Todd Cioffi

The Transformative and Redemptive Power of (a Christian) Education

Thursday, January 3
Underwritten by: Holland Litho Printing Services and Howard Miller

Dr. Todd Cioffi is a professor and department chair in the Congregational and Ministry Studies department and the director of the Calvin Prison Initiative (CPI). Created in 2016 through a partnership between Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, CPI is a unique program that provides a Christian liberal arts education to inmates at Handlon prison in Ionia, MI. This five-year program results in a Bachelor of Arts degree from Calvin College. The Calvin Prison Initiative brings hope, dignity and the opportunity for real accomplishment.

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Arthur C. Brooks

Bringing America Together

Friday, January 4
Underwritten by: Barnes & Thornburg, LLP and the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics

Arthur C. Brooks is an American social scientist, musician, and columnist for The New York Times. He is the president of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, and is best known for his work on the junctions between culture, economics, and politics.  He is the author of 11 books, including two New York Times best sellers: The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise and The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America.

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Jimmy Lin

Finally, Some Good News about Cancer

Monday, January 7
Underwritten by: Russ & Leann Jelsema

Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation is not recorded or archived. If you click "Learn more" below, you can watch a TED talk from Dr. Jimmy Lin where he discusses new developments in cancer research.

Dr. Cheng-Ho Jimmy Lin is the Chief Scientific Officer of Oncology, at Natera. Most recently, he led the clinical genomics program at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. He was part of one of the first clinical genomics labs in academia at Washington University in St. Louis and led the computational analyses of the first ever exome sequencing studies in cancer, including breast, colorectal, pancreatic, glioblastoma, medulloblastoma, and melanoma at Johns Hopkins. He has published in top academic journals, such as Science, Nature, and Cell, and has been an expert in national and international media outlets, such as The New York Times, Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, and The Washington Post.

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Kara Powell

Growing Young: Helping Young People Discover and Love the Church

Tuesday, January 8
Underwritten by: Calvin Academy for Lifelong Learning

In the midst of the discouraging reports about the aging and decline of churches today, what steps do savvy churches take that help them best love and serve teenagers and young adults?  Kara Powell is the executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute and associate professor of youth and family ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary who will be addressing this question and many like it in her talk.  Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women to Watch,” she is the author or coauthor of several books, including Growing Young and Sticky Faith, and a regular speaker at national leadership and youth ministry conferences across the country.

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Mariela Shaker

Finding Refuge on the Stage

Wednesday, January 9
Underwritten by: I.C.N. Foundation

Due to contract restrictions, this presentation is not recorded or archived.

Mariela Shaker is an accomplished Syrian violinist and award winning refugee advocate who survived the war in Syria and the University of Aleppo attack in January 2013.  During her time at the university, she was the youngest violin teacher at the Arabic Institute of Music, where she risked death every day commuting between home and the Institute to create beauty through her violin and inspire children to pursue their dreams.  Having received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, she fled to the United States to further study music with a full scholarship to Monmouth College.  Unable to return home, Mariela was granted refugee status in the US.  She was named a “Champion of Change” by President Barack Obama and appointed a UNHCR High Profile Supporter in 2015.  Since then she has received a number of additional awards including the Points of Light Award in 2017 and the Anne Frank Honorary Award in 2018.  She has performed at prestigious venues such as The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, United Nations, among others and has traveled to Hong Kong, Netherlands, UK, Geneva, UAE and all over the US using her music to build bridges, promote peace, and raise awareness of the plights of refugees.

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Pierce Bush

Barbara Pierce Bush

A Moderated Conversation with Barbara Pierce Bush

Thursday, January 10
Underwritten by: The Peter C. and Emajean Cook Foundation and Holland Home

Due to contract restrictions, this presentation is not recorded or archived.

Barbara Bush co-founded Global Health Corps (GHC) in 2009 to mobilize a global community of young leaders to build the movement for health equity. To-date, GHC has fostered over 900 young leaders who believe health is a human right and who take an innovative approach to solving some of the world’s biggest global health challenges. In 2015, Barbara was recognized as one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. Previously, she worked at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Red Cross Children’s Hospital in South Africa, UNICEF in Botswana, and the UN World Food Program. Barbara is a member of UNICEF’s Next Generation Steering Committee and on the Board of Directors of Covenant House International, PSI, and the UN’s Social Entrepreneurship Council.

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Craig Detweiler

Searching for the Image of God in a Digital Age

Friday, January 11
Underwritten by: Calvin Center for Innovation in Business

Craig Detweiler is an author, filmmaker, theologian, and cultural commentator recently named the third president of The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology.  Previously he was professor of Communication and creative director of the Institute for Entertainment, Media and Culture at Pepperdine University. He is the author of several books on technology and culture including iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives and most recently Selfies: Searching for the Image of God in a Digital Age.  Craig’s cultural commentary has been featured on ABC’s Nightline, CNN, Fox News, NPR, and in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

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Nicholas Kristof

Lessons from 30 Years of Covering the World

Monday, January 14
Underwritten by: World Renew and The Center for Excellence in Preaching

Due to contract restrictions, this presentation is not recorded or archived.

