Pritzker Fellows

Fall Quarter 2021

Each Quarter, the Pritzker Fellows program welcomes a cohort of domestic and international practitioners – elected officials, journalists, activists, policymakers, diplomats – to campus for deep dives into the most pressing issues of the day.

University of Chicago's Institute of Politics

Catherine bertini

An accomplished leader in international organization reform and a powerful advocate for women and girls, Catherine Bertini has a distinguished career improving the efficiency and operations of organizations serving poor and hungry people globally and in the United States. She was appointed to senior positions by three UN secretaries general and five US presidents.

Bertini’s career includes twenty-five years in the private sector; thirteen years as a university professor and in the United Nations, twenty years advising major foundations and think tanks, plus service in local, state and national governments.

In 2003, she was named the World Food Prize Laureate for her transformational leadership at the World Food Programme (WFP), which she led for ten years,and for the positive impact she had on the lives of women. She dedicated the prize money to creating the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls Education, housed at WFP/USA. As a United Nations Under Secretary General, she initiated efforts to reform the global system for security of staff and for the recognition of all staff marriages. She led UN humanitarian missions to the Horn of Africa and to Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel.

Earlier, while in the US government, she expanded the electronic benefit transfer options for food stamp beneficiaries, created the food package for breastfeeding mothers, presented the first effort to picture healthy diets, and expanded education and training opportunities for poor women. In 2008, she co-chaired a successful effort to impact American policy to support poor farmers in the developing world, now called “Feed the Future.”

She was recruited by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help advise its gender programming near the start of its agricultural development initiative. She served on the jury of the Hilton Foundation Humanitarian Prize. Most recently, Bertini was a fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation where she published a paper, “Leading Change in United Nations Organizations.”

She taught international relations courses to graduate students at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and had one semester appointments at the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Currently, she is a distinguished fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She is a fellow at the Scowcroft Institute at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and is affiliated with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Lugar Institute. She is a professor emeritus at Syracuse University. Bertini serves as chair of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and as a board member of the GlobalFood Banking Network. She is a member of the Leadership Council of Compact 2025 of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). She is a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the International Union of Food Science and Technology and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Bertini has been honored by twelve universities in four countries with honorary degrees and by the Republics of Italy and Ireland.

Ertharin Cousin

Ertharin Cousin a global agriculture, food security and nutrition solutions thought leader and sustainability advocate currently serves as a Richard von WeizsäckerFellow ofthe Robert Bosch Academy, a Distinguished Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs; a Visiting Scholar at the Stanford University, Center on Food Security and Environment and as the CEO and Founder of Food Systems for the Future, a nutrition impact investment fund. From 2012 until 2017, Cousin led the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). In 2009, Cousin was nominated and confirmed as the US Ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome. Prior to her global hunger work, Cousin helped lead the U.S. domestic fight to end hunger including service as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of America’s Second Harvest -now Feeding America.

Ertharin Cousin a global agriculture, food security and nutrition solutions thought leader and sustainability advocate currently serves as a Richard von WeizsäckerFellow ofthe Robert Bosch Academy, a Distinguished Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs; a Visiting Scholar at the Stanford University, Center on Food Security and Environment and as the CEO and Founder of Food Systems for the Future, a nutrition impact investment fund. From 2012 until 2017, Cousin led the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). In 2009, Cousin was nominated and confirmed as the US Ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome. Prior to her global hunger work, Cousin helped lead the U.S. domestic fight to end hunger including service as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of America’s Second Harvest -now Feeding America.

Tony Fabrizio

Tony Fabrizio is widely recognized as an expert in public opinion and politics and one of the nation’s leading pollsters. He has helped elect Presidents and Prime Ministers on four continents.

In the U.S., Fabrizio served as the Chief Pollster on five Presidential campaigns, most notably President Donald Trump’s successful 2016 upset victory and his 2020 re-election campaign.

Over the course of his 38 year career, he’s also helped elect dozens of U.S. Senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, scores of Congressmen, numerous Governors and other Statewide elected officials, as well as worked for dozens of issue groups and trade associations.

In addition to his political clientele, Fabrizio has worked for a number of Fortune 500 companies including Visa, Bank of America, Google, Juul, Uber, Pfizer, Hewlett-Packard, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Dow Chemical, UPS, Altria and PepsiCo to name just a few.

In 2017, Fabrizio’s peers at the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC)awarded him with the “Pollster of the Year” award for his work on former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Janice Jackson

As the Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Dr. Janice K. Jackson leads the nation’s third largest school district, with a budget of $7B serving over 340,000students. With over 16 years of executive experience, Dr. Jackson is a transformational and strategic leader with a track record of improving academic outcomes in urban school systems, new school design, operational execution, leadership and organizational change. Dr. Jackson has extensive skills and expertise in change management, communications, crisis management, labor management and negotiations, and risk management and mitigation. Adept in leading and managing through crisis and dynamic change, in 2018 Dr. Jackson led the first of its kind Enterprise Risk Management assessment for CPS leading to dramatic improvements in daily operations, audit reviews, public relations and overall performance. In addition, Dr. Jackson has expertise in talent acquisition, development, and retention and is recognized as a local and national policy influencer.

