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Diversity Programs & Services

2017-2018 Diversity Lecture Series

Civil Discourse in a Global Society

This year, as we look to the mission of the Diversity Lecture Series in the context of larger national and international conversations, we include programs and engagement opportunities around the theme of “Civil Discourse in a Global Society.” Through thoughtful events and dialogue we strive to help bridge the political divide and uncover common ground within our community and beyond.

We are a nation built of complexity and compromise. Understanding the vast and varied cultures, opinions, perspectives, and experiences of others is imperative to understanding our community as well as our country. This immutable truth is inherent in Butler’s founding ideals of inclusivity and diversity, and its educational mission which includes, “creating and fostering a stimulating intellectual community built upon interactive dialogue and inquiry.”

This year's series is made possible with generous support from the Office of the Mayor of Indianapolis, Kroger, and Ivy Tech Community College.


2017-2018 Objectives

  • Bridge the political divide and find common ground between diverse peoples
  • Open minds and inspire an inclusive climate
  • Help individuals more fully understand and appreciate the importance of diversity and inclusion in contemporary American culture
  • Provide context for the current political climate as it relates to civil discourse
  • Provide opportunities for the campus community to engage in deeper dialogue around domestic and global conversations


2017-2018 Events

David “Olmeca” Barragan
LatinX Identity and Power: In The Face of Social Divides

October 4, 7:00 PM - Concert / Reilly Room, Atherton Union

October 5, 9:30 AM - Workshop / Diversity Center

Free and open to the public. No tickets required. 

Olmeca is a Bilingual Hip-Hop artist and producer. He grew up in the barrios of L.A. and Mexico, a reality that brewed his blending of music genres and cultural sensitivity. His work has been featured on CNN Latino, ABC, BBC World, Fox, NPR, URB Magazine, and television series, “Sons of Anarchy.” He has collaborated with numerous Grammy artists including Ozomatli, Marisoul of La Santa Cecilia and shared the stage with KRS-One, Jenni Rivera, Dilated Peoples, Ana Tijoux amongst others. Olmeca is considered one of the most exciting and dynamic artists and one that can coexist between hip-hop and Latin alternative audiences. He has toured Canada, Latin America and Europe and has helped generate a new trend of Latin music in the United States. Olmeca will give a performance and lecture on Wednesday, October 4, at 7 PM in the Reilly Room of the Atherton Union.

The event is free and open to the public.

In Conversation with Senator Richard Lugar and Representative Lee Hamilton

November 13, 6:00 PM / Clowes Memorial Hall

Free and open to the public. Tickets required. 


Two of Indiana’s most prominent and respected political leaders, former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar and former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton, will sit down for a discussion with current Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann at 6 PM on Monday, November 13 at Clowes Memorial Hall as part of Butler University’s Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series. At a time when the country seems politically polarized, Lugar and Hamilton will talk about ways to bring us together through civil discourse.

For more information and tickets, visit the Butler Arts Center website. 

The event is co-sponsored by Ivy Tech.


Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington
Diversity and Leadership in the 21st Century

January 24, 5:00 PM / Reilly Room, Atherton Union

Free and open to the public. No tickets required. 


Dr. Washington is an internationally recognized trainer and presenter on diversity, leadership, and organizational change. He has extensive experience in both public and private sector leadership development, particularly on issues of racism, sexism, homophobia and religious conflicts. His most recent work has been a series of seminars and keynote presentations in South Africa. 

Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington has served in higher education for over 33 years as an educator and administrator, teaching in both sociology and women’s studies.  He is currently the president and founder of the Washington Consulting Group (WCG), a multicultural organizational development firm. In 2015, WCG was named one of the “Top 10 Global Diversity Consultants in the World” by the The Economist.

Dr. Washington is the president and co-founder of the Social Justice Training Institute, and vice president and current president elect of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). In addition, Washington is a senior consultant with the Equity Consulting Group. He currently serves as the pastor of Unity Fellowship Church of Baltimore and is known as “The Engagement Specialist,” because he sees himself as an instrument of change.

Dr. Washington earned a bachelor’s degree from Slippery Rock State College, double Masters’ of Science degrees from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. in College Student Development from University of Maryland College Park. He also earned his Masters of Divinity from Howard University School of Divinity.

Dr. Washington was most recently awarded the Legends of Excellence Award from the University of Maryland Baltimore County for his contribution to the lives and education of Black and LatinX faculty, staff and students. He holds many other awards for his diligence toward helping people find the best in themselves and others.


Doris Kearns Goodwin
Where Do We Go From Here: Leadership in Turbulent Times

February 12, 7:30 PM / Clowes Memorial Hall, Butler Arts Center
Free and open to the public. Tickets are required and will be available on January 16 at 10 AM. 


Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Ms. Goodwin is the author of six critically acclaimed and The New York Times bestselling books, including her most recent, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism (November, 2013). Ms. Goodwin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in history for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War IINo Ordinary Time was also awarded the Harold Washington Literary Award, the New England Bookseller Association Award, the Ambassador Book Award and The Washington Monthly Book Award. Ms. Goodwin is the author of the bestsellers Wait Till Next Year, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream and The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys

Ms. Goodwin is well known for her appearances and commentary on television, where she is seen frequently on NBC, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, CNN, The Charlie Rose Show and Meet the Press. Other appearances include The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and many more. 

Ms. Goodwin graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Colby College, and was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. She earned a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University, where she taught Government, including a course on the American Presidency, and, at the age of just 24, became a White House Fellow, working directly with President Lyndon Johnson. Ms. Goodwin served as an assistant to President Johnson in his last year in the White House, and later assisted him in the preparation of his memoirs.  Among her many honors and awards, Ms. Goodwin is the winner of the Charles Frankel Prize, given by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal, the New England Book Award, the Carl Sandburg Literary Award and the Ohioana Book Award.


Ellen Hume
Media and Politics: Finding a Useful Path

March 6, 7:00 PM / Reilly Room, Atherton Union
Free and open to the public. No tickets required. 


Ellen Hume is a veteran teacher; journalist and civic activist who specializes in helping people discover how to navigate the media in a way that is healthy for them. She also promotes civic discourse among people who come from different backgrounds, ideologies, and perspectives. She has led a research group at the MIT Media Lab, and taught media and politics at Harvard, the University of Massachusetts, Northwestern University and most recently, at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. A former political reporter for the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times and media commentator on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” program, she has trained journalists around the world and won awards for her analysis of how the U.S. media operate. She promotes tolerance and respect as an advisor to the Not In Our Town project, which she brought to Hungary in 2013.  

Her lecture at Butler will challenge us to discuss the following questions: How can anyone find a way to live positively in this toxic political culture?  What do we believe in the news, and why? Why does it matter if we are falling for “fake news” or not trusting any news at all? How can we figure out what is true and what isn’t? How can we build a positive future for American democracy?