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Rosenfield Program

Caucus 2016: Fifty Years after Selma

The Rosenfield Program is bringing experts from across the political spectrum and from different professions to speak at a series of free public events leading up to the 2016 Iowa caucuses.

"Iowa is a politically impactful state and the Iowa caucuses are an important part of America's political landscape," said Sarah Purcell, professor of history and director of the Rosenfield Program. "Whether you participate in the caucuses as a voter or an observer, it's important to go beyond the headlines and engage in the issues. We want to give people the tools they need to participate in politics in an educated and civil manner."

Judith Brown-DianisLawyer and activist Judith Browne-Dianis will present the first event, a lecture about voting rights, at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, in ARH Auditorium, Room 302.

Her talk, "Fifty Years after Selma: Voting Rights Under Attack," will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act by describing its role in the Iowa caucuses and the presidential selection process.

Co-director of the Advancement Project and former managing attorney of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., Dianis has extensive background in civil rights litigation and advocacy in the areas of voting, education, housing and employment.

The Advancement Project is a next-generation, multi-racial civil rights organization focused on dismantling structural racism by changing public policies.

The president's office is co-sponsoring the lecture.

Caucus 2016

The Rosenfield Program is holding four additional caucus-related events during the fall semester:

How to Reduce Political Polarization without Compromise
4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19
Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101
A workshop with Phil Neisser and Jacob Hess, co-authors of You're Not as Crazy as I Thought (But You're Still Wrong): Conversations between a Die-Hard Liberal and a Devoted Conservative.
Neisser, professor of political theory at State University of New York at Potsdam and a leftist; and Hess, research director at Utah Youth Village, a nonprofit for abused children, and a conservative; will conduct a workshop about how liberals and conservatives can have more civil and productive conversations.
Co-sponsors: Peace and Conflict Studies Program and Ombuds
Using Dialogue as Civic Engagement, On and Off Campus,
4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 20
Rosenfield Center, Room 101
A lecture by political opposites and co-authors Neisser and Hess.
Co-sponsors: Peace and Conflict Studies Program and Ombuds
What Are the Iowa Caucuses?
6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1
ARH Auditorium, Room 302
An introduction to the history and politics of the Iowa caucuses presented by Purcell and Barbara Trish, professor and chair of political science.
Journalists Talk About the Iowa Caucuses
5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7
Rosenfield Center, Room 101
A panel discussion with Pulitzer Prize-winner David Shribman, executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Jen Jacobs, Des Moines Register chief political reporter; and Kathie Obradovich, Des Moines Register political columnist.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system. Accommodation requests may be made to event sponsors or Conference Operations and Events.

Science and World Hunger

Ron PhillipsRonald Phillips, emeritus professor of genetics at the University of Minnesota, will deliver the 2015 World Food Prize lecture on "Science and World Hunger" at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, in the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101.

You may enjoy this free, public talk if you are concerned and curious about world hunger, are interested in the World Food Prize or crop science, or you want understand how science and society can relate.

Phillips' research program at the University of Minnesota was one of the early programs in modern plant biotechnology related to agriculture. His responsibilities are related to research and teaching in plant genetics applied to plant improvement with an attempt to bridge basic and applied aspects.

Phillips' work seeks to improve cereal crops by coupling techniques of plant genetics and molecular biology. This involves developing genetic and molecular biological selection procedures of important traits in crops. Variations in crops are created that can affect not just crop yield but nutritional value, giving crops benefits for farmers and consumers alike.

Witness for Peace: Alfredo Lopez

Alfredo Lopez will discuss his work with the grassroots La Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña/The Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH) at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, in Alumni Recitation Hall Auditorium, Room 302.

OFRANEH, which has existed since the 1970s, is dedicated to defending the rights of Garifuna peoples in northern Honduras, who have been subject to displacement from their land and acts of violence.

His presentation will focus on militarization and violence in Garifuna communities, including:

  • the dynamics of racism and state violence against Garifuna communities, and
  • displacement tied to tourism.

He will also highlight the connections to U.S. policies like funding of the Honduran police and military, the ways that OFRANEH is organizing to protect Garifuna rights, and what people in the U.S. can do to support Garifuna rights and peace in Garifuna territories. 

The free public event is sponsored by the Peace and Conflict Studies Program and the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. ARH is wheelchair accessible and has an elevator at the south end of the building that makes it easy to reach the auditorium and accessible restrooms on the third floor. Outside entrances with automatic door operators are located on the southeast and southwest sides of ARH. Several accessible parking spaces are available along Park Street. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations and Events.

