Events at the IOP

  1. Study Group with Carol Giacomo

    Thursday October 1 - 4:30pm

    Join us on Thursday, October 1 at 4:30pm ET for a study group with IOP Fellow Carol Giacomo. Carol Giacomo was a member of The New York Times editorial board from 2007-2020 writing opinion pieces about all major national security issues including nuclear weapons, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    TOPIC: How is the Covid-19 pandemic changing the world in which we live, especially international power relationships?

    RSVP by 12:00pm ET on Thursday, 10/1

  2. A conversation with Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign

    Thursday October 1 - 7:00pm

    The quest for equity and inclusion in the LGBTQ community has historically faced many obstacles and in these challenging times the urgency to protect marginalized and vulnerable communities is even more pressing.  With election 2020 front of mind, what will the LGBTQ community look like as we gaze down the two paths in front of us: a Biden Presidency or a second Trump term.  We bring together a prominent advocate and civil right leader with an academic thought leader to discuss the past, present and future of LGBTQ rights.

    RSVP to join the virtual JFK Jr. Forum conversation.

  3. Study Group with Alice Stewart and Donna Brazile (Former Chair, DNC)

    Tuesday October 6 - 4:30pm

    Join us on Tuesday, October 6 at 4:30pm ET for a study group with IOP Fellow Alice Stewart. Alice Stewart is a CNN Political Commentator, Communications Consultant, veteran Senior Communications Advisor on numerous presidential campaigns and an Emmy Award winning journalist.

    SPECIAL GUEST: Alice will be joined by special guest Donna Brazile, former Chair of the Democratic National Committee and Fox News contributor.

    With just four weeks to go until the presidential election, the pressure is on Democrats and Republicans to get out the vote.  How do campaigns navigate the current climate amid COVID, conflict, and racial tensions?  Alice Stewart talks with a top Democrat to discuss efforts to rally voters behind former Vice President Joe Biden.

    RSVP by 12:00pm ET on Tuesday, 10/6

  4. Election 2020: The Latinx Perspective on Political Journeys in the United States

    Wednesday October 7 - 6:00pm

    Join us on Wednesday, October 7th at 6pm ET for a conversation on the Latinx perspective on political journeys in the United States. The 2020 election marks a historic milestone for Latinx voters and candidates. Across the country, Latinx candidates are running for office in record numbers and an estimated 32 million voters are from the Latinx community, the largest group of minority voters. What will the voting patterns in the diverse Latinx community look like? When you see people on the ballot that mirror your community, are you more likely to vote? How will the changing demographics impact local, state, and federal elections now and in the future? Finally, do candidates and voters fully understand the importance of the Latinx community in the political, economic, and social fabric of American society?  
    In observance and celebration of Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month, we welcome political and governmental leaders and advocates for a discussion moderated by Jorge L. Vasquez, Jr., IOP 2020 Fellow and Director of the Power and Democracy Program with Advancement Project, with panelists:

    • Melissa Mark-Viverito, Former President of the Latino Victory Project, former Speaker of the New York City Council, District 8- El Barrio/East Harlem and the South Bronx
    • Kenneth Romero, Executive Director of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators

    RSVP to join the conversation in the virtual JFK Jr. Forum.

    Elección de 2020: El Perspectivo Latino: Caminos Políticos en los Estados Unidos

    Únete a nosotros el Miércoles, 7 de Octubre, a las 6pm ET para discutir el perspectivo Latino en los caminos políticos en los Estados Unidos. La elección del 2020 marca un logro histórico para los votantes y candidatos Latinos. A travez del país, latinos estan presentándose como candidatos en números récord y unos estimados 32 millones de votantes son latinos, el grupo mas grande de minorías. Como serán los patrones de votar en la diversa comunidad latina? Cuando ves a candidatos que se parecen a ti, seras mas probable de votar? Como impactarán los cambios demográficos a elecciones locales, estatales, y federales ahora y en el futuro? Finalmente, verdaderamente entienden los candidatos lo importante que es la comunidad latina, politicamente, economicamente, y socialmente para los Estados Unidos?

