Calendar of Events Full Calendar

Advisory Group

Current Advisory Group members, in alphabetical order:

David Cunningham

Joe Dupont

Charlie Radin

Melissa Stimell
(Legal Studies)

Please let us know if you would like to join the Advisory Group.

Social Justice Leadership Series


The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and
The International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life
are jointly hosting the 2011-2012 Social Justice Leadership Series. To enrich Brandeis life, we are bringing to campus inspiring, informed speakers who have forged work lives that are driven by a commitment to social justice and human rights, in the U.S. and around the globe.

All events are FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC unless otherwise noted.

Calendar of Events

There are no currently scheduled events.

Previous Events

Documentary screening:

The Reconstruction of Asa Carter

With producers Douglas Newman and Laura Browder 

Sunday, November 13, 6 p.m.
Wasserman CinemathequeThe Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter

“The Reconstruction of Asa Carter” is an hour-long social documentary exploring the duplicitous life and legacy of the best-selling author of “The Education of Little Tree.” Published in 1976 as the memoirs of Forrest “Little Tree” Carter and billed as a "true story," the book recounts Carter’s life growing up in rural Tennessee with his Cherokee grandparents. Hailed as an authentic portrayal of Native American experience “tinged” with positive overtones of “multiculturalism and environmentalism,” according to the film’s producers, it came as a shock to many when word got out that Forrest Carter was a pen name for Asa Carter, a “professional racist” and author of the “infamous call-to-arms, ‘Segregation Now! Segregation Tomorrow! Segregation Forever!’” 

For the filmmakers, “Carter’s story illustrates not just American schizophrenia about race—but also the mutability of American identities. "The Reconstruction of Asa Carter" asks not just how Carter could be two people at once, but also why so many Americans, both Carter’s circle of intimates and the hundreds of thousands of Forrest Carter’s fans, fell in love with his portrayal of his Cherokee self.” 

The film is produced by Douglas Newman, a magna cum laude graduate of Brandeis University who spent five years as a producer at ABC News Productions in New York where he worked on documentaries for the Discovery Channel, the A&E Network, the History Channel and The Learning Channel; and Laura Browder, Ph.D., the Tyler and Alice Haynes professor in American Studies at the University of Richmond and a highly respected author and filmmaker. The film is directed by Marco Ricci, a graduate of Northwestern University. Ricci received the Kodak Gold Award and the Sony Production Award for his thesis film “Chicago Minutes.”

Following the screening, there will be a Q&A with producers Douglas Newman and Laura Browder.  

This screening of "The Reconstruction of Asa Carter" is presented by American Studies Program, Edie and Lew Wasserman Fund, Film, Television, and Interactive Media, and the Social Justice Leadership Series.

It is cosponsored by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, Hiatt Career Center, International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, and the Social Justice and Social Policy Program at Brandeis University.

Hiatt Career Center forum event at Brandeis University

1st Annual SoJust Leadership Forum

 "Journeys in Social Justice,
  Beyond Brandeis" 

Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011, 6:00 p.m.
Sherman Function Hall, Hassenfeld Conference Center

Committed to social justice and looking to make a career of it? Hear alumni talk about how their years at Brandeis prepared them to pursue careers in public service and engage in social justice in the real world. Follow their journey from their Brandeis experience—from academics, social life, and community service to international experience, internships, and campus leadership—to their current career in the public interest.

Visit the SoJust Forum event page for information about registration, a list of panelists and attendees, and RSVP instructions.

This inaugural SoJust Forum is cosponsored by the Hiatt Career Center, The Heller School's Career Development Center, the Student Union, the Education Program, International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, the Department of Sociology, the Legal Studies Program, and the Social Justice & Social Policy Program at Brandeis.

Materials from the event:

"A Small Act" documentary screening

Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 6:15 p.m.
Lurias, Hassenfeld Conference Center

An official selection at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, "A Small Act," directed by Jennifer Arnold, tells the story of two very unlikely philanthropists whose modest acts of charity shine a light on the incredible power of giving—no matter how small the gift. Chris Mburu was a child living in a village in Kenya when he first received a $15 scholarship from a Swedish woman named Hilde Back. Her humble but steady sponsorship put Chris through school and eventually launched him into Harvard Law, paving the way to his job as a United Nations attorney.

Now in her eighties, Hilde meets Chris for the first time as he launches his own small act of benevolence: the Hilde Back Education Fund for the children of his village. Hilde's astonishment at the potency of her long-ago gift is matched in scale by Chrisʼs surprising discovery that Hilde is not Swedish at all, but a German Jew who escaped the Holocaust.

