Social Justice

“All of us here, all of us anywhere, can really separate ourselves into two groups: those who find ourselves in a position of needing help, and those of us so fortunate we can help others. We have no less a mandate to help others, it’s an investment in human beings.”
Social entrepreneur Bob Harris discussed his work at an April 10, 2014 presentation called "The International Bank of Bob." The talk was based on his book of the same name, and was held in Simon Hall May Auditorium.
Claudia Rankine’s book of prose poetry, Citizen: An American Lyric, is about as timely a study on what it means to be an African American living in a white world can be. On Monday, Sept. 21, Rankine, author of Washington University's First Year Reading Selection, Citizen: An American Lyric, will discuss her work and read passages from her book at 7 p.m. in Graham Chapel.
"Part of the reason for having a strong defense team is to make sure that prosecutors and police follow the rules and don't cut corners, and that's something that goes beyond any individual case to benefit the system as a whole." -- Dean Strang, defense attorney, "Making a Murderer"
Pioneering urban ethnographer and cultural theorist Elijah Anderson is the William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of Sociology at Yale University, where he also directs the Urban Ethnography Project. He is one of the nation’s most influential scholars in the field of urban inequality, cultural …
john paul stevens spring 2016
Stevens objected to the court's ruling in the 2000 election-deciding case of Bush v. Gore. The court overturned the Florida Supreme Court's decision to order a recount of all of the state's ballots. Joined by David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, Stevens wrote that, "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law. I respectfully dissent."
juana rodriguez
In this talk, noted scholar Juana Maria Rodriguez will explore how documenting the lives of elderly sex workers in Mexico City can affect how others subjectively interpret their life stories, and how combining visual documentation with biographical narratives can alter the interpretative process. Her lecture, "The Women of Casa Xochiquetzal: Corporeal Encounters, Queer Feelings," is presented by Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in Arts & Sciences.
Julian Bond was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and activist for social equality and liberty for all people. On (insert date) 2011, he delivered his lecture “Post Racial America: Fact or Fiction.”
“Having undergone experiences so bizarre, crushing, ugly, they couldn’t be included in the film “Roots,” they would have burned holes through the foil in the television. Today, we are upwards of 30 million. How have we survived? I suggest the literature. I believe it’s available to all of us to encourage us to survive…and to thrive…and to thrive with some passion, compassion, humor and style.”
Melvin Oliver’s long and distinguished career has been devoted to understanding and addressing the complex factors that contribute to deep racial disparities in wealth. On Wednesday, Sept. 16, he will give a talk on “Income and Wealth Inequality.” The lecture will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Anheuser-Busch Hall, Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom.
"The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that's wrong with the world." This statement from physician and anthropologist Paul Farmer serves as shorthand for the mission statement of Partners In Health (PIH), the organization he helped found three decades ago to advance the …
Ginsburg, associate professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also teaches at the Danville Correctional Center, a medium-high security facility operated by the state of Illinois.
robert sussman
“The anthropological concept of culture is extremely important and often misunderstood because many of the things that are assumed to be biologically determined, like criminality or homosexuality or IQ, are really behaviorally and societally defined.” This quote from Robert W. Sussman, PhD, professor of physical anthropology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University, forms the basis for his Phi Beta Kappa/Sigma Xi Lecture. “The Importance of the Concept of Culture to Science and Society,” part of the university’s Assembly Series, will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in Steinberg Hall Auditorium.
Sarah Wagner assembly series
The Bosnian genocide, carried out between 1992 and 1995, displaced nearly a quarter of Bosnia’s pre-war population, with refugees scattered throughout the world. This year's annual Holocaust Memorial Lecture will feature anthropologist Sarah Wagner discussing “Srebrenica’s Legacies of Loss and Remembrance,” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, in Umrath Hall Lounge.
"The green economy should not just be about reclaiming throw-away stuff. It should be about reclaiming thrown-away communities. It should not just be about recycling things to give them a second life. We should also be gathering up people and giving them a second chance." Van Jones
AS spring 2017 feldblum
EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum will deliver a keynote address for the Midwest LGBTQ+ Law Conference on Friday, March 3 in Anheuser-Busch Hall Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom. Throughout her long and distinguished career, Feldblum, a lesbian with a disability, fought for the rights of minorities and marginalized citizens, helping draft the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as well as contributing to the original Employment Nondiscrimination Act.
AS spring 2017 sands
Approximately three-quarters of a century ago, it was inconceivable for anyone to think that Germany was not well within its legal right to tell the League of Nations, as Joseph Goebbels did in 1933, that it can “deal as we see fit” with our “opponents,” and in particular, “our Jews.” Inconceivable, because the twin concepts of crimes against humanity and genocide – now considered among the bedrocks of international human rights law -- had yet to be conceived. Join British human rights lawyer Philippe Sands to hear the thrilling story of how this transformation happened at 4:30 pm Thursday, March 30 in Anheuser-Busch Hall’s Bryan Cave Courtroom for his talk which shares its title with Sands' book, “East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity.”
"We have the power to end this cycle and set a model for the rest of the nation. I believe in Ferguson; I believe in St. Louis; and I believe in our ability to pursue a more just region for all of our citizens. We must be the change we wish to see, and we cannot ignore the urgency of now for our community.” So states Brittany Packnett, who, since the tragic death of Michael Brown in 2014, has dedicated herself to achieving her dream of a more just and equitable society. -- Brittany Packnett. Packnett's talk, " Between the World and You: Our Duty to Fight for Freedom," will include commentary by faculty and students.
On April 14, 2015 at 5 p.m. in Umrath Hall Lounge, veteran journalist Carla Power talked about "Reading the Quran at Starbucks: An American Secular Feminist and a Traditional Muslim Scholar Find Commonalities."
On February 18, 2015 at 7 p.m. in Graham Chapel, Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor for The Atlantic and well-known author, spoke on the subject of racism in the United States as part of the Washington University Political Review Lecture.
On February 17, 2015 at 6 p.m. in Graham Chapel, Reza Aslan, delivered the Washington University Foreign Policy Engagement Lecture on faith, extremism and democracy.
On February 3, 2015 at 6 p.m. in the Graham Chapel, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Residential Learning, Jill Stratton moderated a discussion on "Marriage Equality and the GOP" by a panel featuring Meghan McCain, Gregory T. Angelo and Fred Karger.
On January 22, 2015 at 12 p.m. in the Brown Hall Lounge, Xavier de Souza Briggs, vice president of the Ford Foundation's Economic Opportunity and Assets program talked about "Toward a Just and Inclusive America."
On September 30, 2014 scholar and author Patricia Williams gave a talk on "Love in the Time of Identity Wars: Anatomy of Short Lives." This presentation was the first of three Williams delivered as the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities Lecture Series speaker.
On September 17, 2014 Sherrilyn Ifill talked about the legacy of the Supreme Court's 1954 decision in Brown v the Board of Education and discussed how this relates to the still-present socioeconomic issues underpinning African-Americans' anger and frustration that have surfaced in Ferguson, MO.
On September 8, 2014 Kenji Yoshino, Professor of Law at NYU talked about his new book - Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights. In his book Yoshino provides readers plenty to consider about the act of "covering," why it's done and how it harms people's individuality.
On February 11, 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Sheryl WuDunn talked about "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide." She studies and writes about the economic, political and social forces affecting women throughout the globe.
On November 14, 2013 at 12 p.m. in the Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom, Catharine MacKinnon, a principal architect of landmark sex equality laws in the United States, talked about "Trafficking, Prostitution, and Inequality."