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Next Up

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February 25, 2018

7 PM

Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church,
724 E. Bonita Ave.,
San Dimas, CA 91773

Lecture: "I Drink my Coffee Black: what it means to be Black in the Trump Era"

Amy Hunter

I drink my coffee black so I will not forget the impact globally of colonization on people of color. The impact on health, infant mortality, trauma, poverty and violence are some of the stark similarities and patterns of oppression that are shared in the lives of Black, Latino, Indigenous and Palestinian people. I have witnessed the strength of women and mothers; and the impact they are having on movements around the world.
We all have a role to play to end racism and other forms oppression. Come join the movement for change and liberation.

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March 11, 2018

7 PM

Claremont Presbyterian Church, 1111 N. Mountain Ave., Claremont, CA 91711

Lecture: "American Muslims in the Age of President Trump”

Amir Hussain

Muslims, both within America and around the world, are the religious community that is most affected by the presidency of Donald J. Trump. Amir Hussain is both an American Muslim and a scholar of Islam in North America. Wearing either or both hats, it is clear to him that the remaining years of the Trump administration will continue to be difficult times to be an American Muslim. Professor Hussain will talk about the challenges raised for American Muslims, including issues such as travel bans, Islamophobic tweets, and administrative appointments. He will also look at the realities of Muslim life in the United States.


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Aprill 8, 2018

7 PM

La Verne Church of the Brethren,
2425 E Street,
La Verne, CA 91750


Peter Dreier

Peter Dreier is the E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics and chair of the Urban & Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. Before joining the Occidental faculty in 1993 he worked as a community organizer, newspaper reporter, and government official (deputy to Boston Mayor Ray Flynn). He is the author or coauthor of five books including his most recent book, The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books). He writes regularly for American Prospect, The Nation, the Los Angeles Times, Dissent, Salon, and Huffington Post and occasionally for the New York Times and Washington Post. He appears frequently in the local and national media and has been interviewed on television by Bill Moyers, Tavis Smiley, and even Bill O’Reilly. He serves on the boards of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) and Pasadenans Organizing for Progress (POP). In 2015-16, he helped lead the successful campaign for a $15 minimum wage in Pasadena. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti recently appointed him to the 15-member Los Angeles Revenue Commission to recommend ways for the city to generate more revenue to provide more public services. In December 2016 he received LAANE’s City of Justice award for his work in the progressive movement.

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April 15, 2018

7 PM

Claremont United Church of Christ (UCC),
233 W. Harrison St.,
Claremont, CA 91711

Lecture: “Effective Justice Indignation”

Ed Bacon

The danger in being outraged by the outrages of our times is drowning in our own anger. That leads us to play thoughtless roles in perpetuating the tribalistic polarization narrative in the United States today. There is an option that makes indignation not only righteous but effective. Explore with Ed Bacon the lessons he is learning in his new “Red state environment” in Alabama about blessing the space between us and our adversaries while being a progressive activist.

Recent Lectures

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November 5, 2017

7 PM

Claremont United Methodist Church, 211 W. Foothill Blvd.,
Claremont, CA 91711

Lecture: "The Economics of Happiness in a Global Context"

Helena Norberg-Hodge

Helena Norberg-Hodge is a pioneer of the new economy movement and recipient of both the Alternative Nobel prize and the Goi Peace Prize. She is the producer of the award-winning The Economics of Happiness and author of the inspirational classic Ancient Futures. Helena is the founder and director of Local Futures and The International Alliance for Localisation, and a founding member of the International Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture, the International Forum on Globalization and the Global Ecovillage Network.

Our thoughts go out to President Oliver

•Dr. Melvin L. Oliver, Pitzer College's 6th President, had intended to be a part of our series this year. He is unable to be with us. Our thoughts accompany him in his new position and health challenges.