Dr. Jackson is a 2007 Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago. She serves on multiple non-profit boards, including the Council of Great City Schools, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), Junior Achievement and Thrive Chicago. In these roles, Dr. Jackson has served on numerous Audit, and Recruitment and Selection Committees, and a Volunteer Committee.

Dr. Jackson directly oversees a $7 billion budget and manages the entire operations for an organization with over 45,000 employees. Jackson has negotiated several contracts with multi-labor unions totaling ~$2B during her tenure. Dr. Jackson is a leader in innovation and possesses a gift for vision and strategy. Dr. Jackson created a progressive five-year strategic plan with ambitious organizational goals. As CEO, she has led several major enterprise information system overhauls to ensure efficiency, increase productivity and accountability while also protecting the organization by implementing the leading best practices in cybersecurity.

Most recently, Dr. Jackson worked in partnership with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Teachers Union, local elected officials, Chicago Department of Public Health, and a host of city agencies in response to the global pandemic. Dr. Jackson launched a comprehensive reopening framework that included health and safety protocols, remote learning guidelines, and support resources. Her collaborative efforts and forward-thinking has positioned the school district to navigate smartly through the human and educational challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Jackson is a highly regarded public speaker and thought-leader in the field of education policy and leadership. In addition to a wide array of authentic and long-term relationships with local and national lawmakers, she has delivered passionate testimony regarding the negative impact of gun violence and poverty on children’s ability to learn on Capitol Hill. She has delivered testimony at the local and federal level to influence policy on a variety of educational policy issues. As district leader she has been hugely instrumental in advocating for evidence-based funding for CPS, and worked closely with elected officials to sign into law the landmark Evidence-Based Funding for the Student Success Act. Dr. Jackson’s leadership and track record have been leveraged in building a national multi-media marketing strategy.

Although Dr. Jackson has spent her entire professional career in CPS she has been able to be entrepreneurial and bring about drastic change in a complex system. Prior to her recent executive roles, she founded and led two successful Chicago public high schools.Both institutions exceeded district averages across multiple performance indicators.

She holds two degrees from Chicago State University and advanced degrees from University of Illinois at Chicago which include a Master's in Leadership and Administration and a Doctorate in Education in Policy Studies in Urban School Leadership. Dr. Jackson resides on the south side of Chicago with her husband, Torrence and two children.

Mitch Landrieu

Mitch Landrieu is an American Politician, Lawyer, author, speaker, nonprofit leader and CNN political commentator. He served as the 61st Mayor of New Orleans (2010-2018) When he took office, the city was still recovering from Hurricane Katrina and in the midst of the BP Oil Spill.

Under Landrieu's leadership, New Orleans is widely recognized as one of the nation’s great comeback stories. In 2015, Landrieu was named “Public Official of the Year” by Governing, and in 2016 was voted “America’s top turnaround mayor” in a Politico survey of mayors. He also served as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Landrieu gained national prominence for his powerful decision to take down four Confederate monuments in New Orleans, which also earned him the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile inCourage Award. In his best-selling book, In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History, Landrieu recounts his personal journey confronting the issue of race and institutional racism that still plagues America.

In 2018, he launched E Pluribus Unum, an initiative in the South created to fulfill America’s promise of justice and opportunity for all by breaking down the barriers that divide us by race and class. E Pluribus Unum is building a series of programs and initiatives to cultivate courageous leaders who are committed to realizing an inclusive vision for a new South, champion transformative policies to reverse the enduring harms of America’s Jim Crow era past for those who continue to experience them today, and change narratives that perpetuate systemic and interpersonal racism in order to shift people’s attitudes and behaviors.

Prior to serving as Mayor, Landrieu served two terms as lieutenant governor and 16 years in the state legislature. He and his wife Cheryl live in New Orleans, where they raised their five children.

Russell Moore

Russell Moore serves as public theologian at Christianity Today, and as director of the CT Public Theology Project.The Wall Street Journal has called Moore “vigorous, cheerful, and fiercely articulate.” He was named in 2017 to Politico Magazine’s list of top fifty influence-makers in Washington, and has been profiled by such publications as the New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, and the New Yorker.

Moore was President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention from 2013 to 2021. Prior to that role, Moore served as provost and dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he also taught theology and ethics.

Moore is the author of several books, including "The Courage to Stand: Facing Your Fear Without Losing Your Soul, Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel" and "The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home".

A native Mississippian, he and his wife Maria, along with their five sons, live in Nashville, Tennessee, where he serves as a minister-in-residence at Immanuel Church.

Lotfullah Najafizada

Mr. Lotfullah Najafizada is an award-winning journalist and director of TOLOnews, Afghanistan’s top 24/7 news and current affairs TV channel. At TOLOnews, Mr. Najafizada oversees the largest news operation in Afghanistan. Mr. Najafizada has interviewed many global leaders, including former British Prime Minister David Cameron, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and former US NSA Gen HR McMaster, among others.

