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LWVP Speaker Series Year in Review: 2018-19

 | Published on 12/18/2019

We were fortunate to have a stellar list of speakers last year.  The League would like to thank each of them for their contribution to expanding our knowledge of critical issues facing voters. 

September:  The 2018-19 LWVP program year began with speaker David Thigpen, Director of Undergraduate Journalism at UC Berkeley, who spoke on the implications for modern journalism.  He is a former Time Magazine reporter who wrote for the magazine from New York and Chicago, covering Wall Street, popular music, and Chicago politics. He is also a public policy researcher and board member affiliated with the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California. David’s presentation addressed the “digital public square” and the issue of truth decay. 

Thalia DeWolf, R.N., a Hospice Nurse and Clinical Coordinator, gave an insightful presentation on issues surrounding California’s Dignity and Dying Law.  With great compassion, she described the process by which an individual could choose medically assisted aid in dying. She presented case histories, culled from over 100 patients who used her clinic "Bay Area End of Life Options," making a range of different choices.

Dr. Anastasia Edel, a professor at UC Berkeley and expert on Russian culture and history, spoke at the annual holiday luncheon about “The Rollercoaster of the US- Russia Relationship.”

Carla Marinucci, renowned reporter for Politico’s California Playbook, spoke at our Annual Fundraiser. Previously, Marinucci was senior political writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, and before that for the San Francisco Examiner. She has covered presidential elections since 1996, and six California gubernatorial elections, as well as the administrations of four California governors. She spoke with great insight about the current political environment and the challenges our society faces in a divisive time.

  Sr. Maureen Duignan, Executive Director of the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, spoke about US immigration policy and its effect on immigrants and refugees in the Bay Area. Joining Sr. Maureen were two former refugees who described their journeys to establish themselves in the East Bay. 

Lateefa Simon, of the Akonadi Foundation provided an informative, timely and interesting conversation on Philanthropy, Race, Equity and Social Justice. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and the Jefferson Award for extraordinary public service. She spoke compellingly about her own background and her determination to support low-income young women and girls and to advocate for juvenile and criminal justice reform.