Spring Public Events Series Explores Race and Class with Renowned Thinkers

This spring, Scripps’ Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Initiative is partnering with the College’s signature event series, Scripps Presents, to bring public programming to campus that focuses on issues of inequality.

“Scripps Presents and the IDEA Initiative are aligned in the desire to amplify awareness of the iniquitous nature of our world,” says Denise Nelson Nash ’76, convener of the IDEA Initiative.

The first program features award-winning journalist and author Mary O’Hara, author of The Shame Game: Overturning the Toxic Poverty Narrative on February 10, 2020. Her works asks: What does it mean to be poor in Britain and America? For decades, she argues, the primary narrative about poverty in both countries is that it has been caused by personal flaws or “bad life decisions” rather than policy choices or economic inequality. This misleading account has become deeply embedded in the public consciousness with serious ramifications for how financially vulnerable people are seen, spoken about, and treated. “The topic of class, poverty, and the international community is one we have not explored as fully as other topics,” adds Nelson Nash.

To that end, the Scripps International Community (SIC) will also be a partner on the event, hosting a ConverAction with members of the Scripps community after the presentation for a discussion exploring how international student community members continue to navigate the Scripps experience and how to foster human connection within the community.

And, on April 6, 2021, at noon, Susan D. Anderson ’75 will be joined by Loyola Marymount Professor of African American Studies Stefan Bradley for a presentation and conversation about her forthcoming book, African Americans and the California Dream.

“In August, I reached out to Ms. Anderson to congratulate her on her new role at the California African American Museum (CAAM) and suggest we explore opportunities for collaboration on advancing racial justice and equity at Scripps—she was quick to state that she’d be happy to contribute in any way she could,” Nelson Nash says.

Anderson is the history curator and program manager at CAAM and a member of the editorial board of the journal California History. She has brought her scholarly interest in California’s hidden African American history to her writing, lectures, and public history projects as former director of collections, library, exhibitions, and programs at the California Historical Society, interim chief curator for the African American Museum & Library at Oakland, and curator at the University of California, Los Angeles library’s special collections.

“The IDEA Initiative and its ConverAction series have been such essential partners. This season is no exception, and we’re pleased to be able to offer events that look at class through an international lens, and race through a local, historical lens,” says Corrina Lesser, artistic director for Scripps Presents. “This dedication to exploring issues around diversity, inclusion, and access with our community aligns in a powerful way with what Scripps Presents seeks to do with our public programs: create a forum for conversation and community engagement.”

For the full Scripps Presents spring calendar, click here.