His international recognition include Reporters Without Borders’s prestigious medal of Press Freedom Hero for his fight for free press in Afghanistan in 2016, TIME Magazine’s title of Next Generation Global Leader and Forbes magazine 30 under 30 Asia influencers in media.

He has a BSc in Economics.

Tony Fabrizio on “Current State: Politics for ’22, Polling & Today’s GOP”

October 7, 12-1:15pm CT
October 21 & 28, 3:30-4:45pm CT
November 4, 3:30-4:45pm CT

All seminars will be held in the IOP Living Room unless otherwise noted.
All seminars are off the record/closed to press and open to current students only.

Seminar 1 (10/7): Tribes Within the GOP

Seminar 2 (10/21): Issues That Drive the GOP – Yesterday & Today

Seminar 3 (10/28): Election 2020: Analysis of Key Results in Target States

Seminar 4 (11/4): Election 2021: What It Means & What It Can Tell Us About the 2022 Mid-Terms

Janice Jackson on “The Chicago Story: Lessons from the Field”

Mondays, 12:30pm CT

All seminars will be held in the IOP Living Room unless otherwise noted.
All seminars are off the record/closed to press and open to current students only.

Summary

In these seminars, we will examine the most topical and sometimes controversial policy and operational issues facing urban public education systems today. In addition to examining trends and policies nationally, we will focus on Chicago Public Schools as an exemplar and case study as we examine the intersection of race and class within the context of policy formulation and implementation, reform and advocacy.

Seminar 1 (10/1): CPS Success Story: Why Has It Taken So Long for the Progress That CPS Has Made to Be Recognized?

In 2017, Professor Sean Reardon of Stanford University's Center for Education Policy Analysis noted that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students scored in the 96th percentile for academic growth after conducting a meta-analysis of every public school system in the nation. This study found that students in CPS grew a total of six years in five years from grades 3rd-8th. Similarly, CPS has been recognized by the National Center for Education Statistics for marked improvement in English Language Arts and Math on the National Educational Attainment Progress (NAEP). This, coupled with record-breaking graduation rates and improvements in a myriad of other metrics, has positioned CPS as one of the fastest improving large urban school systems. This data is in the public domain, yet many people are simply unaware or unwilling to acknowledge the progress. This begs the question, "Why is it so hard to believe? Does the demographic make-up of CPS make it difficult to buy into the story of progress? Does CPS's history and reputation make it difficult?" How do we explain the progress that CPS has made? What does the future hold? In this session, we will review the district's 5-year vision and explore the initiatives and efforts that have led to these improvements.

Seminar 2 (10/4): Leading Through Crisis

On March 16, 2020 we closed CPS schools for two weeks that eventually led to closures for over 14 months due to the pandemic. Many school systems were unprepared for this seismic shift. Luckily, the entire world experienced a similar shift. In turn, school districts shifted to support students and families to provide education and many of the social safety nets that schools offer to families. In this session, we will examine the operational best practices that were deployed to provide nutrition, technological support and continue to innovate during a crisis. We will examine the role of crisis management and effective communication. To best understand what we gained and what we lost, we will spend time understanding the exceptionally challenging political climate that many superintendents managed that led to widespread resignations immediately following the first full year of the pandemic. Finally, we will examine the role that federal, state and local leadership played in the way schooling occurred during the pandemic and identify ways that we can do better if faced with a similar situation in the future.

Seminar 3 (10/11): The "E" Word: Operationalizing Equity

As America grapples with the reckoning that occurred after the murder of George Floyd, we have witnessed an exponential increase in the number of organizations publishing equity statements and committing to diversity, inclusion and equity (DEI) reform initiatives. School systems have experienced similar trends. The truth is equity is easier discussed than implemented. In this session, we examine a few concrete examples of ways that Chicago Public Schools have operationalized equity in large urban school systems. We will examine the effectiveness of initiatives such as equity offices, policy reform, anti-bias training, Skyline, critical race theory and more.

Special Guest (via Zoom): Maurice Swinney, Chief Equity Officer at Chicago Public Schools

Seminar 4 (10/18): Who Should Govern Public Schools? The Debate Over Mayoral Control vs. An Elected School Board. What Is the Role of Parents?

On June 1, 2021 the Illinois Senate approved an amendment to HB2908 authorizing a 21-member elected school board for Chicago Public Schools. HB2908 enjoyed high levels of support from the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) who openly lobbied for this change in legislation. Many proponents of an ESB believe this will result in more transparency and even greater democracy in decision-making in CPS. Proponents of mayoral control will cite the progress that has been made in large districts like CPS as evidence of the efficacy of this model. During the pandemic, the debate over the role of parents in public education was heightened. Many districts saw protracted debates and standoffs between the boards, district managers, parents, and the public. As we reflect on the debate to reopen schools during the pandemic, whose voice should have guided the decision to reopen schools? What role did race and socioeconomic status play in who was educated in-person or remotely? In this session, we examine the history of school governance in Chicago with a focus on the current advocacy for an elected school board. We will also discuss the governance models in other large cities in an effort to identify pitfalls to avoid and best practices to implement. Finally, who should really govern schools? Does an elected school board give too much power to unions and special interest groups?

