GRCC’s Diversity Lecture Series, produced by the college’s Woodrick Diversity Learning Center, is now in its 18th year and just announced the slate of outstanding speakers it will be bringing to Grand Rapids.
JEFF CHANG – Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Author, Historian, Music Critic
Who We Be: The Colorization of America
Jeff Chang is a radical historian with both street cred and academic chops, Chang addresses multiculturalism,
race relations, student activism, political engagement, the state of the arts, and the politics of abandonment.
His book, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation is only ostensibly about hip-hop; it’s really
a cultural history. In his follow-up, Who We Be, he traces the rise of multiculturalism—its roots, its triumphs,
its commercialization—to tell a new, vibrant, and necessary people’s history. Jeff Chang is the Executive
Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University.
KAMBRI CREWS – Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Author, Comedic Storyteller, Producer
Burn the Ground Down
Kambri Crews once lived with her deaf parents in a tin shed in Montgomery, Texas. She now runs her own PR and
production company in New York City and is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, Burn Down the Ground,
her story of overcoming poverty, violence and near-crippling adversity. Crews uses comedic storytelling with brutal
honesty and fearless humor and inspires with her motto and guiding philosophy, “Life’s Tough, Laugh More.”
She is a co-producer of the ECNY Awards and has produced dozens of shows featuring comedians and writers
from The Onion, The Daily Show to Saturday Night Live.
DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF – Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Author, Media Theorist, Lecturer
Douglas Rushkoff, Ph.D. is a graphic novelist and globally recognized media and technology theorist specializing in
new media and internet culture. He originated several ideas ranging from “viral media” to “social currency” with
insight on how interactive communications affect our society as we create, share, and influence each other’s values.
Rushkoff is a CNN commentator, author of 12 books, including the Gen-X Reader, Screenagers, Life Inc.: How
Corporatism Conquered the World, and How We Can Take It Back. He is best known for his association with the
early cyberpunk culture, and his advocacy of open source solutions to social problems.
LZ GRANDERSON – Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Journalist, Commentator, Sports Writer
Dare You to Move
LZ Granderson writes a weekly column for CNN.com, and is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com. He is a contributor to ESPN’s Sports Center, Outside the Lines and First Take. This former Detroit gang member rose to be selected a Hechinger Fellow at Columbia University. LZ’s commentary, reaches well beyond the world of athletics tackling subjects such as use of the N-word in the black community, the presence of gays in the locker room, and the truths and lies of reverse racism. Prior to joining ESPN, Mr. Granderson was a sports columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Grand Rapids Press.
SUSAN CAIN – Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
Susan Cain is a former corporate lawyer and negotiations consultant—and a self-described introvert. Her book has
sparked a genuine national conversation about introverts. Although our culture undervalues them dramatically,
introverts have made some of the great contributions to society—from Chopin’s nocturnes to the invention of the
personal computer to Gandhi’s transformative leadership. Based on intensive research in psychology and neurobiology,
Cain argues that we design our schools, workplaces, and religious institutions for extroverts, and that this bias creates
a waste of talent, energy, and happiness.