    En observación del mes de la herencia hispana y latina, les damos la bienvenida a lideres y activistas politicos y gubermentales para una discusion moderada por Jorge L. Vasquez, Jr., invitado del IOP 2020, director del Programa de Poder y Democracia con el Proyecto Avanzamiento, con panelistas:

    • Melissa Mark-Viverito, Ex-Presidenta Provisional del Proyecto Victoria Latina, ex-Oradora del Ayuntamiento de Nueva York, Distrito 8- El Barrio/East Harlem y el South Bronx
    • Kenneth Romero, Director Ejecutivo de la Camarilla Nacional de Legisladores Latinos Estatales

    Link para registrarse:

  5. Study Group with Brittany Packnett Cunningham

    Thursday October 8 - 4:30pm

    Join us on Thursday, October 8 at 4:30pm ET for a study group with IOP Fellow Brittany Packnett Cunningham. Brittany Packnett Cunningham is a social justice activist, educator and writer. Leading at the intersection of culture and justice, she has and continues to build platforms to amplify, educate, and activate everyday people to take transformative action against every form of injustice.

    SPECIAL GUEST: Congressman Beto O’Rourke (TX-16) (2013- 2019)

    TOPIC: Radical Imagination in Hostile Waters

    The deep and declarative challenges to democracy, the vote, and the safety of people and leaders of color is not new in American life.  And while the addition of a deadly pandemic may make this threat seem novel, there are moments in recent history that can show us how to protect and preserve the pursuit of radical imagination until November 3, and most importantly, beyond November 3. There will still be fights that need fighting after election day.  So what do we do in the face of unimaginable pushback in real time? How do we recover? And how do we remain focused and disciplined in the days ahead?  We’ll close our semester in discussion with people who’ve done exactly that-and still are.

    RSVP by 12:00pm ET on Thursday, 10/8

  6. There and Back Again: Leadership Lessons from the Farm to Silicon Valley

    Thursday October 8 - 6:00pm

    On Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 6pm ET, join us for “There and Back Again: Leadership Lessons from the Farm to Silicon Valley” with John L. Hennessy, James F. and Mary Lynn Gibbons Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Stanford University School of Engineering; 10th President of Stanford University; and Chairman of Alphabet, in conversation with David R. Gergen, Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School; CNN Contributor. Harvard Kennedy School Dean Douglas W. Elmendorf will provide a welcome to the 2020 Godkin Lecture.

    From the east coast to the west coast, leadership strategies are constantly changing, and in the midst of a global pandemic we look to leaders to create new paradigms to survive and thrive in these unprecedented times. We welcome an experienced innovator in academia, technology, and private sector to discuss how to draw upon experiences at educational institutions, silicon valley, and business to create innovative public policy.

    RSVP to join the conversation in the virtual JFK Jr. Forum.

  7. VIRTUAL PIZZA & POLITICS: Running For Congress as an open-LGBTQ candidate

    Friday October 9 - 5:00pm

    NEW TIME - 5pm

    RSVP here.

    Council Member Ritchie Torres was first elected to represent the 15th Council District in the Central Bronx in November 2013. As Chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Housing, Council Member Torres oversaw the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) which is the largest provider of affordable housing in the country. In this capacity, he introduced and enacted legislation to improve safety and quality of life for thousands of NYCHA residents. In November 2017, Council Member Torres was elected to his second term and became Chair of the new Oversight and Investigations Committee of the City Council. In this role, he is tasked with investigating matters within the Council’s jurisdiction concerning property, affairs, or government of New York City.

    Council Member Torres is now running for Congress to represent his South Bronx district. His legislative victories include legislation protecting the City’s affordable housing stock; improving mental health resources for the LGBT community; tackling the city’s opioid epidemic; and reforming the NYPD’s daily interactions with New Yorkers. Council Member Torres became active in politics at an early age, first as a fellow in the inaugural class of the Coro NY Exploring Leadership Program, and then going on to work as the Housing Director for Council Member Jimmy Vacca before running for office in 2013.

  8. Study Group with Mayor Michael Nutter

    Tuesday October 13 - 4:30pm

    Join us on Tuesday, October 13 at 4:30pm ET for a study group with IOP Fellow Mayor Michael Nutter. Michael Nutter served as the 98th Mayor of the City of Philadelphia. As mayor, he managed the City of Philadelphia through the Great Recession, and the City's credit rating was upgraded to “A” by the three major credit agencies for the first time since the 1970s.