Seminar 5 (10/25): Show Me the Money: Why Are Illinois Public Schools So Underfunded?

In August 2017, Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law Public Act 100-0465 or the Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act. This law enacted evidence-based funding (EBF) where the State sends more resources to Illinois’ most under-resourced students. Despite this effort, Illinois schools are amongst the worst-funded schools in the country based on Ed Trust's data, which ranks Illinois 49th for overall funding for public education and 47th for funding to support the most economically disadvantaged schools. If this is the case, why is the debate more focused on how limited funds are allocated in one district when the focus should be on why students in Illinois, especially Chicago, are funded at such a disproportionately rate? This session will be a workshop that allows participants to conduct a deep dive into school funding models and create proposals for ways in which we can increase funding for public schools.

Special Guest: Robin Steans, CEO of Advanced Illinois

Suggested Reading for Janice's 10/25 Seminar:

Seminar 6 (11/1): Schooling in a Post-Pandemic Environment

On March 16, 2020, we closed CPS schools for two weeks that eventually led to closures for over 14 months due to the pandemic. During that period, the state of public education and the operations of the system were under a microscope. As we emerge from the pandemic, there are a few key factors that should shape public education in a post-pandemic environment. In this session, we will examine those factors and discuss how school systems and cities might redesign learning in a post-pandemic environment. We will look at the role of technology and education tech solutions in education, as well as explore the myriad learning options that now exist for schooling. How many students will return? How does what we teach change as a result? When will we have universal access to broadband, high-speed internet?

Special Guest: Pedro Martinez, CEO of Chicago Public Schools

Seminar 7 (11/8): Disrupting the School to Prison Pipeline

CPS has enacted a flurry of reforms that have led to a reduced number of students suspended, expelled and arrested. Yet disparities still exist between race and gender. In recent years, there has been a clarion call to dismantle the policies, systems and positions in schools that sustain the pipeline. If we know that zero-tolerance policies and the presence of school resource officers could potentially have adverse effects on students, why is it so difficult to move beyond these practices and structures? What efforts have been employed to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline and where can we do more?

Special Guests: Shantel Meek, Professor of Practice and Founding Director of the Children's Equity Project, Arizona State University; Kayla Patrick, Senior P-12 Policy Analyst, The Education Trust; and Elizabeth Todd-Breland, Associate Professor of History, University of Illinois at Chicago

Seminar 8 (11/15): School Choice Debate: Reserved for Low-Income Families

In this session, I will examine the history of school choice in Chicago by highlighting the successes and unintended outcomes that have occurred as a result. We will also examine the national debate on initiatives such as vouchers, charters and selective enrollment programs. We will discuss the issues associated with these programs but also why there is a discrepancy in who gets to have a choice in the schooling. Finally, we will examine this through the lens of racial integration in schools. The question is whether choice programs increase ethical and racial diversity in schools? If it does, at what cost?

Special Guests: Brenda Cassellius, Superintendent, Boston Public Schools; Tony Howard, Executive Director of Policy, CPS; and Stefan Lallinger, Senior Fellow & Director of The Century Foundation's Bridges Collaborative

Mitch Landrieu

October 5, 1:15-2:30pm CT
October 11, 3:30-4:45pm CT
November 2 & 11, 3:30-4:45pm CT

All seminars will be held in the IOP Living Room unless otherwise noted.
All seminars are off the record/closed to press and open to current students only.

Seminar 1 (10/5): Build Back Better: How Climate Change Impacts Disaster Response

Seminar 2 (10/11): Reducing Gun Violence in America

Gun violence in America is surging. We'll look at where and why, and some possible solutions. CRED, Create Real Economic Destiny, was started by former Education Secretary Arne Duncan to work with young men to interrupt violence in real time, with counseling, education and job training, ultimately placing them in jobs across Chicago. We'll be joined by Arne Duncan, some of the young men from CRED and State Representative Kam Buckner to discuss the challenges and success of this program and what's happening in other cities to address gun violence.

Special Guests: Arne Duncan, former United States Secretary of Education (2009-2016); State Representative Kam Buckner (IL-26); CRED participants

Seminar 3 (11/2): Divided by Design

Learning what separates us and what can bring us together to find bold and effective solutions to tackle the modern legacy of Jim Crow.

Suggested Reading & Listening

Seminar 4 (11/11): Engaging the Narrative on Race

Stories and storytellers can unite generations and provoke action. Clint Smith, writer for The Atlantic and author of How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America, joins to discuss this fundamental element to our complete history, the importance, and how we move forward.

Special Guest (via Zoom): Clint Smith, writer for The Atlantic, author of How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America

Russell Moore on “Evangelical Religion in American Politics & Culture”

Tuesdays, 12:30pm CT

All seminars will be held in the IOP Living Room unless otherwise noted.
All seminars are off the record/closed to press and open to current students only.

Summary

The seminar will examine the complicated relationship between American religion - especially in its evangelical Protestant form - and the current political and cultural landscape. We will explore. Special attention will be given to the contexts and controversies around race, gender, and nationalism as well as to the ways that secularization, globalization, and internal changes within American religious communities could change in the years to come.

