1/17-Race and the American Dream with Nikole Hannah-Jones and Jason Riley

7 PM, Room 215, L.V. Eberhard Center
301 Fulton St. W., Grand Rapids, MI 49504

American conversations about race are defined by the sobering realities of history and the poignant echoes of memory. Given the complexity of the past and the fractured nature of our present moment, no easy solution exists for the vexing problem of racial inequality. However, on an issue of such enduring importance, progressives and conservatives must recognize the common ground that we all can share: a firm belief in the value of learning and teaching together.

In commemoration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Hauenstein Center is proud to partner with Grand Valley’s Division of Inclusion and Equity to host an event on race and the American Dream. Nikole Hannah-Jones, award-winning staff writer at The New York Times Magazine,will join Jason Riley, columnist and editorial board member at The Wall Street Journal, for a dialogue on the progress that has been made since the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, as well as the challenges that continue to exist, in the pursuit of a more equitable society.

1/20-Julie Metty Bennett-The Wheelhouse Talks

4 PM, Friday, January 20, 2017
Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium, Richard M. DeVos Center, 401 Fulton St. W., Grand Rapids, MI

Julie is a principal and senior vice president for Public Sector Consultants (PSC), one of Michigan’s most respected public policy research and program management firms. Her love for well-conceived public policy starts with a love for the environment. Twenty years of research in this arena, coupled with her shrewd sense of what is practical and possible, have made Julie an expert on both state and national levels.

Responsible for PSC’s energy and environment practice, Julie’s leadership and collegial management style has produced tangible solutions for some of the state’s most vexing problems. Leading groundbreaking research on electric reliability and capacity, creating and managing multimillion-dollar nonprofits, and facilitating the governor’s 21st Century Infrastructure Commission—Julie’s influence on issues that affect people’s lives and their natural resources is profound. Additionally, she spends a significant portion of her time leading the firm and developing a diverse staff to realize the company’s vision.

2/9-H.W. Brands: The General vs the President

7 PM, Room 215, L.V. Eberhard Center
301 Fulton St. W., Grand Rapids, MI 49504

At the dawn of a new era in American history, President Harry S. Truman struggled with unfavorable public opinion  in response to growing concerns about the Soviet Union and a challenging economic transition following World War II. For our embattled 33rd president, the future appeared complicated and uncertain.

In stark contrast to Truman, General Douglas MacArthur enjoyed immense popularity. His experiences in war led him to believe in the inevitability of a military showdown with communist countries. For this celebrated general, the future was easy to predict and urgent in its demands.

Distinguished historian H.W. Brands will discuss the conflict between these different men, a story that unfolded amid the difficulties of the Korean War and the hysteria of McCarthyism. His latest book, The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War, is sure to challenge those seeking to learn more about the relationship between two iconic figures of American life at midcentury.


2/10-Teresa Weatherall Neal- The Wheelhouse Talks

4 PM, Friday, February 10, 2017
Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium, Richard M. DeVos Center, 401 Fulton St. W., Grand Rapids, MI

For 40 years, Teresa Weatherall Neal has dedicated herself to advancing the educational potential of Grand Rapids’ young people. Starting as a teenage student worker, Neal rose through the ranks to the superintendent, and now leads Grand Rapids Public Schools’ 17,000 students and more than 3,500 employees. As a proud Creston High School graduate, Neal has an unwavering belief in Grand Rapids and GRPS and has worked to implement her vision for a thriving urban district by removing barriers to student learning. During her tenure with the District, Neal’s strong work ethic, keen problem-solving skills, and collaborative approach have been her trademark. Since becoming Superintendent in 2012, she has presided over a 3-year increase in the GRPS graduation rate, while also reducing chronic absenteeism. Intent on driving educational reforms focused on student outcomes, she has sought to advance the quality of the GRPS school system, while also increasing the quality of life of our students.

3/15- Stephen Shedletzky- The Wheelhouse Talks

7 PM, Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium, Richard M. DeVos Center, 401 Fulton St. W., Grand Rapids, MI

In an expansion of our Wheelhouse Talk Series, the Hauenstein Center is proud to welcome Stephen Shedletzky, Head Engagement Officer with Simon Sinek’s well-known Start with Why movement. Start with Why imagines a world where people wake up each day inspired to go to work and return home at the end of the day fulfilled by the work they do because they have contributed to something greater than themselves. Stephen continues this mission by supporting leaders to ignite cultures where people feel inspired, safe and fulfilled, and guides individuals, teams, and organizations to find, clearly articulate, and live their Why. Stephen is a founder of his own company, InspirAction, a co-host and co-producer of the Start with Why podcast, and has worked with leading international organizations including Rutgers University, Columbia Sportswear, and Boeing.

