The Equity & Justice Institute

Speaker 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. Nationally and internationally recognized thought leaders are invited to campus each year to present a talk on a specific topic related to equity and justice, not only to the Crossroads community, but to the public at large. Speakers are sought from a variety of local and national organizations.
Each presentation is not an isolated event, but a key component of other Institute programs and activities focused on helping to find solutions to the equity and justice problem addressed by the speaker.
Each year as part of the lecture series, Crossroads invites a guest speaker or screens a film that specifically enhances our existing curriculum on the Holocaust and other forms of genocide and/or religious oppression. These lectures are free and open to the public, free of charge, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the Nazarian family.

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.

These events are free and open to the public. 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.
    • Younes and Soraya Nazarian


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  • Determined: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter

    Please join us to view the award-winning documentary “Determined: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter.” This inspirational documentary follows Avraham as he outwits the Nazis and overcomes every obstacle standing in his way. But more than just a remarkable story of survival, his tale is a testament to human kindness, even in the darkest of hours, and to the achievements made possible through relentless perseverance.

    In addition to the screening, the event will include access to a recorded conversation between Equity & Justice Institute Founding Director Derric J. Johnson and filmmaker Keren Perlmutter, PhD, daughter of Avraham Perlmutter.
    Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021
    Available 4-10 p.m. PDT

    register here


Upcoming Speakers

The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Equity & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series

Past Events


April 26, 2021
Nikki Giovanni, Poet, Educator
and Best-Selling Author
Learn more

Jan. 26, 2021
Emiliana Guereca, Co-Executive Director
and Founder of Women’s March Foundation 
Learn more

Dec. 7, 2020
Dolores Huerta, Civil Rights Activist
and Community Organizer
Learn more

Oct. 19, 2020
Joanna Mendelson, Associate Director of the
Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism

Learn more

Sept. 8, 2020
Dr. Angela Davis, Activist and Scholar
Learn more

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  • 2019-20

    March 4, 2020
    Robin DiAngelo, New York Times-Bestselling Author
    Learn more

    Dec. 18, 2019
    Zenon Neumark, Author and Holocaust Survivor
    Learn more

    Oct. 14, 2019
    Winona LaDuke, Native American Rights Activist
    Learn more

    Sept. 9, 2019
    Ibram X. Kendi, Author and Antiracism Activist
    Learn more
  • 2018-19

    April 22, 2019
    Helen Gym, Philadelphia City Council Member
    “When They Go Low, We Go Local: How Municipal Politics Power Grassroots Justice Movements”
    Nov. 13, 2018
    Interfaith Dialogue
    In partnership with The Guibord Center
  • 2017-18

    Recovered Voices Lecture Series
    In the spring of 2018, four acclaimed speakers visited Crossroads for a series of talks presented in partnership with the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School. Recovered Voices encourages greater awareness and more frequent performances of music by composers whose careers and lives were disrupted—or worse—during the years of the Nazi regime in Europe.
    Feb 6, 2018
    Maestro James Conlon, Music Director of LA Opera*
    March 7, 2018
    Robert Elias, Director of the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices
    April 10, 2018
    Stephanie Barron, Senior Curator of Modern art at LACMA

    April 25, 2018
    Alex Ross, New Yorker Magazine Music Critic
    *Inaugural Younes and Soraya Nazarian Equity & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series event.