D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership

Header Image

Lecture Series 2010–11


johnA Bitter Pill

Oct. 4, 2010 – John Sloan, M.D., Author of A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly

John Sloan, M.D., is a senior academic physician in the department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia and has spent most of his 30 years of practice caring for the frail elderly in Vancouver. He has lectured throughout Canada and in Europe and the U.S., and is sought after as an inspirational speaker on geriatrics. He lives in Vancouver and Roberts Creek, B.C.

In Dr. Sloan's latest book, A Bitter Pill, he examines why medical treatment—from modern medicine’s one-size-fits-all prevention strategy to hospital stays that don’t benefit anyone—is failing them and identifies solutions to the problem.

In clear, accessible language, Sloan argues that we must understand what people in poor health at the end of their lives really need: comfort, dignity, and quality of life. He also argues that caregivers, sons, daughters, nurses, doctors, and social workers—all of us—must assume responsibility for what happens to the elderly and give these loved ones the kind of care we hope, one day, someone will give us.

mitchHave a Little Faith

Oct. 12, 2010 – Mitch Albom, Author of Have a Little Faith and Tuesdays with Morrie

2 p.m. for Viterbo University students, faculty, staff, and FSPA
7:15 p.m. for the general public

Mitch Albom is an internationally renowned and best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster, and musician. His books have collectively sold over 28 million copies worldwide; have been published in 41 territories and in 42 languages around the world; and have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed television movies.

In 1995, he married Janine Sabino. That same year he re-encountered Morrie Schwartz, a former college professor who was dying of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. His visits with Schwartz would lead to the book Tuesdays with Morrie, which moved Mitch away from sports and began his career as an internationally recognized author.

Tuesdays with Morrie is the chronicle of Mitch’s time spent with his beloved professor. As a labor of love, Mitch wrote the book to help pay Morrie’s medical bills. It spent four years on the New York Times Bestseller list and is now the most successful memoir ever published. His first novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, is the most successful U.S. hardcover first adult novel ever. For One More Day debuted at No.1 on the New York Times Bestseller list and spent nine months on the list. In October 2006, For One More Day was the first book chosen by Starbucks in the newly launched Book Break Program, which also helped fight illiteracy by donating one dollar from every book sold to Jumpstart. His most recent, Have a Little Faith, was released in September 2009 and selected by Oprah.com as the best nonfiction book of 2009.

In Have a Little Faith, Albom offers a beautifully written story of a remarkable eight-year journey between two worlds—two men, two faiths, two communities—that will inspire readers everywhere. Albom’s first nonfiction book since Tuesdays with Morrie, Have A Little Faith begins with an unusual request: an 82-year-old rabbi from Albom’s old hometown asks him to deliver his eulogy. Have a Little Faith is a book about a life’s purpose; about losing belief and finding it again; about the divine spark inside us all. It is one man’s journey, but it is everyone’s story.

An award-winning journalist and radio host, Albom wrote the screenplay for both For One More Day and The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and is an established playwright, having authored numerous pieces for the theatre, including the off-Broadway version of Tuesdays With Morrie (co-written with Jeffrey Hatcher) which has seen over 100 productions across the U.S. and Canada.

Albom is also an accomplished songwriter and lyricist. Later in his life, when music had become a sideline, he would see several of his songs recorded, including the song Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song) which he wrote for rock singer Warren Zevon. Albom also wrote and performed songs for several TV movies, including Cookin’ for Two for Christmas in Connecticut, the 1992 remake directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Albom has founded four charities, many in the metropolitan Detroit area: The Dream Fund, A Time To Help, and S.A.Y. Detroit, an umbrella organization for charities dedicated to improving the lives of the neediest, including the S.A.Y. Detroit Family Health Clinic. His most recent effort, A Hole in the Roof Foundation, helps faith groups of every denomination who care for the homeless repair the spaces in which they carry out their work. The seed that gave root to the Foundation—and also inspired its name—was the hole in the roof of the I Am My Brother's Keeper church in inner-city Detroit, written about in Have a Little Faith. Albom devoted an area of his website, www.mitchalbom.com/service, to hosting a directory of local and national service opportunities. He also raises money for literacy projects through a variety of means including his performances with The Rock Bottom Remainders, a band made up of writers which includes Stephen King, Dave Barry, Scott Turow, Amy Tan, and Ridley Pearson. Albom serves on the boards of various charities and, in 1999, was named National Hospice Organization's Man of the Year. In 2010, Albom was named the recipient of the Red Smith Award for lifetime achievement by the Associated Press Sports Editors.

