The Equity & Justice Institute

Lecture Series

The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Equity & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series is a key feature of the Equity & Justice Institute.
The series helps 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. Every year, we feature a guest speaker or film screening that specifically enhances our existing curriculum on the Holocaust and other forms of genocide and/or religious oppression.

The 2022-23 Younes and Soraya Equity & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series will focus on the City of Los Angeles. Drawing from LA’s rich cultural landscape, this year’s speakers will offer thought-provoking talks exploring the City’s history of activism and resilience; the bonds within and between its diverse communities; and the importance of the arts in creating social change.

These events are free and open to the public, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the Nazarian family. If you are not a member of the Crossroads community and you would like to be notified of upcoming Speaker Series events, please click here.

Next Speaker in the Series

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  • Dr. Saba Soomekh

    Please join us for a live webinar with educator, author and advocate Dr. Saba Soomekh, who will speak to the root causes of antisemitism and its troubling prevalence in Los Angeles and around the world. She’ll discuss the wide diversity in Jewish life around the globe and share her own family’s history as Iranian Jews who immigrated to Los Angeles. She’ll also talk about the impact of geopolitics in the Middle East on the Jewish community. Finally, Dr. Soomekh will recommend action items to counter anti-Jewish bias both in schools and in society as a whole. 

    Dr. Saba Soomekh is the director of training and education at American Jewish Committee. She spent 20 years as a professor and university administrator and currently teaches seminary students. Dr. Soomekh teaches and writes extensively on world religions, women and religion, intersectionality and its impact on the Jewish community, and the geo-politics of the Middle East. She is a graduate at King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, an inter-governmental organization that promotes inter-religious dialogue to prevent and resolve conflict. Dr. Soomekh was a 2019 Scholar-in-Residence at Oxford University with the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy. She is the editor of the book “Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews in America” and the author of “From the Shahs to Los Angeles: Three Generations of Iranian Jewish Women between Religion and Culture.”

    This talk is recommended for students 13 and older. It is free and open to the public.

    Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022 // 7 p.m. PST // Zoom Webinar

The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Equity & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series

A Highlight of Previous Speakers

Special Thanks To

The Younes & Soraya Nazarian Family Foundation
The series is an initiative of the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Family Foundation, which 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.

Sadly, Younes passed away in March of 2022. Crossroads is honored that his legacy lives on through the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Equity & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series.