Crossroads News

Crossroads Launches Younes and Soraya Nazarian Lecture Series

The Younes & Soraya Nazarian Family Foundation to bring renowned speakers to campus.
Crossroads is pleased to announce the launch of the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Equity & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series, which will help stimulate dialogue among students, educators and community leaders committed to tackling the problems of racism, poverty, war, environmental degradation, educational inequities, religious persecution, genocide and other forms of injustice.
The lecture series is an initiative of The Younes & Soraya Nazarian Family Foundation, which generously supports educational causes in a broad spectrum of institutions and through a wide variety of avenues: academic, public policy, community-based, social and artistic programs in the United States and Israel. Younes and Soraya Nazarian are the parents of Sharon Nazarian, a Crossroads parent and parent of alumni who serves on the School’s Board of Trustees.
“Our family’s journey from Iran to Israel to Los Angeles was one marked by anti-Semitism and fear of persecution,” says Sharon Nazarian, president of The Younes & Soraya Nazarian Family Foundation. “Having established roots here in the United States and feeling blessed by the freedoms offered to us in our new homeland, it is our privilege to support such important educational endeavors so that the next generation can be aware and knowledgeable. Crossroads is the perfect home for such an endeavor.”

The inaugural event of the lecture series was a Feb. 6 presentation by Maestro James Conlon, the music director of LA Opera, who discussed music by composers suppressed during the years of the Nazi regime in Europe. "An extraordinary garden of culture was uprooted, and it was blatantly political and racist," he explained to a packed house. Conlon said that giving this little-heard music a second life "became a mission for me. Its absence was a posthumous victory for the Nazis. ... I seek to address this loss to civilization, and inspire others to revive this music."

Conlon’s speaking engagement was arranged through the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School.
Events in the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Equity & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series will be free and open to members of the public as well as the greater Crossroads community.
“This series will bring noted scholars and activists to campus to spark conversations and inspire action on issues of equity and justice,” Head of School Bob Riddle says. “We are so grateful to the Nazarian family for their support of Crossroads’ mission to empower our students and community members to make positive changes in the world.”