Spartan Speaker Series

Since 2016, the Spartan Speaker Series has brought distinguished authors, critics, scientists, activists, and artists to our campus to discuss critical issues in our society impacting students. The series strives to highlight a broad range of pertinent content and diverse voices. 

Spring 2024 Spartan Speaker Series Lineup:


Join us for our first speaker of the Spring semester, Julian Castro!

Spartan Speaker Series: Julian Castro on February 19

An Evening With Julian Castro: February 19, 2024, 6:00pm in the Student Union Ballroom/ via Zoom (click to register!)

Spartan Speaker Series- Janelle James, February 20

An Evening with Janelle James: February 20, 2024, 7:00pm in the Student Union Theater/ via Zoom (click to register!)

SSS Stephanie Hsu

An Evening With Stephanie Hsu: April 9, 2024 in the Student Union Theater/ via Zoom (click to register!)

Fall 2023 Spartan Speakers
Speaker Event Description
Stephanie Beatriz

An Evening With Stephanie Beatriz:

September 18, 7:00pm, 2023

Ibram X. Kendi

Associated Students Legacy Month Keynote Speaker:

Ibram X. Kendi:

October 3, 6:00pm, 2023

Wilson Cruz

An Evening With Wilson Cruz:

October 25, 6:00pm, 2023

Spring 2023 Spartan Speakers
      Speaker                                  Event Description
Kendrick Sampson Headshot

                Kendrick Sampson 

Wednesday, February 8, 7:00pm

"Activism and the Arts: An Evening with Kendrick Sampson"


Actor, Activist, and Advocate for Social Justice 

Jenny Slate

                      Jenny Slate

Wednesday, March 1, 7:00pm


"Women's Herstory Month: Jenny Slate and the Intersection between Comedy and Mental Health"


Actress, Author, and Comedian

Roy Choi

                       Roy Choi

Wednesday, April 12, 6:30pm


                           "AAPI Heritage Month:

        A cooking Demo and Discussion with Roy Choi"


Social Activist, Chef, and Co-Founder of the Kogi Truck


Fall 2022 Spartan Speakers 

Speaker Event Description

Ashley Park

              Ashley Park

Wednesday, August 31, 5:15pm


              "An Evening with Ashley Park"


Grammy and Tony-nominated actress, Emily in Paris

Xiutezcatl Martinez

         Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Wednesday, September 14 at 7:00pm


        "Youth Climate Advocacy: Creating Change"


    Indigenous Environmental Activist & Hip Hop Artist

Dolores Huerta

              Dolores Huerta

                Tuesday, October 11 at 6:00pm


"Legacy Month Keynote: An Evening with Dolores Huerta" - Sponsored by the Cesar E. Chavez Community Action Center


**Walk ins will be limited and available on a first come first serve basis


Activist, Co-Founder of the United Farm Workers

Tara Houska

                  Tara Houska

Wednesday, November 16 at 6:00pm


     "Defending Tribal Land and Indigenous Rights"


       Tribal Attorney and Indigenous Rights Activist


Spring 2022 Speakers

Angie Thomas                   Angie Thomas

               Wednesday, February 9, 2022

                     "Activism, Joy, and

           Supporting Black Mental Health"

   Author, "The Hate U Give" and "Blackout"

Stephanie Land           Stephanie Land

         Wednesday, March 2, 2022   

   "Systemic Poverty and the Real Story                   behind Netflix's 'Maid'"


     Author that inspired Netflix's "Maid"



Yara Shahidi                        Yara Shahidi

                          Wednesday, March 16, 2022


                      "An Evening with Yara Shahidi"


                       Actress, Producer & Change Agent


Eugene Lee Yang           Eugene Lee Yang

            Wednesday, April 13, 2022


       "An Evening with Eugene Lee Yang"


            "The Try Guys" and Buzzfeed




Fall 2021 Speakers 

Nikole Hannah-Jones     Nikole Hannah-Jones

    Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

    "The 1619 Project: Reframing U.S. History and          the Impacts of Slavery"


Gabby Rivera    Gabby Rivera   

     Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

      "A Holistic Approach to a Creative Life: Rest.              Write. Repeat."


