The Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium (MSE) released its 2016 speaker lineup on Sunday night, featuring U.S. Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Nov. 17.
The other speakers are Deray Mckesson, a Black Lives Matter activist and Baltimore native, on Oct. 20, Martine Rothblatt, a transgender activist and founder of Sirius Radio, on Oct 26. and Nicholas Christakis, a sociologist and physician, on Nov. 9. The Foreign Affairs Symposium (FAS) will co-host Sanders.
Earlier this semester, MSE kicked off its fall season with Eric André, the comedian, writer and actor well known for his absurdist and unconventional humor. In an email to The News-Letter Teddy Kupfer, MSE programming chair, explained this year’s theme, “Facing Fracture.”
“Emergent fractures are everywhere today. You have fracture on the material level, with the byproduct being resentment expressed through politics. You have fracture over the notion of justice, with certain groups of people bearing the brunt of the state's monopoly of violence and asking why that's legal,” Kupfer wrote. “And you have fracture about how we can even discuss these issues, with folks demanding that heterodox views be silenced by authority figures in the name of sensitivity.”
According to Kupfer, MSE aims to bring speakers to talk frankly about the defining issues that divide our society.
“The 2016 Symposium is bringing speakers who can talk about these particular issues—material inequality, racial justice, the role of social networks, and change through entrepreneurship—without pulling punches. They stare fracture in the face and wax honest about its origins,” he wrote. “Their genius, and their having a platform to dispense it, is living proof of the importance of free expression.”