economy, public opinion, news coverage, and political advertising to separate what was important and what was irrelevant. “The Gamble” looks at the interplay between the candidates’ strategic choices – the ads, speeches, rallies, and debates – and the chance circumstances of the election to provide the most data-driven account of the election possible. 

*Book signing to follow

Monday, September 15
Al From

In 1984, Al From organized the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). Its mission: to rescue the party from the political wilderness, redefine its message, and, most importantly, win presidential elections. Founded after a series of defeats to the Democratic Party, the DLC provided both the action agenda and the ideas for New Democrats to redefine the center of the Democratic Party. From played a prominent role in the 1992 election of President Bill Clinton and served as Domestic Policy Advisor to the Clinton transition. In “The New Democrats and the Return to Power,” From explores the founding philosophy of the New Democrats and outlines the principles at the heart of the movement, including economic centrism, national security, and entitlement reform.

*Book signing to follow

*In partnership with the Clinton Foundation

Thursday, September 18
John Hibbing

John Hibbing is a professor of political science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the co-author of “Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences.” Hibbing claims our biological predispositions are responsible for a significant portion of the political and ideological conflict that we witness every day. In “Predisposed,” Hibbing presents evidence that people differ politically, not just because they grew up in different cultures or were presented with different information, but because people have diverse psychological, physiological, and genetic traits. Hibbing will discuss how these biological differences influence much of what makes people who they are, including their orientations to politics.

Friday, September 19
Dr. Gokhan Bacik

Gokhan Bacik is a professor of international relations at Ipek University in Ankara, Turkey and the dean of Ipek University School of Government. Dr. Bacik is the author of many books and articles on world politics, international relations and Middle Eastern studies. He is an associate member of Turkish Academy of Sciences and is a contributor to the US German Marshall Fund Turkey’s Series. Dr. Bacik will discuss the current conflicts in the Middle East and possible outcomes.

Sunday, September 21
Reel Civil Rights Film Festival

The film “BESA: The Promise” weaves Albania’s heroism in WWII through the journeys of two men. One is Norman Gershman, a renowned Jewish-American photographer determined to document first-person accounts of the Albanian Muslims who rescued Jews during the Holocaust and the other is Rexhep Hoxha, a Muslim-Albanian. With Gershman’s help, Hoxha travels to Bulgaria and Israel to fulfill the promise made to a Jewish family his father rescued during the Holocaust and returns to them a set of Hebrew books they left behind. More than seven years in the making, “Besa: The Promise” a story that that bridges generations and religions, uniting fathers and sons, Muslims and Jews.

*In partnership with the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

*This event will be held at the Riverdale Theater.

Wednesday, September 24
Bill Basl

Bill Basl is the director of AmeriCorps, which engages more than 75,000 men and women in intensive service each year at more than 15,000 locations including nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. In the 20 years since President Clinton signed the bill into law, more than 900,000 AmeriCorps members, including 51 Clinton School students and alumni, have contributed more than 1.2 billion hours in service across America while tackling pressing problems and mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve.

Thursday, September 25
Danielle Nierenberg

Danielle Nierenberg is the president of Food Tank: The Food Think Tank and an expert on sustainable agriculture and food issues. She has written extensively on the spread of factory farming in the developing world, food systems and infrastructure, corporate responsibility, and innovations in sustainable agriculture. Nierenberg co-founded Food Tank in 2013 as an organization focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, and nourished eaters. Nierenberg will discuss her work at Food Tank as it spotlights environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty, while creating networks of people, organizations, and content to push for food system change.

Monday, September 29
Dr. Vince Bertram

America and its students are facing a crisis of STEM education. By 2018, jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math will grow by 18 percent, nearly double the rate of other occupations. Currently, there simply aren’t enough students in the current pipelines to learn the skills and gain the interest needed to meet America’s economic needs for the future. Vince Bertram of Indiana is the president and CEO of Project Lead The Way (PLTW), which is the nation’s leading provider of STEM programs. PLTW features a world-class curriculum and high-quality teacher professional development model that helps students develop the skills necessary to succeed in our global economy. Dr. Bertram will address the educational and economic crisis in STEM education and will discuss ways in which businesses, educators, and communities can work together to ensure a brighter future for local communities, the state of Arkansas, and our country.

Tuesday, September 30
Kartick Satyanaran

Known in India as the “Bear Man,” Kartick Satyanaran is the co-founder of Wildlife SOS – a non-profit wildlife conservation organization famous for its campaign to rescue the “dancing bear” in India. “Dancing bears” were sloth bears that were used for human exploitation for the past 400 years.  Today the organization has evolved to actively work towards protecting the Indian wildlife, conserving habitats, studying biodiversity, conducting research, and creating alternative and sustainable livelihoods for poacher communities. He began the organization with his aunt and fellow animal rights champion Geeta Seshamani in 1995, and since then, they have rescued over 550 bears. The foundation has since expanded to preserve other wildlife such as elephants, reptiles, and leopards.

*In partnership with the Little Rock Zoo