Seminar 1 (9/29): The Varieties of American Evangelicalism

Seeing religious Americans—especially “white evangelicals” and the black church—only in political categories can confuse the broader culture as to who these citizens are and what are the sociological, theological, and cultural factors motivating them. This seminar will trace the development of American evangelicalism as we know it today, and will examine the contested nature of evangelical identity.

Special Guest (via Zoom): Timothy Keller, chairman & co-founder of Redeemer City to City, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, author of “The Reason for God” & “The Prodigal God”

Seminar 2 (10/12): Evangelical Christianity & the Culture Wars

From school prayer to the Equal Rights Amendment to abortion and sexuality, the relationship between conservative evangelicals and the dominant cultures in the United States is usually framed in terms of “culture wars.” Such cultural fractures led to the emergence of the Religious Right and to, arguably, the reconfiguration of both the Left and the Right in the United States. This seminar will question the philosophical, theological, and cultural factors behind this polarization, and whether American culture is headed for a culture war truce or for an even more divided country.

Special Guest: David French, senior editor at The Dispatch, contributor at TIME, and co-host of the Advisory Opinions podcast

Seminar 3 (10/19): Evangelical Christianity & Electoral Politics

From Jimmy Carter and the “Year of the Evangelical” to Jerry Falwell Jr. and the emergence of Donald Trump, American evangelicals have played an outsized role relative to their population in partisan politics and in some aspects of public policy. This seminar will examine the factors motivating such political participation, along with exploring how such coalitions might broaden, deepen, or collapse in the years to come. Special attention will be given to the strange and seemingly unalterable alliance between white evangelicals and Donald Trump.

Special Guest: Professor Randall Balmer, historian of American religion & the John Phillips Chair in Religion at Dartmouth

Seminar 4 (10/26): Evangelical Christianity & Science

From court battles over evolutionary biology taught in schools to current controversies over climate change and COVID-19 public health measures, many of the most contentious cultural and public policy divides between more religious and more secular Americans focus on questions of science. In this seminar, we will explore the underlying issues beneath such divides and ask whether science and conservative religion will find more integration or more mutual skepticism in the decades ahead.

Special Guest: Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health

Seminar 5 (11/2): Evangelical Christianity & American Pluralism

Sociologist Phillip Jenkins has written that “The future of American religion is ‘None.'” Nonetheless, he qualifies this statement with research showing that the rise of the “Nones” does not necessarily mean a rejection of theism, but it does mean a transformation in religious institutions as we know them now. As in Western Europe, these shifts will have major implications for American political life and American cultural polarization. This seminar will examine the changing attitudes toward religion among Millennials and “Generation Z” and explore how such changes might affect politics, policy, demography, and culture, especially in light of the need for religious pluralism. The seminar will also explore how pluralism - especially in terms of minority religions - will affect church/state and religious liberty concerns.

Special Guest: Ali Noorani, President of the National Immigration Forum

Seminar 6 (11/9): Evangelical Christianity & Racial Justice

Religion - including evangelical Protestant Christianity - was a key motivation for sizable segments of various justice movements in American history, from the abolition of slavery to the civil rights movement. Many others used the same religious texts and authorities to oppose those movements. In our current context, religion is often close beneath the surface of controversies over Black Lives Matter, “critical race theory,” and public policy questions such as redlining, affirmative action, and policing/sentencing reform. This seminar will examine the religious aspects of such debates as well as how religious arguments intersect with questions of justice, especially in regard to racism and racial disparities in American life.

Seminar 7 (11/16): Evangelical Christianity & Gender

Some political observers assumed that the infamous “Access Hollywood” leaked audio of Donald Trump discussing sexual assault and women would result in plummeting support from white evangelicals. Such a decline in support not only did not happen but, in fact, the presidential candidate won this constituency by (in some estimates) over 80 percent of the vote. In the years since, both the broader American culture and the evangelical subculture have faced very public reckonings on questions of sexual abuse, sexual assault, and various other questions related to gender. In this seminar, we will ask how questions of masculinity and femininity and sexuality are related to the “culture war” and whether evangelicalism is changing on these matters - and what such discussions have to do with the political and cultural future of the country.

Special Guest: Kristin Du Mez, Professor of History, Calvin University

Lotfullah Najafizada on "Afghanistan’s Journey Since 9/11 & the Rise of Free Press"

Wednesdays, 3:30pm CT

All seminars will be held in the IOP Living Room unless otherwise noted.
All seminars are off the record/closed to press and open to current students only.

Summary

The following five seminars will review the journey of Afghanistan since 9/11 and what has changed in the country and for the Afghan people since then. One fundamental change is arguably the birth and rise of free press in the country, which is considered one of the biggest achievements of post-9/11 Afghanistan, a country also known for being the deadliest country for journalists worldwide.

Seminar 1 (10/20): How Could the Taliban Retake the Country In Less Than 100 Days? And Since the Taliban Takeover, What Are Afghan Journalists Going Through?

