Tuesday August 4, 2009

A Little Salsa, A Little Soul, A Better World

Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, activist/actor Hill Harper, CNN analyst Roland Martin and workplace diversity sage Juana Bordas are all coming to Dayton as part of the Diversity Lecture Series.

The University of Dayton's 2009-2010 Diversity Lecture Series will feature Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, popular activist/actor Hill Harper, CNN political analyst Roland Martin and workplace diversity sage Juana Bordas.

Juana Bordas, author of Salsa, Soul and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age and president of Mestiza Leadership International, a company that helps organizations and businesses manage cultural differences in the work force, kicks off the series at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, in the Kennedy Union Ballroom. Presented in partnership with the University of Dayton's office of multicultural affairs, the talk is free and open to the public.

Activist, author and actor Hill Harper comes to Dayton Friday, Oct. 16, for another 7:30 p.m. free talk in the RecPlex. He has written two New York Times bestsellers, Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny and Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny. He also stars in the hit CBS drama series CSI: NY as the reclusive coroner, Sheldon Hawkes. His new book, The Conversation: How Black Men and Women Can Build Loving Relationships, will be published this fall.

Roland Martin, a CNN political analyst, comes to town Jan. 18-19 to keynote two Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. events as a collaboration between the University of Dayton and the Dayton chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. A nationally syndicated columnist and author of Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith and Speak, Brother! A Black Man's View of America, Martin will speak at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Holiday Celebration and Presidential Banquet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, at the Dayton Convention Center. Call 937-268-0051 for ticket information. He also will headline the University of Dayton's annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, in the Kennedy Union Ballroom. In 2008, Ebony Magazine named Martin one of the 150 most influential African-Americans in the United States.

Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, author and 1986 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, rounds out the season with a talk at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 25, at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in downtown Dayton. Tickets for the general public are $15 and $20. Call 937-228-3630 or 937-229-2545 for ticket information. Wiesel's appearance is presented by the University of Dayton and the Victoria Theatre Association.

The University of Dayton's Diversity Lecture Series is part of a larger strategic plan to increase inclusion and diversity on campus and prepare students, faculty, staff and the Dayton community for success in a global society.  Past speakers have included Andrew Young, Coretta Scott King, Spike Lee, Kirk Franklin, Clarence Page, Nikki Giovanni, Soledad O'Brien, Azar Nafisi and Johnnetta B. Cole.

The University's commitment to diversity is founded in its Catholic heritage of social justice and the Marianist tradition of equality and being inclusive of people from all segments of society.

The Diversity Lecture Series is co-sponsored by the offices of the president and provost, with the generous support of such community partners as The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ); Dayton Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; United Way of the Greater Dayton Area; YWCA Dayton; Victoria Theatre Association; Markey's Audio Visual; Ross Buick-GMC-Hummer; RTA; Cannell Graphics; University of Dayton's Media Production Group; Dayton Daily News; WDTN-TV; WDAO-1210 AM; and 92.1 WROU.

For more information, contact Lynnette Heard, executive director of the president's office, at 937-229-4121.