Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity


All events are free and open to the public

The Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity sponsors the Power of Diversity lecture series to inspire campus dialogue, community engagement and civic education and learning about the national narrative on diversity and inclusion. The annual series includes two distinguished guest speakers from the national or international scene and four scholars from our own faculty.


The speakers include scholars, thought leaders and diversity professionals whose research, scholarship, leadership and advocacy enhance the university's efforts to present diverse ideas, perspectives and viewpoints to inspire greater understanding and appreciation for inclusive excellence.





All events are free and open to the public.

To RSVP for any of these events, email
For more information email

February 29, 2016
Marc Lamont Hill, PhD,
CNN Political Contributor & Professor of African American Studies

He is one of the leading intellectual voices in the country and is a political contributor for CNN. Hill is also the inaugural host of HuffPost Live and host of BET News. He is the former host of the nationally syndicated television show Our World With Black Enterprise. An award-winning journalist, Hill has received awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, GLAAD and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

Hill is also Distinguished Professor of African American Studies at Morehouse College (GA). He has also held positions at Columbia University (NY) and Temple University (PA).

Since his days as a youth in Philadelphia, Hill has been a social justice activist and organizer. He is a founding board member of My5th, a nonprofit organization devoted to educating youth about their legal rights and responsibilities. He is also a board member and organizer of the Philadelphia Student Union. Dr. Hill also works closely with the ACLU Drug Reform Project, focusing on drug informant policy. Over the past few years, he has actively worked on campaigns to end the death penalty and to release numerous political prisoners. In 2011, Ebony Magazine named him one of America’s 100 most influential Black leaders.

Hill is the author of the award-winning publication, Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity and co-author of The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black life in America. Hill is co-editor of Media, Learning, and Sites of Possibility; and Schooling Hip-Hop: Expanding Hip-Hop Based Education Across the Curriculum. His latest book, Nobody: America’s War On the Vulnerable from Ferguson to Baltimore and Beyond, will be released in July.

Trained as an anthropologist of education, Hill holds a PhD (with distinction) from the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the intersections between culture, politics and education.

March 22, 2016, 3 p.m.,
Senior Classroom, Tinkham Veale University Center

Lisa Nielson, PhD,

Anisfield-Wolf SAGES Fellow Lecturer,
Department of Music, College of Arts and Sciences

“Concubines, Courtesans, Poets and Slaves: Music and Politics in the Medieval Islamic Courts”

Lisa Nielson teaches classes on diverse topics such as the courtesan, the harem, and world slavery. She received the Richard A. Bloom, MD Award for Distinguished Teaching in the SAGES Program (2012) and the Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2014.

Her research focuses on the relationship between music and society in the medieval Islamic courts; specifically literary representations and social perception of court musicians in the early Abbasid eras. She regularly presents at national and international conferences and her professional affiliations include the American Musicological Society, the Middle East Studies Association, and the Middle East Medievalists. She has contributed reviews and opinion pieces to the Journal for the Society of American Music and the blog for the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards.

April 7, 2016, 3 p.m.,
Senior Classroom, Tinkham Veale University Center

Melvin L. Smith, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Organizational Behavior & Faculty Director of Executive Education at the Weatherhead School of Management
“Managing Diverse Relationships via Emotional Intelligence”

Intuitively, we know the relationship between leaders and employees can have dramatic effect on employee contribution and organizational success. Melvin Smith’s research and teaching reveal the structure. His work on the nature of leadership and the role emotional intelligence plays in work relationships is widely recognized for its insight. Smith also studies the connection between social networks and organizational performance. The work has yielded real-world results in public education, healthcare and a variety of other fields.

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