He lives with his wife, Janine, in Detroit, Mich.

echoToward an American Land Ethic

Nov. 18, 2010 – Walter Echo-Hawk Jr., Lawyer for the Native American Rights Fund

In 1948, Aldo Leopold, the father of American wildlife management, stated as yet, there is no ethic in our nation for addressing man's relation to the land and the animals and plants that comprise our habitat. A land ethic has been hard to achieve in the U.S. Several powerful forces have hindered the development of a land ethic, which shall be examined by the speaker who will also point out the importance of incorporating indigenous values and wisdom in developing a truly American land ethic for the 21st century.

Walter R. Echo-Hawk Jr. is a lawyer, tribal judge, scholar, and activist whose legal experience includes cases involving Native American religious freedom, prisoner rights, water rights, treaty rights, and reburial/repatriation rights.

Echo-Hawk has worked as a lawyer for the Native American Rights Fund for more than 35 years. He was instrumental in securing passage of two federal laws that respect Indian and religious freedoms and also the repatriation of Native American remains to Indian tribes.

In 1989, he negotiated a national reburial agreement with the Smithsonian Institution which was enacted into law. In 1989–90, he helped lead a national campaign for passage of the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act—an important human rights law. In 1994, he represented the Native American Church of North America to secure passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments of 1994 to protect religious use of peyote by Indians. Presently he represents the Klamath Tribes of Oregon to quantify treaty-protected water rights in southern Oregon in a highly publicized and controversial set of federal and state litigation.

A prolific writer, his publications include an award-winning book Battlefields and Burial Grounds. His book, In the Courts of the Conqueror: The Ten Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided, will be published in spring 2009. He has received various awards, such as, the American Bar Association "Spirit of Excellence Award" for legal work in the face of adversity and the "Civil Liberties Award" from the ACLU of Oregon for significant contributions in the cause of individual freedom. He was recently awarded the Sarah T. Hughes Civil Rights Award, as well as the Oklahoma State Distinguished Native American Alumni Award. Since 1995, Echo-Hawk has served as a member of the Carter Center's International Human Rights Council. Walter serves as Chairman of the Board for the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, a new foundation dedicated to tribal philanthropy to preserve Indian art and culture.

He is admitted to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court, Colorado Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits, and a host of federal District Courts. Echo-Hawk is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Pawnee Nation. 

redgoldScreening of the Documentary Film Red Gold

Jan. 26, 2011

The Bristol Bay region of Southwest Alaska is home to the Kvichak and Nushagak Rivers, the two most prolific sockeye salmon runs left in the world. Foreign mining companies Northern Dynasty Minerals and Anglo American have partnered to propose development of what could be one of the world’s largest open-pit and underground mines at the headwaters of the two river systems. Mine backers claim the Pebble exploration site is the second largest combined deposit of copper, gold, and molybdenum ever discovered, and has an estimated value of more than $300 billion.

Despite promises of a clean project by officials, the accident-plagued history of hard rock mining has sparked deep concern from Alaskans who love and depend upon Bristol Bay’s incredible wild salmon fishery. Red Gold documents the growing unrest among Alaska Native, commercial, and sport-fishermen. It’s a portrait of a unique way of life that will not survive if the salmon don’t return with Bristol Bay’s tide.

After the documentary we will have a discussion with Curt Olson, one of the salmon fishermen featured in the film, and Jeff Skrade, former U.S. Fish and Wildlife officer in Bristol Bay. 

Holocaust Denial: A New Form of Anti-Semitism

March 17, 2011 – Deborah Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University
10:15 a.m. Fine Arts Center Main Theatre

debConfronting Genocide in the Courts: The Trial of Adolf Eichmann

March 17, 2011 – Deborah Lipstadt
7 p.m. Fine Arts Center Main Theatre

Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta. Her latest book, The Eichmann Trial (to be released on March 15), provides "a com­pelling reassessment of the groundbreaking trial that has become a touchstone for judicial proceedings throughout the world in which victims of genocide confront its perpetrators." Her book History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2005) is the story of her libel trial in London against David Irving, who sued her for calling him a Holocaust denier and right-wing extremist. The book has been described as a “fascinating and meritorious work of legal—and moral—history” (Kirkus, November 2004). It won the National Jewish Book Award and was a finalist for the Koret Book Award. It was ranked by the editors at Amazon.com as number four on its list of top 10 history books of 2005.

The Daily Telegraph ( London) declared that Lipstadt's trial had “done for the new century what the Nuremberg tribunals or the Eichmann trial did for earlier generations.” The Times (London) described it as “history has had its day in court and scored a crushing victory.” The judge found David Irving to be a Holocaust denier, a falsifier of history, a racist, an anti-semite, and a liar. Her legal battle with Irving lasted approximately six years. According to the New York Times, the trial “put an end to the pretense that Mr. Irving is anything but a self-promoting apologist for Hitler.” In July 2001 the Court of Appeal resoundingly rejected Irving’s attempt to appeal the judgment against him.

As an historical consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, she helped design the section of the museum dedicated to the American response to the Holocaust.

