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Diversity Lecture Series

The Diversity Lecture Series is intended to give insight and understanding of multicultural issues to the West Michigan Community. The series is designed to introduce an essential component of education in helping audiences consider perspectives other than their own, encouraging civil debate, broadening the basis for critical thought and promoting cultural understanding.

2014-2015 Diversity Lecture Series XX Schedule

Celebrating 20 Years of Diverse Voices


 An Evening with Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter

SEPTEMBER 22, 2014 - Tickets Required

Book Signing SOLD OUT

3:45 p.m.

Calkins Science Center
226 Bostwick NE,
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Call (616) 234-3908 for a book signing ticket. Ticket holders will recieve a book, entry to the book signing, and reserved seating at the 5 p.m. lecture in the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse.  The ticket costs $28 - which is the retail cost of the book.


5 p.m.

Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse
111 Lyon St. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Call (616) 234-3390 for a lecture ticket.

Autographed Book Sales

Autographed copies of President Jimmy Carter's book A Call To Action will be for sale in the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse before and after this lecture. Books are $28.00 per copy via cash, check (made out to Schuler Books) or credit card.

Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States

Since his early days in political office, former President Jimmy Carter has championed human rights around the world. Most recently,Carter has pursued this passion through his work with The Carter Center. Together with his wife, Rosalynn, he founded the center in 1982 to address national and international issues of public policy. The Center works to resolve conflict, promote democracy, protect human rights, prevent disease and other afflictions. In 2002, Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize for his social justice work.

Rosalynn Carter, Former First Lady of the United States

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has worked for more than three decades to improve the quality of life for people throughout the world. Today, she is an advocate for mental health, caregiving, early childhood immunization, human rights, and conflict resolution through her work at The Carter Center. She is a member of the Center’s board of trustees. She created and chairs The Carter Center’s Mental Health Task Force, and each year, she hosts the Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy.


Richardson, Pipher and Taibbi lectures

The following lectures begin at 7:00 p.m. at Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain Street NE, Grand Rapids, MI.  For more information, please call (616) 234-3390.

  • Free and open to all
  • On-campus parking $5.00 (with discount pass)
  • ASL interpreted
  • Book signing follows authors' lectures



Elaine Richardson, Ph.D.

NOVEMBER 12, 2014

Author, Professor, Recording Artist
PHD (Po H# on Dope) to Ph.D.: How Education Saved My Life

Dr. Richardson’s one-woman show, PHD to Ph.D., features expressive performance, storytelling and music. Addicted to drugs, abusive controlling pimps, the streets, with short stints in jail, the cycle of death appeared to be her life with prison the inevitable end. Instead, she returned to school and never stopped. She became empowered with knowledge of her culture and history and changed her life. A Professor at The Ohio State University, her motto is: “Ignorance, low self-esteem and shame are killers. When you know who you are, nobody can control you.”


Mary Pipher, Ph.D.

FEBRUARY 11, 2015

Author, Clinical Psychologist
The Green Boat: Sustaining Our Planet and Each Other

Dr. Pipher is concerned with how American culture influences the mental health of its people. In The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture, she considers how easily we are disconnected from our emotions, our bodies, each other and the truth, as we are engulfed in devastating information about the fate of Mother Earth. Author of nine books, Dr. Pipher suggests we must reconnect our inner and outer lives to respond to this trauma with an awareness that leads to resilient coping and for many a transcendent response.


Matt Taibbi

MARCH 25, 2015

Author, Journalist
The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap

Matt Taibbi asked why does poverty rise, as crime goes down and the prison population doubles. He discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where troubling trends - wealth inequality and mass incarceration- meet. He contends that our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or by our poverty. Are the wealthy untouchable? The poor criminalized? A New York Times bestseller, Divide paints an alarming portrait of contemporary American life and provides a way forward against this crisis. He writes for Rolling Stone and recently launched a new digital magazine by First Look Media.