College hosting month-long speaker series


Rachel Denhollander. Courtesy Calvin College

A New York Times bestselling author, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, the former president of Ireland, an astronaut and the whistleblower in the Larry Nassar case are some of the people speaking at a local college in January.

The 2019 Calvin College January Series is free to the public and takes place 12:30-1:30 p.m. each weekday from Jan. 3 through Jan. 23 in Calvin’s Covenant Fine Arts Center, 1795 Knollcrest Circle SE in Grand Rapids.

The series will feature 15 people speaking on a variety of topics, including polarization in politics, immigration, race and America, sexual abuse, and climate justice, among others.

Some speakers include Rachel Denhollander, the first woman to file a police report and speak publicly against former USA Gymnastics national team doctor and MSU physician Larry Nassar; Mary Robinson, president of Ireland from 1990 to 1997 and United Nations high commissioner for human rights from 1997 to 2002; and Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times columnist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner.

Kristi Potter, director of the January Series, said the annual lineup is meant to “cultivate deep thinking and conversations around the important issues of the day in an effort to inspire cultural renewal and shape global citizens.”

The series also is available via livestream in more than 50 cities throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

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