Tuesday, January 19, 2021, Peterborough
The Kennedy Lecture in Global Social Issues, a new endowed sociology lecture series at Trent University, will engage scholars, thought leaders and community members around important global social justice issues ranging from cultural diversity and social experiences to the dynamics of power and inequality.
“This past year has shown us the global interconnectedness of our societies, from the impacts of the pandemic to the worldwide protests for racial justice, and the hope for more equality across different nations as we emerge from this period of economic and social disruption,” explains Dr. Momin Rahman, chair of Trent University’s Sociology department. “This new endowed lecture series provides an opportunity to spotlight such issues by bringing world-leading scholars and practitioners to Trent to enrich our understanding of complex global problems. These lectures will add depth to the learning experience for students across the University and exemplifies the direct and productive impact that alumni have on Trent’s mission to ‘challenge the way you think.’”
The new lecture series, which launches virtually on Wednesday, January 27 at 3 p.m., will provide a focal point for discussions that can lead to a better understanding of our world, our place within it, and an examination of how to make it better.
The inaugural lecturer, Dr. Jeremy Youde, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota Duluth, will examine how in just over a year, COVID-19 has gone from completely unknown to dramatically altering the global landscape.
Professor Youde is an internationally-recognized expert on global health politics and chair of the Global Health Section of the International Studies Association. His lecture, Four Lessons From The Middle of the Pandemic, explores how the global health system has responded to COVID-19, the plethora of unknowns about the virus and how we are starting to see some important truths come to light in governmental responses, how different groups have been impacted and the role of a vaccine.
The new lecture series has been established with a generous donation by Trent alumnus Bruce Kennedy (’66) who completed a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at Trent, a Master of Arts in Sociology at Carleton University, and a Master of Public Administration at Harvard University.
"My undergraduate degree at Trent set in motion my life's work in social justice," says Mr. Kennedy. "Through the Kennedy Lecture in Global Social Issues, I hope to help provide access to exemplary scholars and leaders on a global scale that can lead to a better understanding of our world, our place within it, and an examination of how to make it better.”
In addition to his background in sociology, Mr. Kennedy has also always had a strong interest in international development work. He was a founding member of Amnesty International's national presence in Canada and was recruited as a CUSO volunteer to teach English in a rural secondary school in Thailand for two years. Following this experience, Mr. Kennedy was recruited to a field director position with Plan International, where he focused on pre-primary and adult literacy education and nutrition in Haiti and Sudan. In the early ‘80s, Mr. Kennedy joined UNICEF as its services were expanding in Africa. He worked in various capacities in Zaire, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and Madagascar before moving to Fiji to organize support to 13 Pacific island countries.
Since his retirement, Mr. Kennedy has lived in Thailand and stays active promoting basic education, social justice and intercultural understanding. He has regularly given back to his alma mater—he was the University’s third alumnus-in-residence in 2005. This most recent gift to establish the Kennedy Lecture in Global Social Issues will help further enhance the profile of Trent’s notable Sociology program.
The Kennedy Lecture in Global Social Issues is free to attend and open to all community members. Register now for the January 27 lecture, Four Lessons From The Middle of the Pandemic, with Dr. Jeremy Youde.
About Trent University’s Endowed Lectures
Sharing knowledge is one of the ways Trent University gives back to our communities. Each year, Trent offers a number of named and endowed lectures featuring visiting faculty and experts, sharing ideas on subjects such as the Environment, Gender & Women's Studies, Chemistry, Cultural Studies, and Indigenous Studies. These talks are free and open to the Trent and broader communities.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
For more information contact:
Cara Walsh, communications & media relations officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x 6240 or firstname.lastname@example.org