Former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson and litigator David Boies were once bitter rivals, arguing against each other before the Supreme Court in Gore v. Bush. Years later, the pair formed a legal odd couple thatbrought them back to the Supreme Court, this time on the same side arguing against California’s Proposition 8, which banned same sex marriage. The rivals turned allies are co-authors of Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality, in which they recall their five-year struggle that culminated in a landmark decision overturning Proposition 8 in the 2013 case of Hollingsworth v. Perry. Speaking at the Roosevelt House at Hunter College, the attorneys make an emotional case for marriage equality as well as the legal one. “Marriage is between two people that love one another that want to form a lasting, stable, permanent, eternal relationship with one another who want to become part of the community,” Olson says, “who want to raise their children in a community and who want to be a part of the economy and be part of everything that America stands for.”
A lifelong advocate for health equity, Dr. Adewale Troutman, challenged the graduating class of the CUNY School of Public Health to take chances and to not be afraid of failure. “Consider both your highs and your lows to be your inspiration,” said Dr. Troutman, a professor and associate dean at the University of South Florida and past president of the American Public Health Association. In his keynote address, Dr. Troutman recalled his rough upbringing in the South Bronx and credits his decision to attend Bronx Community College and Lehman College, as the key reason he made it to out of the neighborhood, unlike many of his childhood friends. “These schools not only changed my life, they saved my life.”
One of the most successful Grammy Award-winning American folk singers says she has had her own share of personal challenges. “I was drinking myself to death. I had top 10 hits. Everything was just fine except I couldn’t work and people just didn’t know it,” says Collins, speaking at the Hunter College Roosevelt House Public […]
Of his years in office, former mayor David Dinkins says that “one of the real tragedies of our administration was the Crown Heights riots.” Speaking candidly at the Hunter College Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, Dinkins said, “I regret not telling the police sooner that they’ve got to do better … I take the blame […]
Angst is what a great play should impart to its audience, acclaimed playwright John Guare says. “I like to send an audience out with a sense of unease. … A play gives you, not the answers to life, but rather the questions to ask of life.” The multi-Tony award-winning author of “Six Degrees of Separation” […]
Former New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau reiterated his longtime commitment to the rights of undocumented immigrants, while urging lawmakers to pass a comprehensive reform policy. “It’s extremely shortsighted to lock them up,” said Morgenthau, who has called for changes in the immigration laws themselves, spoke at event sponsored by the Roosevelt House Public Policy […]
For over three decades, investigative reporters Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele have chronicled the decline of the American middle class, earning two Pulitzer Prizes and two National Magazine Awards. In their latest book, The Betrayal of the American Dream, they sharpen their analysis of the causes of the economic crisis, including the years of mistaken trade and tax policy, as well as a disregard for existing laws. “It wasn’t just a hurricane that blew through the economy, but rather a deregulation of public policies and issues of taxes and trade that caused these problems,” said Steele at an event at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College.
Dolphins may look like big fish, but with large and complex brains the marine mammals’ behavior is more like primates and elephants, according to Diana Reiss, professor of psychology at Hunter College. “We used to think that many of our cognitive and communicative abilities were uniquely human,” says Reiss, who co-chaired the first annual CUNY Animal Behavior Initiative Conference at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, “but now we’re discovering that many of the abilities we possess — like the ability to recognize ourselves in a mirror — are found in other animals.” Reiss, who also serves as director of dolphin research at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, spoke at the all-day conference of panelists from around the country sharing their work in animal behavior.
The author of Churchill Defiant: Fighting On, 1945-1955, claims that the British prime minister’s influence on John F. Kenney’s intellectual thinking and political strategies is indisputable. “I don’t think Jack Kennedy would have been half the man he was if it wasn’t for Winston Churchill,” says Barbara Leaming, the author of Jack Kennedy: The Education of a Statesman (2006), in which she detailed her research. Leaming, who spoke at the Tina Santi Flaherty Irish Voices Literary Series at Hunter College, discussed how Kennedy “looked to his idol for inspiration, in almost all his decisions, including the (1963 Limited Nuclear) Test Ban Treaty which put an end to the Cold War.”
For New York Times columnist Dan Barry, it was the confluence of two critical events — a personal battle with cancer, followed by the heartbreak of 9/11 — that changed him both personally and professionally. “I came to understand, more acutely, the preciousness of life, not only as a person but as a reporter,” Barry said to audience at Hunter College as part of the Tina Santi Flaherty Irish Voices Literary Series. “I also found myself less interested in investigative journalism and more interested in bearing witness.” Barry recalled the impact of his Irish-American, working class roots and how writing the “This Land” column has given him the opportunity to “seek out the small moments that reveal the larger truths.”