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Frank Islam Athenaeum Symposia Speaker Series

Civil Rights, Human Rights, and Social Responsibility
If you conceive it, you believe it, you can achieve it.
A powerful philosophy created by Mr. Islam which drives the Athenaeum Symposia.

Our distinguished speakers offer timely, stimulating topics delivered by today's leading experts in international affairs, social science, the humanities, arts, politics, and economics. These events encourage meaningful conversation, critical thinking, and intercultural understanding around our collective experiences.

Through a generous gift from philanthropist and civic leader Mr. Frank Islamnew window (to the effect that his remarkable story of immigrant success is told in a documentary filmnew window), all events are free and open to the community.

This year’s speakers will explore the theme of Civil Rights, Human Rights, and Social Responsibility. Our goal is to inspire respectful exchange of ideas among the Montgomery College community and the larger Montgomery County community, advancing the kinds of meaningful conversations that are ever-more important.

All Fall events will be held virtually via Zoom. Please register through MC Learns for professional development credit.

Spring 2021 Speakers

Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes, Celebrating Empathy and Resilience, Empowering Voices for Social Justice
Wednesday, February 24, 12:00 p.m., Virtual via Zoom - View Event Flyer (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
Register in advance for this webinarnew window. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes

Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes advocates for equity, inclusion, and an end to racism and racial bias. Writing fiction, she reimagines significant moments, significant characters of history to promote empathy and cultural knowledge for contemporary audiences.

Honoring the African American oral and spiritual traditions, her works are both accessible and nuanced in their depictions and themes. She promotes “empowered voices” rooted in self-love, self-awareness, and compassion as keys to a better, future world.

Dr. Rhodes is the award-winning author of several books for youth including Black Brother, Black Brother, named Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best 2020, and the New York Times bestseller Ghost Boys which has garnered over 30 awards and honors including the Jane Addams Peace Award. She is also the author of Towers Falling, winner of the 2017 Notable Books for a Global Society, and the celebrated Louisiana Girls’ Trilogy: Ninth Ward, winner of a Coretta Scott King Honor Award, Sugar and Bayou Magic.


 These events fulfill the Multicultural Diversity Training requirement for MC employees. 
To reserve space for classes or to request accommodations for an event, email or call 240-567-1845. 

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