A Hutchins Center Symposium
Keynote Address by
James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University
Director of Harvard's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics
Introductory Remarks by
Peniel E. Joseph
Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values and Founding Director, Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Professor of History, University of Texas-Austin
The JFK Jr. Forum aims to educate, inspire debate, and foster conversation at the Institute of Politics. Unless otherwise specified, members of the Harvard community and general public are encouraged to attend Forum events.
To learn more about events like this one, sign up for the JFK Jr. Forum newsletter HERE
Danielle Allen, James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, and Director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. Widely known for her work on justice and citizenship in both ancient Athens and modern America, Allen is the author of The World of Prometheus: The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens (2000), Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown vs. the Board of Education (2004), Why Plato Wrote (2010), Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality (2014), Education and Equality (2016), and Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A. (2017). She is the co-editor of the award-winning Education, Justice, and Democracy (2013, with Rob Reich) and From Voice to Influence: Understanding Citizenship in the Digital Age (2015, with Jennifer Light). She is a Chair of the Mellon Foundation Board, past Chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.
Allen is also the principal investigator for the Democratic Knowledge Project, a distributed research and action lab at Harvard University. The Democratic Knowledge Project seeks to identify, strengthen, and disseminate the bodies of knowledge, skills, and capacities that democratic citizens need in order to succeed at operating their democracy. The lab currently has three projects underway: the Declaration Resources Project, the Humanities and Liberal Arts Assessment Project (HULA), and the Youth and Participatory Politics Action and Reflection Frame.
Peniel Joseph holds a joint professorship appointment at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the History Department in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. He is also the founding director of the LBJ School’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy. His career focus has been on “Black Power Studies,” which encompasses interdisciplinary fields such as Africana studies, law and society, women’s and ethnic studies, and political science. Prior to joining the UT faculty, Joseph was a professor at Tufts University, where he founded the school’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy to promote engaged research and scholarship focused on the ways issues of race and democracy affect people’s lives. In addition to being a frequent commentator on issues of race, democracy and civil rights, Joseph wrote the award-winning books “Waiting ‘Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America” and “Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama.” His most recent book, “Stokely: A Life,” has been called the definitive biography of Stokely Carmichael, the man who popularized the phrase “black power.” Included among Joseph’s other book credits is the editing of “The Black Power Movement: Rethinking the Civil Rights-Black Power Era” and “Neighborhood Rebels: Black Power at the Local Level.”