Actor and Author Peter Coyote '64 Returns to Grinnell

Peter Coyote '64, an Emmy Award-winning narrator and accomplished actor and author, will return to Grinnell to give a lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, in room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center. A dessert reception in the second-floor lobby of the Joe Rosenfield Center will follow. 

Coyote will reference his own life in his lecture titled "Intention: The Only Force on Earth We Can Control."

After graduating in 1964, Coyote lived in the counter-culture of the 1960s and ’70s before starting his film career at 39. He has appeared in more than 120 films, including leading roles in E.T. the Extra Terrestrial and A Walk to Remember. Coyote is well-known for his voice-over work, and has done numerous documentaries and TV specials, including Ken Burns' The National Parks, The Dust Bowl, the highly acclaimed The Roosevelts, and the forthcoming Viet Nam.

In 2011, Coyote, a practicing Zen Buddhist for 40 years, was ordained as a priest and received Transmission from his teacher granting him autonomy and the right to ordain priests and establish his own lineage.  His new memoir The Rainman's Third Cure: An Irregular Education published earlier this year expands on Sleeping Where I Fall (1999), also a memoir, telling of his life and adventures during the 1960s.

As a student at Grinnell, Coyote was one of the organizers of a group of students known as the “Grinnell 14” who traveled to Washington, D.C., during the Cuban Missile Crisis, fasting and picketing for three days, protesting the resumption of nuclear testing, and supporting President Kennedy’s “peace race.”

President Kennedy invited the group into the White House (the first time protesters had ever been so recognized) and they met with the U.S. National Security Adviser McGeorge “Mac” Bundy. This meeting received national media attention and the Grinnell group photocopied the coverage and sent it to colleges across the United States, contributing to, if not precipitating, the first mass student demonstration of 25,000 in Washington in February of 1962.

Well-known for his life-long engagement in political, environmental, and social causes, Coyote received a Grinnell College Alumni Award in 2014.

Coyote's lecture is sponsored by the Center for Careers, Life, and Service; the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights; the Office of Development and Alumni Relations; and the Peace and Conflict Studies Program.

Global Public Health

Dr. Paul Farmer, physician, humanitarian and founding director of Partners in Health, will close the College's Global Public Health Symposium.

Farmer will participate in two events:

4 p.m. Question and Answer Session

7 p.m. “Global Public Health" Presentation (followed by book signing)

Both events take place in Harris Center Auditorium and  are free and open to the public.

Farmer, chair of the Department of Global Health and Social 

Medicine at Harvard Medical School, has written extensively about health, human rights and the consequences of social inequality. He also is the subject of a best-selling book by Tracey Kidder, "Mountains beyond Mountains," which details his work in Haiti.

Farmer's presentation wraps up the symposium. He will sign several books: "Reimagining Global Public Health," "To Repair the World" and "Mountains to Mountains."

Farmer's talk is co-sponsored by the John Chrystal Endowment for Distinguished Foreign Visitors.

The Symposium

Red and white globe with red and white stethescope

The symposium was designed to inform the campus community and the general public about some of the most important issues in global public health today from different standpoints: policy, medicine, international relations, personal health, etc.

"Health is a fundamental human right, but many global issues present challenges to public health and well-being," said Sarah Purcell, professor of history and director of the Rosenfield Program. "From Ebola to obesity, the Global Public Health symposium examines some of the most pressing issues in world health today."  

Grinnell's Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations and Human Rights is sponsoring the symposium. Co-sponsors are President Raynard S. Kington, a physician and former deputy director of the National Institutes of Health; the Grinnell Wellness program; and the Henry R. Luce Program in Nations and the Global Environment.


The Law of the Land

Akhil Reed AmarLearn more about the U.S. Constitution from one of the leading constitutional scholars in the United States.

Akhil Reed Amar, the Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, will give a lecture titled "The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of Our Constitutional Republic (with Special Emphasis on Iowa)" for Constitution Day at Grinnell College. 

His talk begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

Amar's lecture is based on his recently published book, "The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of our Constitutional Republic." He will examine the role geography, federalism and regionalism have played in constitutional law, focusing on a landmark case that originated in Iowa, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District.

In 1965 Mary Beth Tinker and other Des Moines students decided to wear black armbands to school to protest U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam. School officials learned of the protest plans and quickly adopted a no-armband rule. Nevertheless the students wore the armbands to school and were suspended for violating school policy.

