Diversity Lecture Series

2013-2014 Diversity Lecture Series Speakers

The Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series is celebrating its 26th season. The series is a collaborative diversity initiative between Butler University and the Office of the Mayor, with generous support from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, Citizens Energy Group, Indianapolis Power & Light Co., Old National Bank, Kroger Co., Radio One, and The Columbia Club.

Butler University invites the community to join us as we continue Butler's legacy of providing an avenue to promote ethnic diversity and multicultural awareness through increased interaction with high profile multicultural scholars, dignitaries and personalities on our campus.

Wednesday, Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m.

Maya Angelou

Clowes Memorial Hall

2003 Maya AngelouBorn on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Mo., Angelou was raised in St. Louis and Stamps, Ark. In Stamps, Angelou experienced the brutality of racial discrimination, but she also absorbed the unshakable faith and values of traditional African-American family, community, and culture.

A trailblazer in film and television, Angelou wrote the screenplay and composed the score for the 1972 film Georgia, Georgia. Her script, the first by an African-American woman ever to be filmed, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

She continues to appear on television and in films including the landmark television adaptation of Alex Haley's Roots (1977) and John Singleton's Poetic Justice (1993). In 1996, she directed her first feature film, Down in the Delta. In 2008, she composed poetry for and narrated the award-winning documentary The Black Candle, directed by M.K. Asante.

Angelou has served on two presidential committees, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008, and has received three Grammy Awards. President Clinton requested that she compose a poem to read at his inauguration in 1993. Angelou's reading of her poem "On the Pulse of the Morning" was broadcast live around the world.

Angelou has received more than 30 honorary degrees and is Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, 7:30 p.m.

"An Evening with Lee Daniels"

Clowes Memorial Hall

Lee -danielsLee Daniels' background is filled with bold stories as real and gritty as the narratives from the films he creates. By the age of 21, Daniels founded and ran his own health care agency, providing nurses to private homes and hospitals; he was simultaneously trying to be a screenwriter.

After selling his health care business, and giving up screenwriting, he began managing actors such as Loretta Devine, Michael Shannon, Nastassja Kinsky, and Aishwarya Rai. Daniels turned to producing as a natural result of trying to find and create great material for his clients; the organic leap to directing came soon after.

Daniels' latest project, The Butler, follows the life of a White House butler who served under eight different U.S. presidents over three decades. The film, which stars Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Robin Williams, John Cusack, Terrence Howard, and Cuba Gooding Jr., was released in August  and grossed more than $100 million.

Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, 7:30 p.m.

"Remarks by Laura Bush"

Clowes Memorial Hall

Laura -Bush

Laura Bush is a compelling advocate for issues of national and global concern. One of America's most popular First Ladies, Bush discusses her life and shares a compelling voice for helping those in need. She speaks passionately about education, literacy, volunteerism, human rights, and the issues of global importance she championed in the White House.

Bush captures presidential life in the harrowing days and weeks after 9/11. She discusses her experience on the world stage: serving as one of the first U.S. representatives to visit war-torn Afghanistan, reaching out to disease-stricken African nations, tirelessly advocating for women in the Middle East or supporting dissidents in Burma.

Her compassion, sense of humor, grace, and uncommon experience of living through consequential times are the backdrop as she shares her incredible story of rising from small town beginnings in Texas to being at the center of world history. Her memoir,Spoken From the Heart, is a New York Times No. 1 bestseller.

Tuesday, March 25, 7:30 p.m.

"Nobody's Perfect: Achieving Inclusion, Diversity, and Access" - An Address by Marlee Matlin

Clowes Memorial Hall

Matlin -MarleeMarlee Matlin received worldwide critical acclaim for her motion picture debut in Children of a Lesser God, earning her the Academy Award for Best Actress. At 21, she became the youngest recipient of the Best Actress Oscar, making her one of only four actresses to receive that honor for a film debut.

Matlin has starred in numerous feature films and television series, including NBC's Emmy-Award winning The West Wing and Law and Order: SVU. In 2007, she joined the cast of Showtime's cutting-edge drama The L Word, and in 2008, Matlin broke barriers once again when she joined the cast of ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

Matlin currently serves as a National Celebrity Spokesperson for the American Red Cross. She has advocated for closed captioning and was instrumental in getting Congress to pass federal legislation requiring all televisions manufactured in the United States to be equipped with closed captioning technology. She also serves on the boards of a number of charitable organizations including Easter Seals, The Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, as well as charities which primarily benefit children. Matlin has received numerous awards for her advocacy on behalf of children and the deaf community.