The New College Foundation’s 2020–21 New Topics series features national speakers from a broad range of disciplines exploring topical issues. To mark New College’s 60th anniversary, this year’s series features noteworthy alumni whose New College experience prepared them for lives of note and careers of exceptional impact. The series runs through March and is presented via the Zoom platform.
Wednesday, January 27
“Inclusion at Any Cost? When New College Was ‘Home’ to a White Nationalist”
With R. Derek Black, Allison Gornik, and James Birmingham
At a moment when colleges around the country, including New College, are doubling down on the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, what can we learn from the turmoil and angst experienced 10 years ago, when New College students discovered that among their number was a young leader in America’s white nationalist movement?
More than merely a member of the movement, Derek Black served as a site moderator for Stormfront, America’s first “White Pride” website, created by his father and white nationalist movement leader, Don Black. Many students demanded that Black be expelled. Should the college congratulate itself for Black’s eventual renunciation of the white nationalist values he grew up with? When a community member’s political beliefs are perceived to be a clear and present danger to the community, what is the appropriate response for the community and its leadership?
The panel will be moderated by Dr. Bill Woodson, Dean of Outreach and Engagement and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at New College.
Thursday, February 18
“Reflections on a Congressional Career; Lessons for Today’s Politics”
With Lincoln Diaz-Balart
Reaching agreement is often a difficult task, but in a democracy, lasting progress is only possible through dialogue. What makes true dialogue possible?
Lincoln Rafael Díaz-Balart (’72–’76) is a Cuban-American attorney, consultant, and human rights advocate. He represented South Florida in the Florida Legislature from 1986 to 1992, and in Congress from 1993 to 2011.
Thursday, March 18
“Cybersecurity and Civil Liberties”
With Jennifer Granick
The ability to speak, organize, and create was revolutionized by the internet, but technology has also been an engine for both public and privacy surveillance, opening up opportunities for civil liberties abuses and discrimination. To mitigate those abuses, individuals have been demanding improved cybersecurity measures, and so the political playing field has shifted to a battle over encryption. In this talk, Granick will explore the current debate and legislative proposals and offer tips on how people can protect themselves and get involved.
Jennifer Granick (’86–’90) is the ACLU’s surveillance and cybersecurity counsel. Granick is well known for her work with intellectual property law, free speech, privacy law, surveillance, and other things related to computer security. Senator Ron Wyden described her as an “NBA all-star of surveillance law.”
Each lecture will be presented at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10, and all proceeds go to fund student scholarships. Registration is required and can be made at ncf.edu/new-topics or by calling the New College events hotline at 941-487-4888. Reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance to allow for processing and receipt email for Zoom link. The series is free for New College students, faculty, staff, and alumni. This event is made possible, in part, by Sarasota Magazine.