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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  • Nikki Giovanni

    Born in Knoxville Tennessee, poet, educator and best-selling author Nikki Giovanni has been a commanding voice gracing America’s political and poetic landscape since her debut in the 1960s. Her distinctive style presents the truth, committing passion to the fight for social justice. Her autobiography, “Gemini,” was a finalist for the National Book Award; “Love Poems,” “Blues: For All the Changes,” and “Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea” were all honored with NAACP Image Awards. Her children’s picture book, “Rosa,” about civil rights legend Rosa Parks, became a Caldecott Honors Book and a New York Times bestseller. Her “Racism 101” is part of college curricula, offering a bold and compelling portrait of Americans on all sides of the race issue. Since 1987, Giovanni has been on the faculty at Virginia Tech, where she is a University Distinguished Professor. She is the recipient of a NAACP Image Award, Langston Hughes Medal for poetry and the Rosa L. Parks Woman of Courage Award. She has been named woman of the year by Mademoiselle, The Ladies Home Journal, and Ebony. Oprah has called her one of the twenty-five living legends.

    Monday, April 26, 2021 // Available 4-10 p.m. PDT // Online

    register here


Upcoming Speakers

The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Equity & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series

Past Events


Jan. 26, 2021
Emiliana Guereca, Co-Executive Director
and Founder of Women’s March Foundation 
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Dec. 7, 2020
Dolores Huerta, Civil Rights Activist
and Community Organizer
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Oct. 19, 2020
Joanna Mendelson, Associate Director of the
Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism

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