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Power of Diversity Lecture Series

Power of Diversity Lecture Series

‌The Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity sponsors the Power of Diversity lecture series to inspire campus dialogue, community engagement and civic education and learning about the national narrative on diversity and inclusion. The annual series includes two distinguished guest speakers from the national or international scene and four scholars from our own faculty.

The speakers include scholars, thought leaders and diversity professionals whose research, scholarship, leadership and advocacy enhance the university's efforts to present diverse ideas, perspectives and viewpoints to inspire greater understanding and appreciation for inclusive excellence.

All events are free and open to the public.
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Power of Diversity Lecture Series (Spring 2017)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD, Former College President, Race Relations Scholar and Author

Tatum is the author of "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria" and "Can We Talk About Race?: And Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation." She served as president of Spelman College (GA) from 2002-2015 and is a widely recognized race relations scholars.

“"Dialogue on Diversity" an onstage conversation with Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD, hosted by CWRU President Barbara R. Snyder”

4:30 p.m. Iris S. and Bert L. Wolstein Research Building Auditorium
2103 Cornell Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, CWRU campus


Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD, Former College President, Race Relations Scholar and Author

Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD, Former College President, Race Relations Scholar and Author

About Beverly Daniel Tatum

A 2013 recipient of the Carnegie Academic Leadership Award, Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum served as president of Spelman College from 2002-2015.  Her tenure as president was marked by a period of great innovation and growth.  Overall, scholarship support for Spelman students tripled during her tenure, and opportunities for faculty research and development expanded significantly.  In 2008, the Gordon-Zeto Fund for International Initiatives was established with a gift of $17,000,000, creating more opportunities for faculty and student travel and increased funding for international students.  Alumnae support of the annual fund also tripled, reaching a record high of 41%. Campus improvements included the award-winning renovation of four historic buildings and the 2008 completion of a new “green” residence hall, increasing on-campus housing capacity by more than 25% and establishing the campus commitment to environmental sustainability for the 21st century.  These improvements served as the foundation for Strengthening the Core: The Strategic Plan for 2015, which focused on global engagement, expanded opportunities for undergraduate research and internships, alumnae-student connections, leadership development and service learning linked to an increasingly interdisciplinary curriculum. In 2012 Dr. Tatum made the bold decision to withdraw from NCAA intercollegiate sports participation in favor of a campus-wide wellness initiative specifically designed to address the health needs of young Black women.   In 2015 a new state-of-the-art Wellness Center was completed to support the expanded programming. 

Dr. Tatum is widely recognized as a race relations expert and leader in higher education.  Her areas of research include racial identity development, and the role of race in the classroom. She is the author of Can We Talk About Race? And Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation (2007) and “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” and Other Conversations about Race (1997) as well as Assimilation Blues: Black Families in a White Community (1987).  In 2005 Dr. Tatum was awarded the prestigious Brock International Prize in Education for her innovative leadership in the field.   A Fellow of the American Psychological Association, she was the 2014 recipient of the APA Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology.  She is also a member of the American Philosophical Society.

She holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Wesleyan University, and M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from University of Michigan as well as an M.A. in Religious Studies from Hartford Seminary.  Over the course of her career, she has served as a faculty member at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Westfield State University, and Mount Holyoke College. Prior to her appointment at Spelman, she served as dean and acting president at Mount Holyoke College. President Tatum is married to Dr. Travis Tatum, professor emeritus of education; they are the parents of two adult sons.

CWRU Faculty Lecturers

Ramez Islambouli, PhDWednesday, February 8, 2017, 3 p.m.,
Ballroom A, Tinkham Veale University Center
or watch live streaming of the lecture at

Ramez Islambouli

Head of Arabic Language, CWRU Dept. of Modern Languages
Lecturer of Islam, CWRU Dept. of Religious Studies
Adjunct Professor, CWRU School

“Changing the Narrative about Islam and Muslims”

Ramez Islambouli a native of Lebanon moved to the United States in 1985 to pursue his academic studies. He holds an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering and a graduate degree in bioethics, both from Case Western Reserve University. He is an adjunct professor of Islamic law at the Law School at Case, a part-time lecturer of Islam in the Dept. of Religious Studies and a full-time lecturer and section head of Arabic language in the Dept. of Modern Languages and Literature and is the faculty advisor for the Muslim Students Association (MSA). He also teaches Islamic studies at Cleveland State and John Carroll universities.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 3 p.m., Senior Classroom, Tinkham Veale University Center

Liz Roccoforte

Director, CWRU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Center

"Centering the Intersections: LGBTQ Community Building over the Next Four Years."

Liz grew up in San Diego, California and earned her B.A. with honors from the University of California, Irvine before completing her MA in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Cincinnati. ​Roccoforte ​seeks to advocate and support all LGBTQIA students, faculty, staff and alumni by providing them with resources, connections and information. Her office is located in the LGBT Center ​in the Tinkham Veale University Center.  She welcomes all visitors either by appointment or drop-in.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 3 p.m., Senior Classroom, Tinkham Veale University Center

Laura Hengehold, PhD
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy

“Relevant to Whom? Anonymous for Whom?  How Philosophy Reveals and Conceals Human Uniqueness”

Laura Hengehold’s research explores the relationship between language, imagination and the lived experience of embodiment.  Her inquiry draws from three related discourses:

  • Twentieth century French philosophy, particularly existentialism and the post structuralism of Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze.
  • Feminist philosophy and theories of sexuality
  • The ongoing dialogue between African and European political thinkers

She is especially interested the way political conflict and the organization of knowledge frame women’s experience of their own bodies as active forces or passive obstacles to joy.

These themes inform two books currently in progress: The Problem of The Second Sex: Beauvoir’s Philosophy of Individuation (forthcoming, Edinburgh University Press) and Anonymity and Recognition: Simone de Beauvoir and Feminist Politics.  Laura Hengehold is also co-editor of the Blackwell Companion to Simone de Beauvoir (forthcoming, Wiley/Blackwell).