Sarah Lawrence College Holds Provocative Year-Long Speakers Series: Difference in Dialogue

In a follow up to last year’s successful speakers’ series “Democracy and Education,” Sarah Lawrence College is taking the conversation one step further with a new series, “Difference in Dialogue,” which will explore some of the most contentious issues of our times.

Difference in Dialogue provides a rare opportunity for reasoned disagreement in an age when angry voices have replaced civil discourse. From the climate on college campuses to the limits of free speech, the programs will provide an opportunity for connection, conversation, interaction, reflection, and reasoned disagreement between participants with contrasting viewpoints.

“Engaged discussion between people with differing viewpoints is vital to a strong society,’’ said Sarah Lawrence College President Cristle Collins Judd. “Conversations such as these are at the heart of a Sarah Lawrence education and a reflection of our commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence.”

The series is open to the public. To RSVP please e-mail

A schedule of events is listed below:

Between Violence and Peace: Land Struggles and Internal Migrants in Colombia
Tuesday, October 30
5:30-7 p.m.
Heimbold Visual Arts Center, Donnelley Film Theatre

From different disciplinary perspectives, this panel will explore the social tensions and political fractures that underpinned a 50-year conflict between the Colombian state and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia that have far from subsided despite a cease fire and peace agreement.

Guest speakers:

  • Ana María Ibáñez, an economist who is an expert on the problem of land tenure in Colombia
  • Robert Karl, an anthropologist researching the effects of rural displacements in the country's cities
  • Sebastián Ramírez, a historian focusing on the political and cultural origins of violence

Presidential Panel on Inclusive Excellence and Campus Climate
Monday, November 5
7:15-9 p.m.
Heimbold Visual Arts Center, Donnelley Film Theatre

College Presidents explore campus climate and the most pressing issues facing campuses today.
Moderated by Cristle Collins Judd, President, Sarah Lawrence College

Featured speakers:

  • Lt. Gen. Jay B. Sliveria, Superintendent, U.S. Air Force Academy
  • Thomas A. Isekenegbe, President, Bronx Community College
  • Laura Sparks, President, The Cooper Union for Advancement of Science and Art

Probing the Bounds of Free Speech
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Performing Arts Center, Reisinger Auditorium

The program features Deray McKesson, activist and author of On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope, and Sanford Ungar, director of the Free Speech Project at Georgetown University.

A former school administrator, McKesson won prominence in 2014 after joining protests against police violence in Ferguson, Missouri, where he used social media to document 400 days in the streets.

A veteran journalist and former college president, Ungar heads the non-partisan Free Speech Project at Georgetown, which assesses the condition of Free Speech in America today – in higher education, in civil society, and in the world of state and local government.

Religious Pluralism
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
7-9 p.m.
Performing Arts Center, Reisinger Auditorium

This moderated panel discussion will be an exploration of the intersections of religious belief and democratic ideals.

Moderated by Nancy Cantor ’74, Chancellor of Rutgers University Newark

Featured panelists:

  • Eboo Patel, founder and president, Interfaith Youth Core
  • John Inazu, Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law & Religion and Professor of Political Science, Washington University Law

About Sarah Lawrence College

Founded in 1926, Sarah Lawrence is a prestigious, coeducational liberal arts college that consistently ranks among the leading liberal arts colleges in the country. Sarah Lawrence is known for its pioneering approach to education, rich history of impassioned intellectual and civic engagement, and vibrant, successful alumni. In close proximity to the unparalleled offerings of New York City, the historic campus is home to an intellectually curious and diverse community.