Further Notes on our speakers

•Amy Hunter

Currently Manager of Diversity and Inclusion for St. Louis Children’s Hospital since mid-2016, she previously served seven years as Racial Justice Director of YWCA St. Louis where she initiated and sponsored Witnessing Whiteness groups. She was a co-facilitator of St. Louis’ Truth and Reconciliation process, an educational equity and youth activism ally and advocate and frequent media commentator and speaker. She has expertise in critical race theory. She became widely known because of her Ted Talk "Lucky Zip Codes"

"People for Palestinian - Israeli Justice" — a Souithern California group concerned with Middle East Peace, posted this about Amy after her December 2016 address in Long Beach:

Amy Hunter has recently visited the Occupied Territories on the West Bank in Palestine and says:

“My lens is truth and liberation, my stance was a bit calmer before going to Palestine and now my sense of urgency has heightened. With my travel to Palestine, there were so many similarities to what I had participated in and witnessed in Ferguson. I titled my talk 'I Drink My Coffee Black' for a number of reasons.

  • Black coffee is served after a death, to denote mourning.
  • I don’t want to forget how we are connected, ever, so I no longer use sweetener or cream in my coffee.
  • Black coffee is a reminder that in order to stay the course in the work of activism, we must know the truth of violence, where it stems and how it looks.

"The Palestinians are my people too.
"As a mother I gave a talk 3 days after Mike Brown was killed. I related to the mothers I met in Palestine the entire time. Our work is to make the world a better place for our children. ”
(Presented by People for Palestinian - Israeli Justice (PPIJ) co-sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace - LA)

•Helena Norberg-Hodge
Helena Norberg-Hodge is a pioneer of the new economy movement and recipient of both the Alternative Nobel prize and the Goi Peace Prize. She is the producer of the award-winning The Economics of Happiness and author of the inspirational classic Ancient Futures. Helena is the founder and director of Local Futures and The International Alliance for Localisation, and a founding member of the International Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture, the International Forum on Globalization and the Global Ecovillage Network.

•Peter DreIer
Peter Dreier is the Dr. E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics, and chair of the Urban and Environmental Policy Department, at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He joined the Occidental faculty in January 1993 after serving for nine years as Director of Housing at the Boston Redevelopment Authority and senior policy advisor to Boston Mayor Ray Flynn. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1977) and his B.A. from Syracuse University (1970).

In addition to teaching courses on American politics, urban politics and policy, community organizing and leadership, and work and labor, Dreier runs a summer internship program for students interested in housing and community development. Since 2008, he has coordinated Campaign Semester, a program that provides Oxy students with a full semester credit to work off-campus on an election campaign. It is the only program of its kind in the country.

For more than three decades he has been involved in urban policy as a scholar, a government official, a journalist, and an activist and organizer. Professor Dreier has written widely on American politics and public policy, specializing in urban politics and policy, housing policy, community development, and community organizing. He is a frequent speaker on this topics to a wide variety of professional, scholarly, and civic organizations.

His latest book, The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame, was published by Nation Books in 2012. It includes profiles of the century’s most effective and influential reformers and radicals, an introduction putting their efforts in historical context, and a brief look into their 21st Century counterparts so far.

He is coauthor of three other books, and coeditor of another book, about cities and urban policy:

Place Matters: Metropolitics for the 21st Century (coauthored with John Mollenkopf and Todd Swanstrom) was published in 2001 by the University Press of Kansas. A third edition was published in 2014. The book won the Michael Harrington Book Award, given by the American Political Science Association for the “outstanding book that demonstrates how scholarship can be used in the struggle for a better world.” The Next Los Angeles: The Struggle for a Livable City (with Oxy colleagues Regina Freer, Bob Gottlieb, and Mark Vallianatos) was published by University of California Press in 2005. Regions That Work: How Cities and Suburbs Can Grow Together (coauthored with Manuel Pastor, Eugene Grigsby, and Marta Lopez-Garza) was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2000. It examines the disconnect between regional economic development strategies and community development practices in low-income neighborhoods. Up Against the Sprawl: Public Policy and the Making of Southern California (co-edited with Jennifer Wolch and Manuel Pastor), published by the University of Minnesota Press, examines the government policies that promoted sprawl in Southern California. In May 2014, the Haas Institute at UC-Berkeley released a report he coauthored, “Underwater America,” that documented for the first time the magnitude and location of the nation’s “underwater” mortgages. His op-ed based on that report, “What Housing Recovery?” was published in the New York Times in May 2014.

