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Bunker Hill Community College 2018–2019 Speakers

As a means of ensuring that diverse perspectives are heard and affirmed on campus, Bunker Hill Community College hosts nationally-recognized thought leaders to engage and inspire students, faculty, staff and community. Speakers share their experiences and opinions in onstage conversations, literary readings and compelling lectures that both expand and challenge our awareness of contemporary issues.

In partnership with BHCC’s newly launched Center for Equity and Cultural Wealth, the series of speakers for 2018-2019 is intended to support meaningful and relevant discussion both inside and outside the classroom as part of an ongoing college-wide exploration of power, privilege, equity and cultural wealth which served as the focus of the College’s Equity and Cultural Wealth Institute in May 2018.

A Compelling Conversation with Adam Foss

Criminal Justice Reform Advocate and Founder of Prosecutor Impact

Adam J. Foss is a former Assistant District Attorney in the Juvenile Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston, and a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform, with a particular emphasis on redefining the role of the prosecutor to help end mass incarceration. To further these ends, Foss founded Prosecutor Impact, a non-profit that develops training and curriculum for prosecutors to reframe their role in the criminal justice system, and maintains an active speaking and lecture schedule.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

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A Compelling Conversation with Gina McCarthy

Former EPA Administrator and Director of the Center for Climate Health and the Global Environment and Professor at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health


Gina McCarthy has dedicated her 35-year career in public service to environmental protection and public health. Her leadership and perseverance has led to federal, state, and local actions on critical environmental issues. McCarthy’s significant accomplishments include action to advance environmental, clean energy, public transportation and public health goals consistent with a growing economy in New England and across the United States.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

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A Compelling Conversation with Elle Simone Scott

Chef, On-air Talent and Food Stylist on America’s Test Kitchen, Activist and Entrepreneur

Elle Simone Scott-Boston-Globe

Elle Simone Scott is a culinary maverick. Always drawn to creative food culture, Scott has been dazzling the culinary world since 2003, quickly becoming a highly sought after food stylist and culinary producer. She has collaborated and contributed her unique styling abilities most recently to America’s Test Kitchen, the Food Network, Food Network Magazine, the Cooking Channel, CBS, ABC’s The Chew and Bravo. Her specialties don’t stop with styling and production. As the founder & CEO of SheChef Inc., a professional networking organization for women chefs of color and allies, Scott shares her passion by mentoring, resource building, business development and most importantly, Food Justice. She continues to inspire others and break glass ceilings, as the first African-American woman resident food stylist and on-air talent on PBS’s America’s Test Kitchen.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

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A Compelling Conversation with Kevin So

Singer Songwriter, Recording Artist and Boston Native

Kevin So has earned the respect of 4-time Grammy award winner Keb’ Mo’, singer/activist Billy Bragg and Tony Award winning playwright David Henry Hwang, and has built a loyal fan base around the world for the past 20 years. He has performed recently at The Wiltern Theater, as well as Carnegie Hall and The Ryman in Nashville. So was also recipient of the 2007 NYC Fringe Festival Award (Best Music & Lyrics) for “Great Wall” – a semi-autobiographical musical. His songs have been recorded by India Arie (“Crush On You”), Keb’ Mo’ (“Talk”), and Shemekia Copeland (“Sounds Like The Devil”). He is blues, folk and soul in its finest blend.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

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BHCC’s 2019-2020 One Book Selection—If They Come For Us

Fatimah Asghar Poet, Screenwriter, Educator, Performer and Author


Fatimah Asghar is a multi-talented writer, educator and performer. Her work has appeared in many journals, including POETRY Magazine, Gulf Coast, BuzzFeed Reader, The Margins, The Offing, Academy of American Poets and many others. Her work has been featured on news outlets that include PBS, NPR, Time, Teen Vogue and Huffington Post. In 2011 she created a spoken word poetry group in Bosnia and Herzegovina called REFLEKS while on a Fulbright studying theater in post-genocidal countries. Asghar is a member of the Dark Noise Collective, a 2017 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship recipient and a Kundiman Fellow. Her chapbook After came out on Yes Yes Books in fall 2015. She is the writer and co-creator of Brown Girls, an Emmy-nominated web series that highlights friendships between women of color and the writer of If They Come For Us (One World, August 2018), a collection of poems that explores the legacy of partition and orphanhood. Along with Safia Elhillo, she is the editor of Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket 2019), an anthology that celebrates Muslim writers who are also women, queer, gender nonconforming and/or trans.