In this seminar, we will review the last days of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the decisions made which not only did not prevent Taliban advances, but accelerated the pace of collapse -- district after district, city after city. While the President of the country has fled, many journalists and almost all major media outlets have chosen to continue their work, but are under immense pressure.

Seminar 2 (10/27): The Taliban 2.0 & the United States Dilemma

With the United States having fully withdrawn from Afghanistan, there are more signs of international terrorist groups, mainly ISIS, emerging in the country. Can the Taliban and the United States work together to fight international terrorism while the Taliban leaders are still on US and UN backlists and the United States is in no hurry to recognize the Taliban regime?

Special Guest (via Zoom): Tamim Asey, former Deputy Minister of Defense of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Seminar 3 (11/3): Media & A Cultural Revolution Afghanistan

In 2003, religious extremists protested when male and female radio show hosts laughed on a radio show. In the 18 years since, Afghanistan’s media entities have hosted dozens of presidential debates, American-idol style music shows were most-watched, and hundreds of media outlets created platforms for all sorts of discussions – mostly taboo in Afghan tradition, culture, politics, and religion.

Special Guest (via Zoom): Aryana Sayeed, Afghan singer, songwriter and TV personality

Seminar 4 (11/10): How Should the U.S. Deal With the Taliban? A Conversation With Ambassador Adela Raz of Afghanistan

Special Guest: Adela Raz, former Ambassador to the United States from Afghanistan

Seminar 5 (11/15): An Insurgency’s Communication Doctrine - The War of Perceptions

NOTE: This seminar will be held on Monday, November 15 from 3:30-4:45pm CT

In this seminar, we will review the Taliban’s communication strategy over the past twenty years and how they benefited from Afghanistan’s free press.

Special Guest: Sami Mahdi, Afghan journalist and co-founder of Payk Media, Inc.

Catherine Bertini & Ertharin Cousin on “The Politics of Hunger”

Tuesdays, 3:30pm CT

All seminars will be held in the IOP Living Room unless otherwise noted.
All seminars are off the record/closed to press and open to current students only.

Summary

In 2021, how can anyone really remain hungry or malnourished? COVID-19 illuminated the disparities in both the domestic and international food systems, forcing us to rethink the often-asked question, “Don’t we grow more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet?” In fact, if America maintains the world’s most productive agriculture system, why were food bank lines long and grocery shelves empty? The data suggests a majority of people in our society “care” about the hungry and malnourished. Yet today, American children go to bed hungry. The medical and academic communities now acknowledge a correlation between the increase in noncommunicable disease, diet and poverty. A bipartisan Congressional hunger caucus has long championed the issue of ending hunger. New temporary emergency programs and increases in food assistance represent encouraging actions, but these time-limited programs fail to address the structural challenges of ending hunger in America. Internationally in 2020, COVID-19 exacerbated the protracted hunger problems, increasing the numbers of malnourished children and hungry families to a ten-year high of some 850 million. Former UN World Food Programme Executive Directors, Catherine Bertini, a lifelong Republican, and Ertharin Cousin, a Democratic policy advocate, will lead each seminar through lectures, readings, group debates and discussions. The class will explore the thorny issues and questions which shape the politics of domestic and international hunger.

Seminar 1 (9/28): What Is Hunger? Why Is Anyone Hungry or Malnourished in 2021? Why Should You Care?

Let's talk about politics and hunger. What is the relationship between the thorny political issues of the day and who experiences hunger? Does it matter how we define hunger? Why are people hungry? Understanding 'food insecurity' in all its dimensions, including defining and understanding hidden hunger. Understanding why 850 million hungry represents progress, and how we achieved this relative progress? Beyond the mortal and religious issues, why should anyone care about those who are hungry? If we believe in the "progressive realization of the right to food," how will we achieve this goal? Is 'food justice' an achievable goal, or simply another progressive rallying cry? If so, why are solutions so elusive? This first seminar will provide a broad overview of the many facets of the issues impacting global food insecurity and malnutrition.

Seminar 2 (10/5): Food Systems Nourishing A Food Secure Future for All...What Will It Take? Will Politics, Culture & Consumer Demand Help or Hinder Food System Transformation

Some would argue that the industrial system of agriculture production combined with increasing global climate variability now results in food system failure. While our global food system is productive, some suggest that it is not environmentally sustainable. Is it possible to create an agriculture food system that adequately supports both planetary health and human health? We will discuss the competing political views regarding these issues, particularly exploring the mountain of global challenges of agriculture production, land management, water use and scarcity challenges and the impact of the accelerating climate crisis.

Seminar 3 (10/12): Women Eat Last

This seminar will examine the critical role of women and girls in ending hunger. Women and girls in the developing world are involved in all aspects of food provision - as farmers, cooks, providers of water and firewood, marketers and mothers. Yet, due to politics of place and gender, they are often not in leadership roles, even in their own households. How does the empowerment of women change families' economic well-being and end hunger? Given the challenges faced by women and girls, how is this achieved?