    SPECIAL GUEST: Mayor Muriel Bowser (Mayor of the District of Columbia, DC since 2015)

    RSVP by 12:00pm ET on Tuesday, 10/13

  9. Local Latina Leaders: Empowering and Representing Latinx in State and Local Government

    Wednesday October 14 - 4:00pm

    In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, join us for a special virtual event to hear from three local Latina leaders in Massachusetts state and city government:

    • Rosalin Acosta – MA Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development
    • Judith Garcia – Chelsea City Councilor and Vice President
    • Tania del Rio – Executive Director, City of Boston’s Office of Women’s Advancement (and HKS alumna)

    Our esteemed panelistas will share their stories about their own paths to and within state & city government, their insights on the importance of Latinx leadership during the Coronavirus pandemic, and their ideas on how to inspire and involve more Latinas to serve in a variety of roles in state & city government. HKS Latinx Caucus co-chair Cassandra Duchan Saucedo will moderate, and there will also be audience Q&A.

    This virtual event will be on Wed, October 14th from 4-5pm ET (pre-registration is required here), and is being proudly co-hosted by the HKS Latinx Caucus, the Taubman Center for State & Local Government, the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, the HKS Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, and the Institute of Politics. ¡Nos vemos ahí!


  10. Study Group with IOP Fellow Chasten Buttigieg

    Thursday October 15 - 4:30pm

    Join us on Thursday, October 15 at 4:30pm ET for a study group with IOP Fellow Chasten Buttigieg. Chasten Buttigieg is an author and LGBTQ+ advocate, who received his bachelor’s degree in theater and global studies from the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire and his master’s in education from DePaul University. He has worked as a busboy, dog walker, nursing assistant, waiter, cashier, bartender, and most recently a middle school drama and humanities teacher.

    SPECIAL GUEST: Lis Smith (Former Senior Advisor, Pete Buttigieg 2020 Presidential Campaign)

    TOPIC: Twitter is Not Real Life: The Importance of Talking with Voters, Not at Them

    RSVP by 12:00pm ET on Thursday, 10/15

  11. Election 2020: The Power of Ballot Initiatives

    Thursday October 15 - 6:00pm

    On Thursday, October 15th at 6pm ET, join the Institute of Politics and Harvard Votes Challenge for a conversation on the power of ballot initiatives. This November, voters in 32 states will decide 120 statewide ballot measures that will impact policy surrounding elections, taxes, labor, and criminal justice reform. Ballot measures provide a unique form of direct democracy, allowing citizens to put forth an idea for a statutory or constitutional change and gather signatures to place it on the ballot.

    With less than a month left to cast ballots in this election, we welcome Angel Sanchez and Jesse Mermell to share their first-hand experience with ballot initiatives and to discuss the power of direct democracy.  

    In 2018, Florida voters in a bipartisan moment approved an amendment to the state's constitution that restored voting rights to as many as 1.4 million residents who'd been barred from voting because they had a prior felony conviction. Sanchez was sentenced to 30 years in prison when he was 16 years old. Today he is a law graduate from the University of Miami and works at the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition​, advocating to restore ex-felons voting rights in Florida.

    This fall, Massachusetts voters will consider a measure to enact ranked-choice voting, allowing voters to rank candidates in order of their preferences. Mermell, a former 4th Congressional District candidate, was narrowly defeated in the Democratic primary, which saw the top two candidates take less than 23 percent of the vote each and a winner declared without a majority.

    RSVP to join the conversation in the virtual JFK Jr. Forum.

    The Harvard Votes Challenge is a nonpartisan initiative that strives to build a civic culture at Harvard University by increasing voter registration and participation among students, staff, and faculty. In Fall 2018, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and Institute of Politics launched the Harvard Votes Challenge to promote student voter registration and turnout across Harvard. Make a plan to vote at

  12. LatinX Month Pizza and Politics- Policy Making in Bolsonaro’s Brazil and Running for International Office

    Friday October 16 - 2:00pm

    RSVP Here.

    Tábata Amaral and Renan Ferreirinha are two Brazilian politicians, education activists, and Harvard class of 2016 graduates. Tabata is currently a federal deputy (congresswoman) representing the state of São Paulo. She was elected to office at 24 and has been called Brazil’s AOC. Renan is a state deputy representing the state of Rio de Janeiro in its legislative house. The two have co-founded RenovaBR, a Brazilian NGO dedicated to preparing local citizens to become political leaders and helping to elect 17 new leaders in the 2018 Brazilian congressional elections, and Movimentos Mapa Educação, an education advocacy organization working to improve Brazil’s education program.

    Additionally, Tábata has started Acredito, an organization that promotes young progressive politicians who are seeking office for the first time, with a focus on increasing the diversity of Brazil’s national congress. Tabata has been listed as one of the BBC’s 100 most inspiring and influential women and Time Magazine’s 100 Next list. Most recently, she has published a book, Nosso Lugar (our place), on the fight for more women in Brazilian politics.