Light refreshments will be served at 6:15. The program will begin at 6:30.

This event is cosponsored by the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and Facing History and Ourselves.

Inquiries and RSVPs (requested for off-campus guests) may be sent to Ethics Center.

Anna Badkhen, war-zone correspondent and author of
Peace Meals: Candy-Wrapped Kalashnikovs
and Other War Stories

Wednesday, October 13, 7 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library

Anna Badkhen, war-zone journalist and author of the new book "Peace Meals: Candy-Wrapped Kalashnikovs and Other War Stories," (Free Press, October 12, 2010) will vividly describe the intimate but fleeting friendships (and ordinary pleasures) that carried her through danger, deprivation, and the strange experience of bearing public witness to extreme forms of suffering. While her book focuses on food and those with whom she shared intimate meals with, its clear spotlight is on the goodness of ordinary people celebrating the joys of life in the midst of disaster and death.

Badkhen's personal history is as compelling as the stories she covers. Growing up in Russia--with all its associated privations--she came to the United States via some of the world's most dangerous war and disaster zones. She will explain what inspired her to embark on her career in war reporting and share her experiences covering Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Israel, the Palestinian territories, Chechnya and Kashmir. 
Badkhen now lives in Massachusetts. Her reporting has appeared in The New Republic, Foreign Policy, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, Frontline/World, and other publications.

(Photo of Anna Badkhen by Kael Alford.)

Praise for "Peace Meals"

"'Peace Meals' is an extraordinary mosaic built of keen observation and uncommon compassion. So much more than mere war reportage, Badkhen attunes her ear to fundamental questions that war time activities: what are the causes of hate and what are the measurable and immeasurable costs of war? What does it mean to resist, to persist, and when is it worth it? Badkhen maintains an unswerving gaze not only at the complex subject matters she investigates but also at her own role as a reporter.... She describes a profound generosity evidenced with astonishing regularity. It comes in the most humble and necessary of human acts: eating."

--Gina Ochsner, author of "The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight"

"Anna Badkhen writes about war with a beautiful sensuality, connecting us to those otherwise nameless, faceless fighters and indigenous peoples ensnared in its horrors and hardships. 'Peace Meals' takes us into these people's kitchens, and into their souls."

--Norman Ollestad, author of New York Times bestseller "Crazy for the Storm"

"Anna Badkhen is a hero among women-war correspondent, wife, mother, diplomat, and, with the publication of this book, a sensitive and lyrical human-interest reporter from the outer reaches of the world. 'Peace Meals' takes us not only into the hearts and homes of some of the least-understood (and most interesting) people in war zones, it fearlessly explores the wrenching moral conflicts every war journalist faces. This is a beautiful, vivid, gripping book-with some fabulous recipes."

--Amy Chua, author of "World on Fire and Day of Empire"

Cosponsored by the Brandeis Black Student Organization, College Democrats, Cultural Production Program, Democracy for America, Department of Sociology, Health: Science, Society, and Policy Program, International and Global Studies, International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, Interfaith Chaplaincy of Brandeis, Journalism Program at Brandeis, Office of the Provost, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Brandeis, Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies, Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Social Justice and Social Policy Program, Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Women’s Studies Research Center.

"Acting Together on the World Stage," Brandeis launch of documentary

Tuesday, October 12, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Merrick Theater, Spingold

Join this special Brandeis launch of the documentary film, "Acting Together on the World Stage: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict," a collaboration between the Tthics Center's Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts and Theatre Without Borders. The documentary was created by Cynthia Cohen with filmmaker Allison Lund. It features the stories and performances of courageous and creative theatre artists and peacebuilders working to resist violence, build bridges across differences, and support reconciliation in conflict regions around the world.

The Joshua A. Guberman Lecture
  with Philip R. Reilly, M.D., J.D.

The $1000 Genome:
What Impact on Public Policies?

Monday, September 20, 2010, 4 p.m.
Rhonda S. and Michael J. Zinner Forum
The Heller School for Social Policy and Management

Dr. Philip Reilly
This year’s lecture features Philip R. Reilly (A.B. Cornell, J.D. Columbia, M.D. Yale). Dr. Reilly is a Venture Partner at Third Rock Ventures and specializes in starting and developing companies to treat heretofore untreatable genetic disorders. He also serves on the board of Edimer Pharmaceuticals and is  Chief Medical Officer for Genetix Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Reilly is a former CEO and Chairman of the Board of Interleukin Genetics, Inc.