Special Guests: Vicki Escarra, Senior Advisor at Boston Consulting Group and former CEO of Feeding America and Opportunity International; and Vicki Wilde, Senior Program Officer, Agricultural Development & Women's Economic Empowerment at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Seminar Four (10/19): No Security Without Food Security

The data supports a clear correlation between conflict and hunger. Six out of ten people facing acute food insecurity or hunger reside in countries plagued by conflict or insecurity. Three-quarters of stunted children - some 122 out of 155 million children - live in countries affected by conflict and violence. What is the relationship between hunger and conflict? Does hunger act as a conflict multiplier? With all the humanitarian and development resources invested in supporting affected civilian populations during conflict, why and how does humanitarian access affect food insecurity and malnutrition, particularly in situations involving non-state actors? Do the humanitarian principles still matter? If so, how do we enforce them?

Special Guest: Tjada D'Oyen McKenna, CEO of Mercy Corps

Seminar 5 (10/26): Achieving Food Security: The Politics of Why 'The System' Is Geared to Supporting Emergency Needs but Not to Building Long-Term Self-Reliance

Photos of starving babies move governments to act, but photos of poor women working in the fields and sending their children to school draw no attention or funding. However, efforts spent to help build peace and prosperity have huge, positive long-term impacts. Why are these efforts not the top priority? What has been done to change the narrative? What can be done? What are the politics that stall reform?

Special Guests (via Zoom): Jim Barnhart, Assistant to the Administrator for the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security; and Lola Castro, Regional Director for the World Food Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean

Seminar 6 (11/1): Food Banks & Philanthropy: Why Good People Doing Great Work Often Fail

NOTE: This seminar will take place on Monday, November 1 from 3:30-4:45pm CT

We will discuss the landscape of non-state actors working to address the gaps in the U.S. Food System. For example, one actor, Feeding America represents the Network of 200 foodbanks, supported by 57,000 agencies and pantries with over 20 million annual volunteers feed 40 million people at risk of hunger. Yet, one in every four persons in a food line is a child. We will explore the hunger challenges faced by our aging U.S. population. Today, nearly 5.5 million seniors suffer from food insecurity. What does the charitable system provide and to whom? Does geography, community, race and gender affect who receives assistance and why? As a group, we will consider the relationship between the work of nonprofits, government and private sector actors.

Special Guests: Kate Maehr, Executive Director & CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository; and Lisa Moon, President & CEO of The Global FoodBanking Network

Seminar 7 (11/11): Why Adequate Nutrition Can Change the World & Why Political & Turf Concerns Have Not Yet Employed This Critical Tool

NOTE: This seminar will be held on Thursday, November 11 from 12:30-1:45pm CT

‘Nutrition’ too often remains the most ignored step-child of agriculture and health. Both claim nutrition as part of their remit; neither pay attention to it. Yet ensuring adequate nutrition for all solves so many problems, like the obesity epidemic, the huge increases in people with non-communicable diseases, under-nutrition, child stunting and wasting. COVID-19 raised the stakes on the importance of improving health outcomes through adequate, healthy and diverse diets. Nutrition also has many other stakeholders, including private sector companies and non-profit agencies. How do we move beyond the multi-stakeholder politics to develop the necessary partnerships and requisite policy change?

Special Guest: Shawn Baker, USAID Chief Nutritionist

Seminar 8 (11/16): COP26 & Systems Change: How You Can Make A Difference

We’ll hear a debrief of Ertharin’s trip to COP26 and discuss how you can combine your passions and skillsets to work on systems changes to prevent hunger.

Catherine Bertini & Ertharin Cousin on “The Politics of Hunger”

Tuesdays, 3:30pm CT

All seminars will be held in the IOP Living Room unless otherwise noted.
All seminars are off the record/closed to press and open to current students only.

Summary

In 2021, how can anyone really remain hungry or malnourished? COVID-19 illuminated the disparities in both the domestic and international food systems, forcing us to rethink the often-asked question, “Don’t we grow more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet?” In fact, if America maintains the world’s most productive agriculture system, why were food bank lines long and grocery shelves empty? The data suggests a majority of people in our society “care” about the hungry and malnourished. Yet today, American children go to bed hungry. The medical and academic communities now acknowledge a correlation between the increase in noncommunicable disease, diet and poverty. A bipartisan Congressional hunger caucus has long championed the issue of ending hunger. New temporary emergency programs and increases in food assistance represent encouraging actions, but these time-limited programs fail to address the structural challenges of ending hunger in America. Internationally in 2020, COVID-19 exacerbated the protracted hunger problems, increasing the numbers of malnourished children and hungry families to a ten-year high of some 850 million. Former UN World Food Programme Executive Directors, Catherine Bertini, a lifelong Republican, and Ertharin Cousin, a Democratic policy advocate, will lead each seminar through lectures, readings, group debates and discussions. The class will explore the thorny issues and questions which shape the politics of domestic and international hunger.

Seminar 1 (9/28): What Is Hunger? Why Is Anyone Hungry or Malnourished in 2021? Why Should You Care?