Thursday, April 9, 2020


BHCC’s 2018-2019 One Book Selection—The Years of Zero with Seng Ty

Author and Educator

Seng Ty

Seng Ty was born in the Kampong Speu province of Cambodia, the son of a respected physician. He was 13 when he made his way alone to a refugee camp in Thailand in 1981. His story was featured in the TIME article “Children of War,” and was read by a family in Amherst, Massachusetts, who adopted him a year later. Now he is a citizen of the United States, a husband, a father and an educator in the Lowell public schools. Ty wrote The Years of Zero— Coming of Age Under the Khmer Rouge in 2014 to expand his message beyond the circle of his students in Lowell to people all over the world who need a little hope.

For more information about the One Book Program, please visit bhcc.edu/onebook

One Book Program

Thursday, April 25, 2019
A300 Auditorium
Program begins at 1 p.m.

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Stem Alumna Veronika Kivenson

An Eight Year Journey from BHCC to PhD: Internships, Study Abroad, Transfer, and Bioinformatics


Thursday, April 18, 2019
Program begins at 1 p.m.
Bunker Hill Community College
C202 Lecture Hall
250 New Rutherford Avenue

A Compelling Conversation with Roxane Gay

Author and Cultural Critic

Roxane Gay - Conversation Compelling

Roxane Gay’s work garners international acclaim for its reflective, no-holds-barred exploration of feminism and social criticism. Bad Feminist, a collection of essays, was named one of the best books of the year by NPR and declared “trailblazing” by Salon. Her debut novel, An Untamed State, was long-listed for the Flaherty- Dunnan First Novel Prize. In 2017, Gay released Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body and a collection of short stories titled Difficult Women. Gay’s writing has appeared in The New York Times and many other renowned publications. She recently became the first black woman to write for Marvel, penning a comic series in the Black Panther universe called World of Wakanda.

Compelling Conversations

Thursday, March 7, 2019
A300 Auditorium
Program begins at 1 p.m.

A Compelling Conversation with Wade Davis

Former NFL Player, Equality Advocate and Educator

Wade Davis - Compelling Conversations

Former NFL Player Wade Davis is a thought leader, public speaker and consultant on gender, race and orientation equality. Davis is the NFL’s first LGBT inclusion consultant, and currently consults for professional sports leagues on issues at the intersection of sexism, racism and homophobia. In addition to his work in sports, Davis consults for such companies as Google, Netflix and AppNexus to build inclusive corporate cultures. He leads or is an active contributor on numerous educational and media projects to engage men on issues of gender equity and equality and ensure women’s workplace equality. His partnerships include collaborations with Time’s Up Now, the United Nations, Ebony Magazine and the Ms. Foundation.

Compelling Conversations

Thursday, February 28, 2019
Program begins at 1 p.m.

A Compelling Conversation with Matthew Desmond

Pulitzer Prize-winning Sociologist and Author

Matthew Desmond

Sociologist Matthew Desmond is the author of The New York Times bestseller and winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. In 2015, Desmond was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant for “revealing the impact of eviction on the lives of the urban poor and its role in perpetuating racial and economic inequality.” His landmark work Evicted tells the stories of eight families living on the edge and the landlords who control their fate. Desmond will transform our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation (unfair or inadequate pay for work) while providing fresh ideas for solving one of the most urgent issues facing America today–housing insecurity.

Compelling Conversations

Thursday, November 15, 2018
A300 Auditorium
Program begins at 1 p.m.

A Compelling Conversation with Lt. Colonel Olga Custodio, USAF (Retired)

Fighter Pilot, STEM Advocate and Trailblazer

Lt. Colonel Olga Custodio, USAF (Retired)

Turned away from flight school because she was a woman, Olga Custodio went on to break barriers (including the sound barrier) as the first Latina to complete United States Air Force military pilot training, first to become a USAF pilot, and later, as the first Latina commercial pilot for American Airlines. She also holds firsts for all women as the first woman flight instructor at two major Air Force bases. Living by the mantra, “querer es poder” (loosely translated to “where there’s a will there’s a way”), Custodio’s perseverance, fighting spirit, leadership abilities and passion for flying took her to where few women have gone before. Now retired, she continues to lead and inspire, championing STEM and motivating women and girls to pursue aviation and male-dominated professions. | In Honor of Veterans Day 2018

 Veterans Day Event, presented by the Veterans Center

Thursday, November 1, 2018
A300 Auditorium
Program begins at 1 p.m