Represented by the ACLU, the students sued, claiming violation of their First Amendment rights. A lengthy court battle ensued, culminating in the 1969 Supreme Court ruling in the Tinker case that students do not "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."

His visit is sponsored by the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center has accessible parking in the lot to the east. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations.

Akhil Reed Amar

Professor Amar teaches constitutional law at both Yale College and Yale Law School, where he received Yale's highest teaching honor, the DeVane Medal, in 2008. His work has been favorably cited by Supreme Court justices from both ends of the spectrum in more than 30 cases and he is regularly invited to testify before Congress at the request of both Republicans and Democrats.

The author of six books, Amar has also contributed to several popular publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic and Slate. His work has won awards from both the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society.

50 years of International Work to Eliminate Racial Discrimination

DDavid Keaneavid Keane, senior lecturer in law at London's Middlesex University, will lecture on "Fifty Years of the International Convention to End All Forms of Racial Discrimination." 

ICERD was the first international human rights treaty, and Keane's lecture will assess its 50 years of enforcement efforts in the context of post-colonialism.

Keane will speak 7–8:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101. A reception will follow the talk.

His talk is sponsored by the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights and the Center for Careers, Life, and Service, in collaboration with the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights. 

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center has accessible parking in the lot to the east. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations.

David Keane

David Keane is senior lecturer in Law at Middlesex University. He holds a bachelor's from University College Cork, and a master's and doctorate from the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway, where he was awarded a Government of Ireland scholarship for his doctoral studies.

Keane's research focuses on international human rights and minority rights law. His book Caste-based Discrimination in International Human Rights Law won the Hart Book Prize for early career scholars, and has been cited by the U.K. Supreme Court in its very first judgment. He is also involved in a range of training, advocacy and advice on human rights issues. 

Constitution Day Reading Discussion Group

Join the Rosenfield Program to celebrate Constitution Day by discussing excerpts from the new book The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of Our Constitutional Republic by Yale Law professor Akhil Reed Amar.

With Professor Sarah Purcell leading the discussion, we'll discuss chapters 5 and 6 on Kansas and Iowa — plus anything else that interests you.

Meet with the reading group over lunch, from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 209.

The book is available for sale in the Grinnell College Bookstore (students can charge the cost to the Rosenfield Program if cost is prohibitive), and an electronic copy can be accessed through the Library catalog.

Akhil Reed Amar will be speaking at Grinnell on September 23.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations.

Climate Reality

Elizabeth QueathemLiz Queathem, senior lecturer in Biology and co-chair of the Sustainability Planning Committee, will deliver a public lecture on the current state of climate change, and the prospects for progress at the United National Climate Change Conference that will take place in Paris Nov. 30—Dec. 11, 2015.

Queathem will present "Climate Reality:  Problems and Solutions on the Road to Paris" at 4 p.m., Friday, October 2, in Robert N. Noyce '49 Science Center, Room 1023.

The presentation is co-sponsored by the Rosenfield Program and Center for Prairie Studies.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations.

Rosenfield Program Internship Grant Recipients to Present

Each year, the Rosenfield Program sponsors several competitive grants that support student internships in public affairs, international relations, or human rights. The sponsored internships this summer took Grinnell students all over the world.

Please join us for presentations by the following Grinnell students as they will share their experiences and take questions from the audience. Both sessions will be held in Jesse Macy House (1205 Park St.) Conference Room and refreshments will be served.

September 16

7 p.m., Jesse Macy House Conference Room

Meredith Carroll
Pittsburgh Post Gazette; Pittsburgh, PA
Alethea Cook
Leap201 Philanthropy; Singapore
Kahlil Epps
U.S. Attorneys Office D.C.; Washington, D.C.
Annette Mokua
MPANZI; Kisli, Kenya

September 17

4 p.m., Jesse Macy House Conference Room

Vincent Benlloch
The Centre for Applied Non-Violent Actions and Strategies; Belgrade, Serbia
Annie Casey
Challenging Heights; Accra, Ghana
Daniel Davis
Trans Women of Color Collective; Washington D.C.
Carley Kleinhans
State Senator Chris Larson’s Office (D); Madison, WI
Dana Lindenberg
Prison Justice League; Austin, TX
Sam McDonnell
The Heartland Alliance, Marjorie Kovler Center; Chicago, IL