Let's talk about politics and hunger. What is the relationship between the thorny political issues of the day and who experiences hunger? Does it matter how we define hunger? Why are people hungry? Understanding 'food insecurity' in all its dimensions, including defining and understanding hidden hunger. Understanding why 850 million hungry represents progress, and how we achieved this relative progress? Beyond the mortal and religious issues, why should anyone care about those who are hungry? If we believe in the "progressive realization of the right to food," how will we achieve this goal? Is 'food justice' an achievable goal, or simply another progressive rallying cry? If so, why are solutions so elusive? This first seminar will provide a broad overview of the many facets of the issues impacting global food insecurity and malnutrition.

Seminar 2 (10/5): Food Systems Nourishing A Food Secure Future for All...What Will It Take? Will Politics, Culture & Consumer Demand Help or Hinder Food System Transformation

Some would argue that the industrial system of agriculture production combined with increasing global climate variability now results in food system failure. While our global food system is productive, some suggest that it is not environmentally sustainable. Is it possible to create an agriculture food system that adequately supports both planetary health and human health? We will discuss the competing political views regarding these issues, particularly exploring the mountain of global challenges of agriculture production, land management, water use and scarcity challenges and the impact of the accelerating climate crisis.

Seminar 3 (10/12): Women Eat Last

This seminar will examine the critical role of women and girls in ending hunger. Women and girls in the developing world are involved in all aspects of food provision - as farmers, cooks, providers of water and firewood, marketers and mothers. Yet, due to politics of place and gender, they are often not in leadership roles, even in their own households. How does the empowerment of women change families' economic well-being and end hunger? Given the challenges faced by women and girls, how is this achieved?

Special Guests: Vicki Escarra, Senior Advisor at Boston Consulting Group and former CEO of Feeding America and Opportunity International; and Vicki Wilde, Senior Program Officer, Agricultural Development & Women's Economic Empowerment at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Seminar 4 (10/19): No Security Without Food Security

The data supports a clear correlation between conflict and hunger. Six out of ten people facing acute food insecurity or hunger reside in countries plagued by conflict or insecurity. Three-quarters of stunted children - some 122 out of 155 million children - live in countries affected by conflict and violence. What is the relationship between hunger and conflict? Does hunger act as a conflict multiplier? With all the humanitarian and development resources invested in supporting affected civilian populations during conflict, why and how does humanitarian access affect food insecurity and malnutrition, particularly in situations involving non-state actors? Do the humanitarian principles still matter? If so, how do we enforce them?

Special Guest: Tjada D'Oyen McKenna, CEO of Mercy Corps

Seminar 5 (10/26): Achieving Food Security: The Politics of Why 'The System' Is Geared to Supporting Emergency Needs but Not to Building Long-Term Self-Reliance

Photos of starving babies move governments to act, but photos of poor women working in the fields and sending their children to school draw no attention or funding. However, efforts spent to help build peace and prosperity have huge, positive long-term impacts. Why are these efforts not the top priority? What has been done to change the narrative? What can be done? What are the politics that stall reform?

Special Guests (via Zoom): Jim Barnhart, Assistant to the Administrator for the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security; and Lola Castro, Regional Director for the World Food Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean

Seminar 6 (11/1): Food Banks & Philanthropy: Why Good People Doing Great Work Often Fail

NOTE: This seminar will be held on Monday, November 1 from 3:30-4:45pm CT

We will discuss the landscape of non-state actors working to address gaps in the U.S. Food System. For example, one actor, Feeding America, represents the network of 200 foodbanks, supported by 57,000 agencies and pantries with over 20 million annual volunteers feeding 40 million people at risk of hunger. Yet, one in every four persons in a food line is a child. We will explore the hunger challenges faced by our aging U.S. population. Today, nearly 5.5 million seniors suffer from food insecurity. What does the charitable system provide and to whom? Does geography, community, race and gender affect who receives assistance and why? As a group, we will consider the relationship between the work of nonprofits, government and private sector actors.

Special Guests: Kate Maehr, Executive Director & CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository; and Lisa Moon, President & CEO of The Global FoodBanking Network

Seminar 7 (11/11): Why Adequate Nutrition Can Change the World & Why Political & Turf Concerns Have Not Yet Employed This Critical Tool

NOTE: This seminar will be held on Thursday, November 11 from 12:30-1:45pm CT

‘Nutrition’ too often remains the most ignored step-child of agriculture and health. Both claim nutrition as part of their remit; neither pay attention to it. Yet ensuring adequate nutrition for all solves so many problems, like the obesity epidemic, the huge increases in people with non-communicable diseases, under-nutrition, child stunting and wasting. COVID-19 raised the stakes on the importance of improving health outcomes through adequate, healthy and diverse diets. Nutrition also has many other stakeholders, including private sector companies and non-profit agencies. How do we move beyond the multi-stakeholder politics to develop the necessary partnerships and requisite policy change?

Special Guest: Shawn Baker, USAID Chief Nutritionist

Seminar 8 (11/16): COP26 & Systems Change: How You Can Make A Difference

We’ll hear a debrief of Ertharin’s trip to COP26 and discuss how you can combine your passions and skillsets to work on systems changes to prevent hunger.