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.

The 2021-22 series is centered on the theme of “A Functioning Democracy.” Each guest speaker will discuss what the term means conceptually and in practice—particularly as the recent past has reinforced and exacerbated the fragmentation of American society, bipartisanship and seemingly intractable inequities. Inviting speakers across the political spectrum to share their perspectives, the Equity & Justice Institute aims to explore the core tenets of a democratic process where all citizens are supported and encouraged to participate fully.
    • Younes and Soraya Nazarian

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.

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, 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.


List of 1 news stories.

  • Kevin Jennings

    Please join us for a final rebroadcast of a conversation between Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings, Crossroads’ Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Stephanie Carillo and Middle and Upper School students about the ongoing fight for LGBTQ equality. Addressing the theme of this year’s speaker series—“A Functioning Democracy”—Jennings will share how he and organizations like Lambda Legal and the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) have worked to ensure LGBTQ people can participate fully in American civic life.
    Jennings is a longtime leader in the fight for LGBTQ equality. As a high school history teacher, he helped students create the nation’s first Gay-Straight Alliance club and founded GLSEN, the first national organization dedicated to fighting anti-LGBTQ bias in K-12 schools. In 2009, Jennings became the Assistant Secretary of Education for Safe & Drug-Free Schools under President Obama. Jennings is currently CEO of Lambda Legal, the nation’s oldest legal advocacy group fighting for full legal equality for LGBTQ people and everyone living with HIV. He has produced multiple award-winning documentaries about LGBTQ history and contemporary issues. He is also the author of seven books.
    This online event is free and open to the public.

    Monday, April 25, 2022
    Available 4-10 p.m. PDT

The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Equity & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series

Past Events


April 25, 2022
Kevin Jennings, Lambda Legal CEO

Jan. 27, 2022
Jeff Flake, United States Ambassador to Turkey and
New York Times Best-Selling Author

Oct. 25, 2021
Ana Navarro, Political Strategist and “The View” Co-Host

Sept. 14, 2021
“Determined: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter,”
award-winning documentary

List of 4 items.

  • 2020-21

    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
  • 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.