Nicholas Kristof has been a columnist for The New York Times since 2001. After graduating from Harvard, he studied law at Oxford University and then studied Arabic in Cairo. He has won two Pulitzer Prizes for his coverage of Tiananmen Square and the genocide in Darfur, along with many humanitarian awards such as the Anne Frank Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. He has traveled to more than 150 countries, was The New York Times’s first blogger, and has millions of followers across social media platforms.

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Leland Melvin

Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances

Tuesday, January 15
Underwritten by: Bruce & Mary Okkema and GMB Architecture + Engineering

Due to contract restrictions, this presentation is not recorded or archived.

A former wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, Leland Melvin is an engineer and NASA astronaut who served on the space shuttle Atlantis and was named the NASA Associate Administrator for Education in October 2010.  He also served as the co-chair of the White House’s STEM Education Task Force committee, developing the nation’s five-year education plan. He is host of the Lifetime show Child Genius and a judge for ABC’s BattleBots. He holds four honorary doctorates and has received the NFL Player Association Award of Excellence.

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William Powers

Sustainability, Happiness and the "Slow" Movement

Wednesday, January 16
Underwritten by: Friends of the January Series

William Powers has worked for two decades in development aid and conservation in Latin America, Africa, and North America. From 2002 to 2004 he managed the community components of a project in the Bolivian Amazon that won a 2003 prize for environmental innovation from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. His essays and commentaries on global issues have appeared in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune and on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air. Powers has worked at the World Bank and holds international relations degrees from Brown and Georgetown. A third-generation New Yorker, Powers has also spent two decades exploring the American culture of speed and its alternatives in some fifty countries around the world. He has covered the subject in his four books and written about it in the Washington Post and the Atlantic. Powers is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and an adjunct faculty member at New York University. He currently lives with his wife and two children in Suraqueta, Bolivia, where they attempt to live sustainably, in deep community and in balance with nature. 

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Erik W. Carter

Incomplete without You: The Church and People with Disabilities

Thursday, January 17
Underwritten by: Howard Miller

Erik Carter is Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Special Education at Vanderbilt University and a member of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. His research and teaching focus on fostering inclusion and belonging for people with developmental disabilities in schools, workplaces, and congregations, as well as the ways in which communities are strengthened by receiving their gifts and friendship.

Access the handout used during this presentation here

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Ruth Carter

The Art of Storytelling Through Costume Design

Friday, January 18
Underwritten by: Celebration! Cinema

Due to contract restrictions, this presentation is not recorded or archived. If you click "Learn more" below, you can watch a video where Ruth Carter breaks down several of the costumes in the Black Panther film.

A Hollywood veteran, Ruth Carter has outfitted some of the culture’s most iconic films including Roots, Malcolm X, Selma, and The Butler. Known for her research and diligence to the craft, specifically for her outstanding period ensemble films, the multiple Oscar and Emmy-nominated costume designer most recently took on Afrofuturism fashions in the mega-blockbuster, Black Panther. Learn about the inspiration behind Wakandan fashion, what it was like to create clothing for a fictional place, and the impact costumes have on a film’s success.

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Willie Jennings

Dreaming the End of Racial America

Monday, January 21
Underwritten by: The Stob Lecture Series

Willie Jennings is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies at Yale University.  He is the author of The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (Yale, 2010), which won the American Academy of Religion Award of Excellence in the Study of Religion the year after it appeared and, in 2015, the Grawemeyer Award in Religion, the largest prize for a theological work in North America. Englewood Review of Books called the work a “theological masterpiece.”  Jennings is an ordained Baptist minister, is in high demand as a speaker, and is widely recognized as a major figure in theological education across North America.  A Calvin College graduate, Jennings received his M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. in religion and ethics from Duke.

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Rachael Denhollander

A Time to Speak: Addressing Justice and Forgiveness

Tuesday, January 22
Underwritten by: Samaritas

Rachael Denhollander is an advocate and educator who became known internationally as the first woman to file a police report and speak publicly against Larry Nassar, one of the most prolific sexual abusers in recorded history.  As a result of her activism, over 250 women came forward as survivors of Nassar’s abuse, leading to his life imprisonment.  In 2018, she was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.  A devout Christian, lawyer and teacher, Rachael has clearly and graciously challenged Christian institutions to live more faithfully as communities resistant to abuse and safe for survivors.  She holds a Juris Doctorate from Oak Brook College of Law and is a member of the California Bar Association.  

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Mary Robinson

Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience & the Fight for a Sustainable Future

Wednesday, January 23
Underwritten by: Miller Johnson

Due to contract restrictions, this presentation is not recorded or archived.

Mary Robinson first rose to international prominence as President of Ireland from 1990-97. She is widely regarded as a groundbreaking and transformational leader who elevated the public role of the Irish presidency, helping to shape modern Ireland in a period of rapid and unprecedented economic growth. From 1997-2002, Robinson served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, also transforming that office through highly visible public advocacy. She is a founding member of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders formed by Nelson Mandela to tackle the world’s most pressing problems and leads The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice.  Earning consistent praise as an unforgettable keynote speaker, President Robinson brings the thought leadership of a former head of state, a grandmother’s passionately felt concern for the future and the compelling stories of the thousands she has met traveling the world as a champion for climate justice, human rights, gender equality, and corporate responsibility. Known for touching hearts, expanding mindsets and sparking meaningful conversation, Mary Robinson frames humanity’s most daunting threat in highly solvable terms, leaving audiences hopeful and inspired to change the course of our planet’s future.

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