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Spring Speaker Series Lineup Addresses Race, Bias, Civil Discourse

The University of Dayton Speaker Series roster for spring 2019 features Spelman College president emerita and race relations expert Beverly Daniel Tatum; award-winning economist and think tank president Arthur C. Brooks; and Shankar Vedantam, an NPR host who examines hidden biases and the inner workings of the human brain.

“We’re excited to bring to campus three internationally recognized speakers who will be presenting on the contemporary issues of race, bias and the challenge of civil discourse in American society,” said Jackson Goodnight, associate professor of psychology and Speaker Series committee chair. “These speakers are certain to enlighten, inspire and challenge how we think about the world around us.”

Daniel Tatum, author of Assimilation Blues: Black Families in a White Community; Can We Talk About Race? and Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race, will deliver the University's annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative address at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, in Kennedy Union ballroom. She will also deliver the keynote address during the University’s annual prayer breakfast the same day.

Daniel Tatum was Spelman College's president from 2002 to 2015. In 2013, the Carnegie Corporation of New York named her as a recipient of its Academic Leadership Award, recognizing her as an exceptional president of a U.S. college or university. She was the first president in the state of Georgia and the first at a historically black college or university to win the award.

Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, will discuss the importance of civil discourse across the American political spectrum during his address at 7 p.m. Monday, April 1, in Kennedy Union ballroom.

Before joining AEI, Brooks was the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University where he taught economics and social entrepreneurship. Prior to his work in academia and public policy, he spent 12 years as a classical musician in the United States and Spain.

Brooks is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and the bestselling author of 11 books on topics including the role of government, fairness, economic opportunity, happiness and the morality of free enterprise. His next book, Love Your Enemies, and a feature-length documentary, The Pursuit, will be released in March 2019.

Vedantam, host of NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast and radio show, aims to help people think about the world in new and interesting ways. His talk is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25, in the Kennedy Union ballroom in conjunction with the Annual Brother Joseph W. Stander Symposium.

Vedantam is the author of the non-fiction book, The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars and Save Our Lives; which examines how unconscious biases influence people. Before joining NPR, Vedantam spent 10 years as a reporter at The Washington Post. From 2007 to 2009, he was also a columnist, and wrote the Department of Human Behavior column for the Post. In 2009-10, Vedantam served as a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

All three Speaker Series talks are free and open to the public. Tickets are not required for Speaker Series lectures, but seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking is available without a permit in B and C lots only. For more information visit


News and Communications Staff