Upcoming Speakers

September 2014

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