Before joining Interleukin, Dr. Reilly was Executive Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center for Mental Retardation, Inc., a not-for-profit research organization, and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. His many other teaching positions include Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, and Adjunct Professor of both Legal Studies and Biology at Brandeis University.

Dr. Reilly has served on many national committees concerning public policy issues raised by advances in genetics. Twice President of the American Society of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, Dr. Reilly was on the Board of Directors of the American Society for Human Genetics and is a Founding Fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics. He also served on the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence and is the author of six books and more than 100 articles.

The event is sponsored by the Legal Studies Program and The Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

Paul Rogat Loeb
"How can you make your voice heard and your actions count?"

Thursday, September 16, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Theater

Paul Loeb speaks at Brandeus University, September 16, 2010.

Paul Rogat Loeb has spent more than 30 years researching and writing about citizen responsibility and empowerment--asking what makes some people choose lives of social commitment, while others abstain.

An associated scholar at Seattle's Center for Ethical Leadership, Loeb is also the author of Soul of a Citizen: Living With Conviction in Challenging Times, The Impossible Will Take A Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear, Generation at the Crossroads: Apathy and Action on the American Campus, Hope in Hard Times, and Nuclear Culture. He comments regularly on social involvement for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Psychology Today, Utne Reader, CNN, NPR, and elsewhere.

"Paul Loeb brings hope for a better world in a time when we so urgently need it."
--Millard Fuller, founder, Habitat for Humanity

 "The voices Loeb finds demonstrate that courage can be another name for love."
--Alice Walker

 Learn more about this event>

Presented by the Experiential and Community-Engaged Learning Program, and cosponsored by the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Campus Sustainability Initiative, Department of Community Service, International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, Office of Graduate Student Affairs, Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies, Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Social Justice and Social Policy Program, and the Social Justice Leadership Series.

Why we can't wait," with Gloria White-Hammond,
My Sister's Keeper, humanitarian activist

Monday, March 22, 2010, 5:30 p.m.
Heller G2

Gloria White-Hammond

A talk by one of the co-founders of My Sister's Keeper, humanitarian activist Gloria White-Hammond. My Sister's Keeper is a faith-inspired, multiracial, collective of women who lend humanitarian assistance to communities of women globally, with a focus on Sudan.

Download the poster>

Student Engagement with World Leaders
Monday, March 8, 2010, 5-6:30 p.m.

The International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, in collaboration with the Social Justice Leadership Series, invites Brandeis students for an intimate conversation with eminent members of the Center's International Advisory Board.

You may choose from two different discussion groups. Each board member will speak for 10 minutes, leaving the rest of the time for Q&A. Attendance will be limited to 30 students in each group.

The Obama Administration One Year On

The Obama Administration One Year On

U.S. members of the Advisory Board will speak about how they view today's political landscape and the challenges facing the current administration.

Update From Across the GlobeUpdate From Across the Globe

International Advisory Board members will speak about recent developments in the parts of the world where they work, including progress made and challenges faced by local communities.

  • Ambassador Diego Arria (Venezuela) - businessman and diplomat, former Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations and President of the Security Council.
  • Sari Nusseibeh (Palestine) - scholar, author, activist, and President of Al Quds University, East Jerusalem.
  • Under-Secretary General Ahmedou Ould Abdallah (Mauritania) - UN Special Envoy to Somalia, former UN Special Envoy to West Africa, and specialist in African development.
  • Justice Shiranee Tilakawardane (Sri Lanka) - Judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and specialist in the fields of equality, gender education, and child rights.

"A Crime So Monstrous," E. Benjamin Skinner, journalist
Monday, February 22, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library 

Missed the lecture? Watch it here>

E. Benjamin Skinner, author of

E. Benjamin Skinner has the dubious honor of having seen the purchase of human beings on four continents. Skinner, a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute, will discuss his award-winning book, "A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face With Modern-Day Slavery," which details his journeys through such countries as Romania, India, Haiti, and Sudan, and his quest to expose the horrors of modern-day slavery, still all too prevalent today.

"Rigorously investigated and fearlessly reported, A Crime So Monstrous is a passionate and thorough examination of the appalling reality of human bondage in today's world…. The abuses detailed in these pages are repugnant, but there is hope to be found: by giving voice to the victims, Skinner helps restore their dignity and makes crucial strides toward closing this shameful chapter in history."
—Bill Clinton

Skinner will also speak about his personal journey, how he came to follow a path of journalism, social justice, and human rights, and his post-earthquake trips to Haiti.