Lipstadt has been called upon by both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to represent the U.S. in several capacities. President Bush asked her to represent the White House at the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. In June 2007, President Bush appointed her to the American delegation to the OSCE (the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) conference on combating intolerance and anti-semitism. President Clinton appointed her to two consecutive terms on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. She accompanied President and Mrs. Clinton on an official visit to Warsaw. President Clinton also appointed her to the U.S. State Department Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad. In this capacity she, together with a small group of leaders and scholars, advised Secretary of State Madeline Albright on matters of religious persecution abroad.

Lipstadt has also written Denying the Holocaust (Free Press/Macmillan, 1993), the first full-length study of those who deny the Holocaust. The book has been translated into German and Japanese. She has also written Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust (Free Press/Macmillan, 1986, 1993). The book, an examination of how the American press covered the news of the persecution of European Jewry between the years 1933–1945, addresses the question “what did the American public know and when did they know it?” 

"Teaching the Holocaust" A Workshop for Middle and High School Teachers

March 16–17, 2011

This workshop is designed for middle and high school teachers who want to learn more about teaching the lessons of the Holocaust in their schools. Participants are eligible to receive one graduate credit upon completion of course requirements. Includes a presentation by Deborah Lipstadt on March 17 on Holocaust Denial: A New Form of Anti-Semitism.

Registration is required. Click here for more information.

virtuesVirtues—and Vices?—of Faith: Lessons from Christianity’s Explosive Growth in Africa and the “Two Thirds” World

March 31, 2011 – James Ault, Author and Documentarian

Scholar, author and documentary filmmaker James Ault will speak and show illustrative clips from his forthcoming documentary film series, African Christianity Rising: Stories from Ghana and Stories from Zimbabwe.

Educated at Harvard and Brandeis Universities (Ph.D. in Sociology), James Ault’s first film, Born Again, an intimate portrait of a fundamentalist Baptist church, won a Blue Ribbon at the American Film Festival, was broadcast nationally as a prime-time special on PBS, and played around the world (see http://www.vimeo.com/10953323). His book on that project, Spirit and Flesh (Knopf 2004) was named one of the five best nonfiction books of the year by The Christian Science Monitor and hailed by The Washington Post as "The best single-volume explanation of why American fundamentalist Christianity thrives among certain people…and will not die out." He has produced documentaries on an order of nuns, a homeless shelter, youth work, and on leadership and governance for the Lilly Endowment, on the future of theological education for the Association of Theological Schools and on vital congregations for the Episcopal Church (U.S.). His current films exploring Christianity’s explosive growth in Africa, funded by Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation, have been called by Terence Ranger, Professor of African History at Oxford,  "The most penetrating and informative material I have ever seen on African Christianity, bringing out its vitality and variety without ever sensationalizing or exoticising."

For samples from this work see http://www.vimeo.com/channels/57182

The Virtue of Faith

March 31–April 2, 2011
Conference on the Cardinal Virtues

CpeteRAZY: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness

April 18, 2011 – Pete Earley, Author

Pete Earley will use his personal story to illustrate how difficult it is to get a loved one with a severe mental illness meaningful help. He will specifically focus on how and why persons, such as his son, often end up in our criminal justice system and why that is wrong. In addition to telling his son's story, he will describe the results of a nine-month investigation that he conducted as a journalist inside the Miami Dade County jail where he followed persons with severe mental illnesses through the criminal justice system and out into the community to observe what services were available to them. The goal of his presentation is to explain why jails and prisons have become our new asylums, why this is wrong, why it wastes money, and how communities can better serve persons with mental illnesses by focusing on a variety of successful programs that help people recover rather than punish them for being ill. He will end his speech by talking about successful programs that have helped people recover and prosper.

During his speech, he will also talk about the ethical issues of mental health care, especially involuntary commitment. When does a society have a right to step in and force someone into a mental treatment program? Currently, most states only allow involuntary commitment when someone poses an imminent danger to themselves or others. This means that a person can be completely psychotic, delusional, homeless, and living on the street, yet not meet the dangerousness criteria and therefore can not be committed even for their own good. Is this the ethically responsible thing to do?

Earley was cited by Washingtonian Magazine in a cover story entitled, "Top Journalists: Washington's Media Elite," as one of a handful of journalists in America who "have the power to introduce new ideas and give them currency." He is the author of nine non-fiction books, including three national best-sellers, and three novels. He is a former reporter for The Washington Post. His books have sold more than one million copies worldwide.

His  book, CRAZY: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness, was one of two finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize and has won awards from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health America, the Washington Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychiatric Association.

Earley serves on the board of directors of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, which finds innovative ways for states to finance housing projects to help eliminate homelessness. He also was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court to a task force charged with rewriting the state’s involuntary commitment laws.

Site Name