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4/4-Martha Nussbaum: Anger and Revolutionary Justice

7 PM, Room 215, L.V. Eberhard Center
301 Fulton St. W., Grand Rapids, MI 49504

At this fractious time in our nation’s political history, no intellectual exercise could prove more timely than serious reflection on the influence of anger in public life. While it is tempting to think of anger as a fair and effective response to perceived injustice, it is noteworthy that three of the twentieth century’s great freedom movements succeeded by way of leaders who deliberately embraced non-anger: Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela. As a force for positive change, history demonstrates that anger is deeply flawed in both philosophical and practical terms.

Martha Nussbaum, world-famous philosopher, classicist, and legal scholar at the University of Chicago, will give an address on the limits of anger. This presentation is sure to illustrate our vital need for leaders who can recognize the humanity of those who think differently, especially when the stakes are high.

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4/27- Barbara Kellerman- The Wheelhouse Talks

6 PM, Thursday, April 27, 2017
Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium, Richard M. DeVos Center, 401 Fulton St. W., Grand Rapids, MI

As our country continues to chart its path following the contentious and often bitter 2016 election, there is perhaps no individual better suited to discuss our country’s crisis in leadership, or to charge our graduating Cook Leadership Academy Fellows with the responsibility of authentic leadership than Dr. Barbara Kellerman, the James MacGregor Burns Lecturer in Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). Dr. Kellerman has been an instrumental figure in the study of leadership for decades, and is now the Founding Executive Director of the HKS Center for Public Leadership. In the past, she has held professorships at no less than six universities, among them Tufts, George Washington, and Dartmouth,. She was also the cofounder of the International Leadership Association (ILA). Dr. Kellerman is the author and editor of many books, including The Political Presidency: Practice of Leadership; Bad Leadership; The End of Leadership (2012); and Hard Times: Leadership in America (2014). Often recognized for her insights, she has appeared on multiple media outlets including CBS, NPR and the BBC, and has contributed articles to some of our nation’s most prominent newspapers including the New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe.

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June-Finding the Lost Region: 2017

Third Annual Midwestern History Conference

The Midwestern History Association and the Hauenstein Center at Grand Valley State University invite proposals for papers to be delivered at the Third Annual Midwestern History Conference to be held on June 7, 2016 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This conference continues a discussion commenced during the last two years during collaborative conferences at the Hauenstein Center designed to spark the revival of Midwestern studies.

We welcome papers of all kinds relating to all aspects of the history of the American Midwest. Given that this year’s conference will be held in collaboration with the Agricultural History Society, we are particularly interested in proposals that relate to the agricultural and rural history of the American Midwest and some of those proposals could become part of hybrid panels organized by the Midwestern History Association, the Hauenstein Center, and the Agricultural History Society and held during a special collaborative session on June 8, 2016. We encourage participants in the Midwestern history conference to also attend the Agricultural History Society annual meeting, which will be held immediately following the Midwestern history conference on the campus of Grand Valley State University from June 8-10.

Individual proposals should be a maximum of 300 words and describe the topic to be addressed. Panel proposals are also welcome and should be a maximum of 1,000 words. All proposals should be accompanied by the short vitas of the participants. Proposals should be sent to Scott St. Louis of Grand Valley State University’s Hauenstein Center at stlouis1@gvsu.edu There is no registration fee for attending the Midwestern history conference but there will be a request to RSVP online in coming months.

The Midwestern History Association, created in the fall of 2014, is dedicated to rebuilding the field of Midwestern history, which has suffered from decades of neglect and inattention. The MHA advocates for greater attention to Midwestern history among professional historians, seeks to rebuild the infrastructure necessary for the study of the American Midwest, promotes greater academic discourse relating to Midwestern history, and offers prizes to scholars who excel in the study of the Midwest. To become a member of the Midwestern History Association, please contact MHA Secretary Ted Frantz at efrantz@uindy.edu

Inspired by Ralph Hauenstein’s life of leadership and service and housed at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies is dedicated to raising a community of ethical, effective leaders for the twenty-first century. The Center’s Common Ground Initiative engages thought leaders to confront the political and cultural challenges our diverse communities face. By challenging humanities scholars, culture commentators, and political leaders from the left and right to explore the possible common ground between their respective camps, the Hauenstein Center promotes common ground for the common good.

Proposals are due by January 1, 2017.

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