In 2009, with coauthor Christopher Martin, Dreier wrote a report on media coverage of the controversy over the community organizing group ACORN, Manipulating the Public Agenda: Why ACORN Was in the News and What the News Got Wrong. The report generated considerable media attention. Columnists for the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer wrote about the story. Dreier appeared twice on the “Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC-TV, and on more than a dozen radio shows, to discuss the report. An updated version of the report was published as “How ACORN Was Framed” in the Fall 2010 issue of Perspectives on Politics, a journal sponsored by the American Political Science Association.

Dreier is co-coordinator – with historian Nelson Lichtenstein of UC-Santa Barbara and Donald Cohen of In the Public Interest – of the Cry Wolf Project. Funded by the Ford Foundation and the Public Welfare Foundation, the project examines the accuracy of warnings by business groups and their allies that government laws and regulations designed to make corporations act responsibly will “kill jobs” and “hurt the business climate.” The Cry Wolf Project’s website can be found here:

Dreier has also written other policy reports for various think tanks and foundations. in 2008 he wrote an analysis of U.S. urban and housing policy for the Eisenhower Foundation as part of a report on the condition of American cities 40 years after the Kerner Commission report. With Todd Swanstrom, he was co-investigator of a Brookings Institution report on widening inequalities in America’s suburbs and coauthor of the report, Pulling Apart: Economic Segregation among Suburbs and Central Cities in Major Metropolitan Areas, released in October 2004.

Along with economists Richard Green and Andrew Reschovsky of the University of Wisconsin, he co-directed a $655,000 grant from the Ford Foundation focusing on expanding homeownership opportunities. They coordinated a team of 12 researchers to examine the impact of federal tax policy on homeownership and the housing industry and to recommend new ways to design tax policy to increase the homeownership rate, particularly among low-income households.

Dreier’s research has been funded by the Haynes Foundation, the Irvine Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, the Century Foundation, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, the Ford Foundation, the Brookings Institution, the Eisenhower Foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation, and other funders.

He is frequently quoted as an expert on housing and urban issues, including in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, National Journal, Los Angeles Business Journal, San Diego Union-Tribune, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Business Week, and has appeared on “The Tavis Smiley Show,” “Moyers and Company,” “The Rachel Maddow Show,” “The O’Reilly Factor,” KCRW’s “Which Way LA,” PBS-TV’s “McNeil-Lehrer Report,” and other shows.

His scholarly articles have appeared in many edited books as well as in the Harvard Business Review, Urban Affairs Review, Social Policy, Journal of the American Planning Association, North Carolina Law Review, Housing Policy Debate, National Civic Review, Planning, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Real Estate Finance Journal, Journal of Urban Affairs, Cityscape, Columbia Journalism Review, Social Problems, Housing Studies, Humanity & Societyand other professional journals.

Dreier writes frequently for the Los Angeles Times, the Nation, American Prospect, and the Huffington Post. His articles have also been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Newsday, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, New Republic, Dissent, Washington Monthly, Progressive, The Forward, Commonweal, Chronicle of Higher Education, and elsewhere.

Dreier is actively engaged in civic and political efforts at both the national and local levels. He currently serves on the boards of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, the Pasadena Educational Foundation, and the National Housing Institute.

He was founder and co-chair of the Progressive Los Angeles Network (a foundation-funded project to link academic experts and practitioners to develop a progressive policy agenda for LA), co-chair of the Housing Innovations Roundtable (sponsored by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office to identify “best practices” in housing policy), and chair of the Horizon Institute (an LA-based think tank). For many years he was a member of the board of the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing and of the steering committee of Invest in PUSD Kids (a community organizing group to rally support for public schools in Pasadena). He has been a member of two Los Angeles City Council task forces — on economic development and on affordable housing. He was also a member of the Bring LA Home: Blue Ribbon Task Force on Homelessness and of the United Way of Los Angeles’ Community Reinvestment Task Force. He served on the Pasadena Charter Reform Commission. He has also served on the advisory boards of United for a Fair Economy, Campaign for America’s Future, Boston Foundation, Liberty Hill Foundation, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, Neighborhood Housing Services, and other groups.

