Conversations on JUSTICE


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The Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence and the leadership of Case Western Reserve University recognize that it is a very timely point in history to honor such a leading figure in international justice, humanitarian law, and human rights as Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi with the 2020 Inamori Ethics Prize. However, due to the pandemic, we have decided to postpone our traditional prize events and instead revise our overall programming for this year. With our commitment to adhere to the best social distancing practices and health safety measures, we feel that our revised approach to awarding the Inamori Ethics Prize and Inamori Center programming this year responds not only to health and safety needs, but to the needs of the world at this time.

Over this academic year, the Inamori Center will provide space to have a prolonged conversation on a topic of consequence: JUSTICE. We will draw on the insight and expertise of Inamori Ethics Prize winners as well as top scholars and practitioners in a thematic series of events and programming addressing the topic of JUSTICE from multiple perspectives, locally and globally. The Conversations on JUSTICE series will culminate with the presentation of the 2020 Inamori Ethics Prize to Judge Fernández in the fall of 2021.

Conversations on JUSTICE with Inamori Ethics Prize Winners and Colleagues 

This event series includes discussions with prize recipients and their esteemed organizational colleagues, as well as Northeast Ohio and Cleveland community experts and scholars to offer perspective on topics locally and globally. These events are always available to the general public.

Conversations on Climate JUSTICE - February 26, 2021

On Friday, February 26, 2021 Inamori Center Director Shannon E. French moderated a discussion with:

  • Legendary environmental activist and 2012 Inamori Ethics Prize winner David Suzuki;
  • Head of Environmental Campaigns, Grants and Activism, Patagonia., Hans Cole;
  • Community Engagement Specialist & Diversity Coordinator, Thriving Communities, Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Jacqueline Gillon; and 
  • CWRU Climate Action Network Co-Leaders:
    • Ina Martin, Operations Director, Materials for Opto/electronics Research and Education (MORE) Center and 

    • Stephanie Corbett, Director of Energy and Sustainability and Interim Farm Director

Climate Justice Panel


Conversations on JUSTICE - October 23, 2020

On Friday, October 23, 2020 from 12:45-2:15pm EST we were honored to host a general exploration of JUSTICE, as well as human and civil rights with Inamori Ethics Prize winners Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi (2020), LeVar Burton (2019), Farouk El-Baz (2018), and Marian Wright Edelman (2017). Learn more and watch the event here.


2017-2020 winners


Northstar Experience and Contest for CWRU Students

The Conversations on JUSTICE with Inamori Ethics Prize Winners and Colleagues event series was selected as a CWRU NorthStar experience by the Office of the Provost. CWRU students who attend one of these two events (or watch the video recording) and submit a creative response to the Inamori Center in the form of: a short essay, a poem, a song, a video, or other reflection will be eligible for a certificate of recognition and may also enter a contest with prizes through the Inamori Center.

Submission Details and Deadline

Campus Conversations on JUSTICE

This event series includes other programming in Inamori Center focus areas that will also be considered through the lens of JUSTICE. These events are always available to the CWRU campus community, and for some events, the general public. 

During the 2020-21 academic year, other programming in Inamori Center will also be considered through the lens of JUSTICE. These events are always available to the CWRU campus community, and for some events, the general public. We aim to provide programming and speakers with an interdisciplinary impact that will be of interest to multiple audiences. Our currently scheduled programming includes:


David Livingstone Smith - September 30, 2020

David Livingstone Smith, University of New England professor and Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winner, provided an online lecture and discussion on September 30, 2020. Livingstone Smith introduced new scholarship on the phenomenon of dehumanization and lesser-known episodes of violence from history and current events and the dynamic between racism and dehumanization in his new book On Inhumanity: Dehumanization and How to Resist It. This event was available to the general public as part of Cleveland Book Week and held in collaboration with the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. Learn more and watch the event here.

Reuben E. Brigety II - February 16, 2021Reuben E. Brigety II, the 17th vice-chancellor and president of the University of the South and former U.S. ambassador to the African Union spoke on “Overcoming American Tribalism: Healing America through Common Purpose” on February 16, 2021, which featured a robust conversation on how universities, society, and private citizens can better lead during these fractured times and develop a stronger sense of constructive civic habits. This session was moderated by Provost and Executive Vice President Ben Vinson III and the Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law Jonathan H. Adler. This event was sponsored by Cuyahoga County Public Library.

Pauline Shanks Kaurin - March 26, 2021

Pauline Shanks Kaurin, the Navy War College’s Stockdale Professor in Ethics, discussed her new book On Obedience: Contrasting Philosophies for the Military, Citizenry, and Community in collaboration with the Inamori Center and the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities on March 26, 2021 - 12:45-2:00pm EST. Shanks Kaurin introduced new scholarship that draws from a variety of disciplines including classical studies, philosophy, history, international relations, literature, and military studies, to explore the ethics of obedience. 

Jonathan Holloway - April 7, 2021On Wednesday, April 7 from noon to 1 p.m., the Office of the Provost will host the fourth installment in the North Star Seminar series. The event will feature Dr. Jonathan Holloway, a U.S. historian, and 21st president of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.  Dr. Holloway's talk is titled "Framing a Better Civic Dialogue in an Age of Racial Reckoning: Universities, the Public, and You." The talk will address issues like healing divides and elevating the state of civic dialogue in America. Dr. Holloway will speak from his new book, The Cause of Freedom: A Concise History of African Americans, which asks, "What does it mean to be an American?" This session will be moderated by Provost and Executive Vice President Ben Vinson III and Professor of Law Andrew S. Pollis, JD.

M.R. Sauter - April 9, 2021

M.R. Sauter, assistant professor at the University of Maryland College of Information Studies, will participate in a live-streamed discussion on smart cities on April 9, 2021 12:45-2:00pm EST in collaboration with the Inamori Center and the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities. The talk, Chasing Something Beautiful: What A Smart City Promises, What a City Can Do, examines the cultural, economic, and sociotechnical implications of the project Sidewalk proposed and the local and global reactions it received, and argues that the Sidewalk sales pitch exploited Canadian economic anxieties and echoes previous waves of corporate-colonial expansion in Canadian history, while replicating the dependent branch plant economic models that the innovation economy model was thought to depart from, with implications for the stability and security of residents and the civil sphere of Toronto