Thursday, April 21, 2016, 7 p.m.
Important update, April 18, 2016: Morris Dees, co-founder and chief trial attorney of the Southern Poverty Law Center, was originally scheduled to give the 2016 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote, but is unable to do so due to health concerns.
Benjamin Jealous is the former president and CEO of the NAACP. He is now a partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kapor Capital, where he invests in high-growth companies that have a positive social impact and continues his goal of increasing opportunities for minorities in the tech economy.
A Rhodes Scholar, Jealous was named by Fortune and Time magazines to their “Top 40 Under 40” lists and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Jealous' new book, Reach: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding, features personal essays from prominent figures in the black community.
The youngest president in NAACP history, he began his career at age 18 opening mail at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Jealous has been a leader of successful state and local movements to ban the death penalty, outlaw racial profiling, defend voting rights, secure marriage equality and end mass incarceration.
Under his leadership from 2008 to 2013, the NAACP grew to be the largest civil rights organization online and on mobile, and became the largest community-based nonpartisan voter registration operation in the country. Jealous' leadership at the NAACP included bringing environmentalist organizations into the fight to protect voting rights, and convincing well-known conservatives to join the NAACP.
Prior to leading the NAACP, he spent 15 years as a journalist and community organizer. While at Mississippi's Jackson Advocate newspaper, his investigations were credited with exposing corruption at a state penitentiary and proving the innocence of a black farmer framed for arson. While at Amnesty International, he led successful efforts to outlaw prison rape, expose the increasing trend of children being sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, and draw attention to expanded racial profiling in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Thursday, April 20, 2017, 7 p.m.
Mary Jean Eisenhower was born in Washington, D.C., during her grandfather Dwight D. Eisenhower's first term in office as president of the United States. She was christened in the Blue Room of the White House and grew up in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, close to the Eisenhower Farm, where President Eisenhower eventually retired. Her father, John, was named U.S. Ambassador to Belgium in 1969, and she lived in Brussels with her family until 1972.
Eisenhower is president and chief executive officer of People to People International, which was founded by President Eisenhower on September 11, 1956 and became a private organization in 1961. She joined PTPI hoping to carry on her grandfather's dream, but it has since become a dream of her own.
In 1999 she established the PTPI Friendship Fund following an inspirational visit to an orphanage in Morocco. To date, the fund has provided assistance to many causes, including the global humanitarian eradication of landmines; earthquake relief in India; disaster relief to victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks and their families; support of schools for the underprivileged in China and Sri Lanka; a home for leukemia victims and their families in Cuba; Japan tsunami relief; and efforts in Rwanda and Haiti.
Following September 11, 2001, Eisenhower's focus intensified toward getting young people from around the world together to learn about each other and to engage in conflict management. Her vision resulted in Peace Camp 2003: An Evolution of Thought and Action and The Global Peace Initiative. The efforts have brought people from diverse areas, representing more than 30 nationalities, together in Egypt, Jordan and Turkey to discuss issues and reach a better understanding of their unique and individual cultures. The program remains active today.
Eisenhower has received the Knight of Peace Award from the International University in Assisi, Italy; the Medal of Honor from the Slovak Republic; the Consular Corps Award of Excellence; The Harry S. Truman Award for Public Service; Friendship Ambassador recognition from The Peoples' Republic of China; and the Friend of Foreign Service Award, Taiwan, among others. A recipient of four honorary doctorate degrees, Eisenhower has also served as a fellow at Stanford University and in the Churchill Institute at Westminster College (Missouri).
Thursday, April 19, 2018, 7 p.m.
Through his research and teaching, Dacher Keltner focuses on the biological and evolutionary origins of compassion, awe, love, beauty, power, social class and inequality. As professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of the Berkeley Social Interaction Lab, he is a leading scholar in the study of emotion, including a new project on awe around the globe. Keltner also serves as faculty director of the Berkeley Greater Good Science Center.
Keltner is the author of The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence (2016) and the best-selling Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life (2009); he is also an editor of The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness (2010). Keltner has published more than 190 scientific articles, including seminal works on the psychology of awe (Keltner & Haidt, 2003), and is the co-author of two textbooks. He has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Times of London and Utne Reader, and his research has been covered in Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN, NPR and the BBC as well as many other outlets.
In addition to his university work and research, Keltner has collaborated on projects at Facebook and Google, and served as a scientific consultant for Pixar's highly acclaimed 2015 film Inside Out, for which he helped revise the story emphasizing the neurophysiological findings that human emotions are mirrored in interpersonal relationships and can be significantly moderated by them. He is also featured in Tom Shadyac's 2011 documentary I Am.
Keltner has twice presented his research to His Holiness the Dalai Lama as part of a continuing dialogue between the Dalai Lama and scientists. A recipient of outstanding teacher and research mentor awards from UC Berkeley, Keltner has seen 20 of his Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows become professors. Wired magazine has rated the podcasts of his “Human Emotion” course as one of the five best academic podcasts in the country, and Utne Reader named Keltner as one of its 50 Visionaries of 2008.