Presidential Dialogue Series: The Politics of Radical Inclusion

Critical conversations about equity, democracy, and social justice.

Dr. Pollard talks with Neera Tanden

Please join Montgomery College President DeRionne P. Pollard for a series of conversations exploring the politics of radical inclusion.

The 2018-2019 Montgomery College Presidential Dialogue Series will explore the politics of radical inclusion. Building communities in which everyone feels welcomed is a "radical" ideal with many benefits, including higher academic achievement by students. Inclusive practices contribute to safe, healthy, productive neighborhoods and schools, where diverse people and ideas flourish. The past year has seen a fracturing of such ideals, with increasingly polarized national political rhetoric. Civil demonstrations of protest have been cast as disloyalty to the nation. Hostile political factions have paralyzed compromise and stalled urgent legislation. Immigrants have been vilified and diversity, discouraged. While intolerance appears to be on the rise, an alternative movement—radical inclusion—is gaining traction. Actively searching out ways to bring people on the margins into the community is one antidote to the marginalization so many experience. But it takes political will, civility, and many times, discomfort. This year's series will delve into the question: How can our nation create a politics of radical inclusion?

Upcoming Events

Arne Duncan
Arne Duncan, former US Secretary of Education
Managing Partner at Emerson Collective
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Breakfast at 8:30 a.m., Program at 9:00 a.m.
Rockville Campus, Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center (PA)

As the US Secretary of Education under President Obama, Arne Duncan visited schools in all 50 states to promote public investment in education, recruit new teachers, and increase college enrollment through larger Pell grants. His tenure as secretary followed seven years as the chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools, during which applications for teaching positions tripled and 100 new schools were opened.

Duncan is currently the managing partner at Emerson Collective, an organization dedicated to removing barriers to opportunity for youth. The Collective’s work centers on education, immigration reform, the environment and other social justice initiatives. Through partnerships with local business leaders, community organizers, and nonprofit groups, it seeks to create inclusive communities for disconnected youth. Duncan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in sociology. He was also co-captain of Harvard’s basketball team.

A free copy of Duncan's book, How Schools Work: An Inside Account of Failure and Success from One of the Nation's Longest-serving Secretaries of Education, will be provided to the first 50 students at the event. 
 Additional Events Will Be Announced Soon.

Past Events

Neera Tanden
Neera Tanden
President of the Center for American Progress
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Reception at 6:15 p.m., Program at 7:00 p.m.
Rockville Campus, SW 301

Neera Tanden is President and CEO of the Center for American Progress, the largest progressive think tank in the United States. Before joining CAP, she worked as a key member of the health reform team of former President Barack Obama, where she helped to develop and pass the Affordable Care Act. She also managed all domestic policy initiatives during Obama’s first presidential campaign and has served in several leadership roles for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She has written extensively on policy issues for the The New Republic, and appears regularly on television as a political commentator. At CAP, Tanden is focused on building a domestic agenda that is inclusive of all Americans and expands opportunity. CAP’s attention to the accessibility of post-secondary education as well as high quality K-12, embodies a focus on inclusion. The Center is also engaged in progressive dialogues about race and ethnicity, gender, and sexuality and their implications for equity across the nation. The Center closely follows the evolution of these issues in political thought and action and encourages open, public dialogue about them.
Dave Zirin
Dave Zirin
Author of Things That Make White People Uncomfortable
Thursday, October 18, 2018, 7:00 p.m.
CAC Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus


New York Times bestselling author Dave Zirin is the sports editor for The Nation magazine. He has written ten books on the politics of sports. He is also the co-host of the radio show The Collision with Etan Thomas and hosts the Edge of Sports Podcast. His most recent book, Things That Make White People Uncomfortable, written with NFL player Michael Bennett, tackles issues of race and politics in professional sports—and in American communities. Bennett, who has refused to stand for the national anthem at football games, has used his talent and stature to draw attention to the issue of police violence, adding to a chorus of activists working to create public accountability. Zirin and Bennett write eloquently about the complexities of race and class in America and the necessities of dramatic action to challenge inequities.

A free copy of Zirin's book, Things That Make White People Uncomfortable, will be provided to the first 100 students at the event.


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