Cosponsored by the Department of Sociology, Education Program, Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, Gen Ed Now, Gender and International Development Initiatives, Heller Gender Working Group, Interfaith Chaplaincy of Brandeis, International Business School, Legal Studies Program, M.A. Program in Cultural Production, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Brandeis, Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies, Positive Foundations, Social Justice Social Policy Program, Student Global AIDS Campaign, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, The Journalism Program, The Women's Studies Research Center, and Women's and Gender Studies.

"International Criminal Justice: Developments and Reflections on the Future," Hassan Jallow, chief prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
Monday, November 30, 2009, 5:30 p.m.
International Lounge, Usdan Student Center

Hassan Jallow

The inaugural Distinguished Lecture in International Justice and Human Rights, to be delivered by Hassan Jallow, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Informal meetings will also be arranged for students who would like to discuss the work of international justice with Mr. Jallow while he is on campus.

For more information, please visit the website of the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life.

"Pray the Devil Back to Hell," documentary
Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 6:30 p.m.
Wasserman Cinematheque, International Business School

Pray the Devil Back to Hell

Screening of the documentary film “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” about a group of women in Liberia who were instrumental in bringing peace to their country after decades of civil war.  Janet Johnson Bryant, one of the film's protagonists—a Liberian journalist now living in Massachusetts—will be on hand to respond to questions following the screening.  

Convened by Coexistence International, with support from Brandeis International Business School; Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries; Facing History and Ourselves; GenEd Now; the Girl Effect; the Heller School for Social Policy and Management; the Intercultural Center; International and Global Studies; the Journalism Program; the Legal Studies Program; Library and Technology Services; the Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies Program; the MA Program in Coexistence and Conflict; the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences; the Office of Graduate Student Affairs; the Pluralism Project at Harvard University; the Program in Social Justice and Social Policy; Women’s and Gender Studies Program; the Women’s Studies Research Center; and the Slifka Program in Intercommunal Coexistence. Learn more at Coexistence International>

"Talk to an Iraqi," Haider Hamza, journalist
Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library

Haider Hamza: Talk to an Iraqi

Twenty-four-year-old Iraqi journalist
Haider Hamza lived through the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of his country with his family near Babylon, south of Baghdad. Since then, he covered all the major events that took place in his country. These events include live coverage of all 40 trial sessions of his former president Saddam Hussein, the killing of Saddam's sons, the bombing of the holy shrines in Samara, elections, establishment of his country's new governments, the killing of al Qaeda leader Abu Mussab al Zarqawi, and the daily sectarian violence.

As life became more and more dangerous in Iraq, Hamza was arrested, shot at, and held captive. Deciding it was better to live for a cause than to die for one, he left Iraq to live in the United States. He traveled through 35 states talking to people about the war in his country. To engage people in conversation, he set up a sidewalk mobile booth with a sign that said to passersby "Talk to an Iraqi." Part of his journey was filmed and aired on Showtime's "This American Life" and broadcast on NPR.

In this SoJust speaker event, Hamza will discuss his personal journey talking about the war with Americans—along with his thoughts about and pictures of the conflict in his country.

Cosponsors for this event are: Brandeis Democrats, Brandeis Interfaith Chaplaincy, the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Gen Ed Now, the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, the Office of the Dean of Arts & Sciences, the Office of the Provost, the Journalism Program, and Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies.

"Free the Slaves," Kevin Bales, abolitionist

Wednesday, September 2, 2009, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library

Kevin Bales and his new book

A lecture and discussion with Dr. Kevin Bales, one of the world's leading experts on modern slavery and human trafficking. Bales estimates that at this moment, twenty-seven million slaves—more than twice the number of people taken from Africa during the 350 years of the African slave trade—toil in rich and poor countries around the world, their forced labor providing consumers with dozens of ordinary products. In this Social Justice Leadership Series inaugural event, Bales will share the ideas and insights that can finally lead to slavery’s extinction. He will engage the Brandeis community in an enlightening discussion not only about his groundbreaking work in the antislavery movement, but also about the unique path that led him to be an outspoken abolitionist. Bales is president of Free the Slaves, the U.S. sister organization of Anti-Slavery International (the world's oldest human rights organization). He is the winner of numerous international humanitarian awards, and his book Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Cosponsors for this event are: Brandeis Interfaith Chaplaincy, Feminist Sexual Ethics Projects, Gen Ed Now, Journalism Program, Legal Studies Program, Office of the Provost, Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies, Social Justice and Social Policy Program.

For more information about the Social Justice Leadership Series, please contact Marci McPhee of the Ethics Center or Lindsay Markel of the Schuster Institute.