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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 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


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 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 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.


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