He has served on the editorial boards of Urban Affairs Quarterly, Housing Studies, Cityscape, and Shelterforce. He also served as chair of the Advisory Committee of the Spivack Program in Applied Social Research and Policy of the American Sociological Association (ASA), as a member of the ASA Program Committee for its 2007 and 2015 meetings, as a member of the ASA’s Committee on Public Sociology, as a member of the elected Council of the ASA’s Community and Urban Sociology Section, and as a member of the Best Book Award committees for the American Political Science Association’s Urban Politics Section and the ASA’s Community and Urban Sociology section.

He has worked closely with a wide range of community organizations, labor unions, and public interest organizations, and has worked as a consultant for a variety of foundations and government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), VISTA, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the MacArthur Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Boston Foundation. He has provided pro bono consulting for the California AFL-CIO, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), the Industrial Areas Foundation, and others. In Boston he served on the boards of Neighborhood Housing Services, Urban Edge CDC, Health Care for the Homeless Project, and other organizations. In the early l980s, he was a founder of the Massachusetts Tenants Organization. While working in city government, he was named “Hero of the Week” by the Boston Phoenix for his efforts to fight redlining (bank discrimination) in Boston’s neighborhoods.

Other honors include the Public Service Award from the University of Chicago Alumni Association (2002), the Will and Nan Clarkson Visiting Chair in Urban and Regional Planning at the SUNY-Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning (2005), and the Benjamin and Louise Carroll Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Oregon (2001). In 1980-81, while teaching at Tufts, he was awarded a Public Service Fellowship by the National Science Foundation to work with community and consumer organizations in Boston.

In 1987, while serving in city government, Dreier drafted the Community Housing Partnership Act, legislation sponsored by Congressman Joseph Kennedy and Senator Frank Lautenberg, which became part of HUD’s HOME program, created under the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990. This legislation provides federal funds to community-based non-profit housing development organizations.

In 1993, the Clinton administration appointed Professor Dreier to the Advisory Board of the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), the Savings-and-Loan clean-up agency.

•Professor Amir Hussain

Dr. Amir Hussain is Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he teaches courses on world religions. His own particular speciality is the study of Islam, focusing on contemporary Muslim societies in North America. His academic degrees (BSc, MA, PhD) are all from the University of Toronto where he received a number of awards, including the university’s highest award for alumni service. For the Fall semester of 2016, he was on a fellowship to the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California. From 2011 to 2015, Amir was the editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the premier scholarly journal for the study of religion.

He has a deep commitment to students, and holds the distinction of being the only male to serve as Dean of Women at University College, University of Toronto. Before coming to California in 1997, Amir taught courses in religious studies at several universities in Canada. He is active in academic groups such as the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion and the American Academy of Religion. He is on the editorial boards of three scholarly journals, the Journal of Religion, Conflict and Peace; the Ethiopian Journal of Religious Studies; and Comparative Islamic Studies. Amir is also interested in areas such as religion and music, religion and literature, religion and film and religion and popular culture. He is an advisor for the television series The Story of God with Morgan Freeman. In 2008, he was appointed a fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities.

Prior to his appointment at Loyola Marymount University, Amir taught at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) from 1997 to 2005. Amir won a number of awards at CSUN, both for his teaching and research. In 2001 he was selected for the outstanding faculty award by the National Center on Deafness. For the academic year 2003-04, he was selected as the Jerome Richfield Memorial Scholar. In both 2008 and 2009, Amir was chosen by vote of LMU students as the Professor of the Year. His most recent book is Muslims and the Making of America, published in 2016 by Baylor University Press. He is the co-editor for the fourth editions of World Religions: Western Traditions, and World Religions: Eastern Traditions, textbooks published in 2014 by Oxford University Press. He is also the co-editor for the third edition of A Concise Introduction to World Religions, published by OUP in 2015. Prior to those books, he wrote an introduction to Islam for North Americans entitled Oil and Water: Two Faiths, One God (Kelowna: Copper House, 2006). He has published over 50 book chapters and scholarly articles about religion.

Our 2017 Schedule

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