• History

    Commitment to Community was first organized by two undergraduate students in 1997-98 who were concerned about the university climate regarding issues of diversity and multiculturalism. Our modest beginnings have been so impactful to our communities that we begin each academic year with an inspiring keynote speaker. This tradition was started with Dr. Cornell West’s address in 1997 and has continued each year with important educators, scholars and writers.

    Keynote Speakers

    Here is a list of some of the Keynote Speakers that C2C has sponsored:  

    1997             Dr. Cornell West, educator, author, social commentator 
    1998    Kweisi Mfume, former president/CEO of the NAACP  
    1999    Rebecca Walker, author 
    2000    Helen Zia, journalist  
    2001    Ray Suarez, journalist   
    2002    Winona LaDuke, activist and leader  
    2003   Dr. J. Herman Blake, educator  
    2004    Paul Kivel, activist and author  
    2005    Dennis Banks, activist and author   
    2006    Dr. Carlos Cortés, author and educator  
    2007    Patricia Williams, J.D., legal scholar, educator and author 
    2008    Dr. Ronald Takaki, educator and author  
    2009    Keith Boykin, author, journalist and social commentator  
    2010   Arun Gandhi, social justice and peace activist
    2011   Dr. Yvonne Haddad, scholar and expert in Islam and Muslims
    2012   Michelle Alexander, attorney, author and professor
    2013   Tim Wise, prominent anti-racist activist, social critic and author
    2014   Keith Ellison, Congressman and author
    2015    Peter L. Levine, scholar and author on civic engagement and public service.
    2016    Kathryn J. Edin & H. Luke Shaefer, scholars and authors, and professors


    Previous year's programming: 

    Commitment to Community Keynote Address 2016 

    “Fighting Poverty and Enhancing Dignity in 2017 and Beyond” - Kathryn J. Edin & H. Luke Shaefer   

    Edin and Shaefer will talk about the findings of their recent book, $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, and will discuss their next project, which explore how programs that seek to help struggling families can either enhance their dignity, or strip them of it. 

    Campus and Classroom Conversations about Poverty  2016

    A staff and faculty development session with the Common Read $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America authors Kathryn Edin & H. Luke Shaefer. Discussion themes include - public scholarship and how research informs teaching practice. 

    Commitment to Community Interview with the Speakers 2016

    Professor Valerie Chepp interviews the Common Read, $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, authors Kathryn Edin & H. Luke Shaefer. 

    Commitment to Community Keynote Address 2015 

    The Promise of Civic Renewal in America - Peter L. Levine 

    "We are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For.” That is a message for all Americans, reminding us that we have the power and responsibility to be active citizens. It is also the title of Peter Levine’s recent book. A professor at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Levine will discuss why and how Americans can take back our democracy by talking and acting together."

    Commitment to Community Panel Discussion 2015

    “We are the ones: organizing communities for change”

    Join us for the Commitment to Community panel discussion with faculty, staff, students, and community members to discuss what it means to be organizers for change in our communities.