The Speaker Series of Illinois State University will tackle topics including nuclear disarmament, fighting Ebola, Civil War soldiers, conversations on rape, public health, and equity for public schools. All events in the Fall 2015 Speaker Series are free, open to the public, and on the campus of Illinois State.

Talking about sexual assault
College Girl author Laura Gray-Rosendale will talk about the importance of having conversations about sexual assault at 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 22, in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center at Illinois State University.

The event, titled “A Reading from College Girl,” is sponsored by the Harold K. Sage Foundation, the Illinois State University Foundation, and the Department of English. A book signing will follow the talk.

A memoir that beautifully integrates work in life writing, rhetoric, and trauma theory, College Girl recounts Gray-Rosendale’s brutal rape and its aftermath while a student at Syracuse University more than 25 years ago. The book was a Gold Medal Winner for the 2014 IPPY Award, a Book of the Year for Mountain Living, a Finalist for the May Sarton Memoir Award, and a Finalist for the USA Books Award in Memoir.

Preventing a nuclear nightmare
Nobel Peace Prize-winner and former vice president of Egypt Mohamed ElBaradei will help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the inception of the Adlai E. Stevenson Memorial Lecture.

A pro-democracy leader and advocate of nuclear disarmament, ElBaradei will give a talk titled “Preventing a Nuclear Nightmare” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 30, at the Center for Performing Arts at Illinois State University. The Stevenson Memorial Lecture is hosted by Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University.

A prominent voice for peace, freedom, and democracy in the Arab and Islamic worlds, ElBaradei played a leadership role in the Arab Spring of 2011, and was asked to take on the responsibility of interim vice president of Egypt, a position from which he recently resigned.

A former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from December 1997 until November 2009, ElBaradei and the IAEA were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2005 “for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way.” The Nobel committee referred to him as an “unafraid advocate” of new measures to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Fighting Ebola
Time Person of the Year Ella Stryker will give the Health Sciences Nolte Lecture at Illinois State University at 5 p.m. Wednesday, September 30, in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center.

A former teacher and current health promoter with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, Stryker will give a talk titled “The Health Educator’s Role in the Effort to Control Ebola.” The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Department of Health Sciences and the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation Nolte Fund.

Stryker has focused on global health projects in both development and emergency contexts since 2006. She began her work with Doctors Without Borders in 2014 as part of the initial response to the Ebola outbreak in Guinea. She returned for subsequent missions to Sierra Leone and Liberia. In December 2014, she was featured on the cover of Time magazine as a representative of the thousands of men and women collectively named Time Person of the Year for their role in combating the West African Ebola outbreak.

Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation, and the Black Union Troops
Historian John David Smith, author of Soldiering for Freedom, will talk about the role of black Union troops in the Civil War at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 8, in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center.

The talk, titled “Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation, and the Black Union Troops,” is sponsored by the Harold K. Sage Foundation, the Illinois State University Foundation Fund, and the Department of History. A book signing will follow the talk.

Smith is the Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. A Brooklyn, New York, native, he studied southern and Civil War history with Charles P. Roland at the University of Kentucky and has taught at several universities, including North Carolina State University and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München.

A prolific author, Smith has published 25 books, including Lincoln and the U.S. Colored Troops (2013), Soldiering for Freedom (2014), and We Ask Only for Even-Handed Justice (2014).

The evolution of physical activity
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientist Jacqueline Epping will talk about physical activity and public health for the Esther Larson McGinnis Lecture. The talk, titled “The Evolution of Physical Activity and Public Health,” will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 14, in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center.

Epping is a senior health scientist with the Applied Research, Guidelines, and Policy Team of the Physical Activity and Health Branch, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

She has played key roles in the creation of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, the National Physical Activity Plan, the National Physical Activity Society, and the proposed Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking and Walkability. One of her current lines of research is using dog walking as a means to increase physical activity.

The collision course of humans and nature
Author and activist David Barsamian will address the dangerous impact of humans on the environment in a talk titled “Ecocide: The War on Nature” at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 29, in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center.

“Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources,” said Barsamian. “If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Illinois State’s Milner Library, the School of Teaching and Learning, the departments of History, English, Geography and Geology, Philosophy, Anthropology and Sociology, School of Biological Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences, The Harold K. Sage Foundation, and the Office of the President.

Barsamian is the award-winning founder and director of Alternative Radio, the independent weekly audio series based in Boulder, Colorado. As a journalist, Barsamian has altered the media landscape with his radio programs and books with Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, Howard Zinn, Edward Said, Arundhati Roy, and others. His most recent books are Power Systems with Noam Chomsky and Occupy the Economy with Richard Wolff.

Fighting for equity in schools
nogueraPedro Noguera hopes to inspire the Central Illinois community to continue the fight for equity in U.S. schools at a talk titled “Education and Civil Rights in the 21st Century” at 7 p.m. Monday, November 16, in Braden Auditorium, Bone Student Center. The talk is sponsored by The Harold K. Sage Foundation, the Illinois State University Foundation Fund, and the College of Education.

A sociologist, Noguera’s research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, and the factors that obstruct and promote student achievement. He appears as a regular commentator on education issues and other topics on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets.

A prolific author, his most recent publication is Schooling for Resilience, which he co-authored with Eddie Fergus and Margary Martin. Other works include The Imperatives of Power: Political Change and the Social Basis of Regime Support in Grenada; City Schools and the American Dream; Unfinished Business: Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Nation’s Schools; The Trouble With Black Boys…and Other Reflections on Race, Equity and the Future of Public Education; and Invisible No More: Understanding and Responding to the Disenfranchisement of Latino Males.

The Speaker Series of Illinois State University seeks to bring innovative and enlightening speakers to the campus with the aim of providing the community with a platform to foster dialogue, cultivate enriching ideas, and continue an appreciation of learning as an active and lifelong process.

More information on all speakers can be found on the Speaker Series website.