The speaker series is an annual staple of January Term, SMC’s intense month-long semester when students are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones, explore new intellectual territory and take classes that often embody the Lasallian tradition of social action.

All programs are free and open to the public.

Jason Connell
“Changing the World 101”
Tuesday, January 8, 2013, 7 p.m.
Soda Activity Center

Jason Connell is the executive director of Ignited Leadership, a dynamic Washington, D.C.-based human service organization that is dedicated to building a better world, one leader at a time. Jason has volunteered in some of the world's poorest regions and has learned first-hand of the dire challenges – and profound rewards – of truly making a difference. 

Father Edward Branch & the St. Columba Gospel Choir
“Soulful  & Sacred: Celebrating the Black Catholic Experience”
Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 5:30 p.m.
Soda Activity Center & College Chapel

Father Edward Branch is the Catholic chaplain for the Atlanta University Center (AUC), a consortium of historically African American institutions of higher education that boasts the largest concentration of scholars of African heritage in the world. He has served as university chaplain and director of campus ministry at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and Grambling State University in Louisiana. In recognition of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Father Branch will speak on the distinctive experience and journey of Black Catholics in America.

6:30 p.m.  Reception honoring Saint Mary’s African American Alumni.

7:30 p.m.  Concert in the Chapel. Celebrate the joyful wonder of Black Catholic gospel music with a special January Term cultural celebration by Oakland’s Saint Columba Gospel Choir, directed by Rawn Harbor, one of the nation’s preeminent African American Catholic liturgists. 

Kaya Oakes
“Unlikely Inspiration”
Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 7 p.m.
Soda Activity Center

Kaya Oakes is the author of Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture, the poetry collection Telegraph and Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church. Oakes is also co-founder of Kitchen Sink, winner of the Utne Independent Press Award for Best New Magazine. Oakes earned both her undergraduate degree and a MFA in creative writing at Saint Mary’s. She teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, and lives in Oakland.

Lisa Kristine
"Shining a Light on Modern-Day Slavery"
Thursday, January 31, 2013, 7 p.m.
Soda Activity Center

Acclaimed humanitarian photographer Lisa Kristine specializes in images of remote indigenous cultures in more than 100 countries on six continents. Lisa spent a year traveling the world to document modern-day slavery – into the heart of broiling brick kilns, down rickety mine shafts, and into the hidden lairs of sex slavery. Her recent book, Slavery, has received global attention. She will share the stories behind her images - and how she bore witness to horrible abuses and to astonishing glimpses of the indomitable human spirit.

For more information, contact the Jan Term office.
Members of the media may contact Mike McAlpin at 925-631-4222.

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