Simu Liu

      Simu Liu     

       Wednesday, September 29th, 2021

      "Journey to Success: Reflections on Family,               Career and Persistence"


Leah Thomas       Leah Thomas

     Wednesday, October 6, 2021

     Legacy Month Speaker- sponsored by The                 Associated Students Cesar E. Chavez                       Community Action Center: "Green Girl Leah -The       Intersectional Environmentalist"



Janet MockJanet Mock

Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

"Searching for Voice, Purpose, and Place: How Sharing with Vulnerability, Humility, and Courage Can Be a Path to Self Discovery and Community Empowerment"


Past Spartan Speakers

Baratunde Thurston

Baratunde Thurston
Wednesday, February 10, 2021

How to Deconstruct Racism and Laugh at the Same Time

Alok Menon

Alok Menon
Wednesday, February 24, 2021

CCCAC 15 Anniversary Keynote: Alok Menon - Beyond the Binary

Thea Moynee

Thea Monyee
Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Sustaining Joy in the Midst of Social Change: Bridging Mental Health & Activism

 Simon Tam

Simon Tam
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Slanted: How an Asian American Troublemaker Took on the Supreme Court

Leslie Odom Jr. headshot

Leslie Odom Jr.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Tony Award-Winning Actor & Musician and author of "Failing Up." 

Dr Mona Hanna-Attisha headshot

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Physician, scientist, activist, and author of "What the Eyes Don’t See."

Sally Kohn headshot

Sally Kohn

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Activist, commentator, and author of "The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity"

Ibtihaj Muhammad headshot

Ibtihaj Muhammad

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Activist, Athlete, 2016 Olympic Medalist & First Female Muslim-American Athlete to Medal at the Olympics 

Antoni Porwoski headshot

Antoni Porowski

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Food & Wine Connoisseur, Netflix's "Queer Eye" & Bestselling Author

Dwayne Betts headshot

Reginald Dwayne Betts

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 

Award-Winning Author, Poet, Lawyer & Outspoken Advocate for Criminal Justice Reform

Diane Guerrero headshot

Diane Guerrero

September 30, 2019

Actress, Orange is the New Black & Author "In the Country We Love: My Family Divided"

Nyle DiMarco Headshot

Nyle DiMarco

October 9, 2019

Deaf Activist | Winner of America's Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars

Amanda Nguyen headshot

Amanda Nguyen

October 23, 2019

CEO & Founder of Rise and 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee



Steven Paul Judd headshot

Steven Paul Judd

November 9, 2019

Visual Artist and Filmmaker


Single by 30 and Yappie with WongFu Productions

WongFu Productions

April 10, 2019

"Single by 30" & Yappie with WongFu Productions


Portrait of Bryan Terrell Clark

Bryan Terrell Clark

February 20, 2019

Finding Your Purpose: From Baltimore to Broadway’s “Hamilton” with Bryan Terrell Clark

Portrait of Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke

February 4, 2019

An Evening with 2017 TIME Person Of The Year "me too." Movement Founder Tarana Burke

Portrait of Shaun King

Shaun King

October 24, 2018

Legacy Month Speaker Shaun King


Portrait of Tommy Orange

Tommy Orange

November 6, 2018

An Evening with Tommy Orange

Portrait of political comic Hari Kondabolu

Hari Kondabolu

September 12, 2018

Spartan Speaker Series Presents Hari Kondabolu


Portrait of Ana Navarro, Republican strategist and political commentator.

Ana Navarro

September 17, 2018

"Politics and the Hispanic Vote" with Ana Navarro

Portrait of Frank Warren

Frank Warren

April 23, 2018

“The Most Trusted Stranger In America: Frank Warren’s PostSecret” with Frank Warren

Portrait of Winona LaDuke

Winona LaDuke

March 19, 2018

“Creating a Multicultural Democracy - Religion, Culture, and Identity in America” with Winona LaDuke

Portrait of Kamau Bell


 Kamau Bell

Portrait of Franchesca Ramsey


Franchesca Ramsey

Legacy Month Keynote Speaker: A Conversation with Franchesca Ramsey


Portrait of Dustin Lance Black

Dustin Lance Black

An Evening with Academy Award Winning Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black


Portrait of Lisa Ling

Lisa Ling

“Open Heart, Open Mind” with Lisa Ling


Portrait of Richard Cabral

Richard Cabral

An Evening with Richard Cabral: A Conversation and excerpts from his One Man Show


Portrait of Kevin Powell

Kevin Powell

"History Is A People's Memory: Celebrating the Past, Celebrating Us" with Kevin Powell


Portrait of Matika Wilbur

Matika Wilbur

"Changing the Way We See Native America" with Matika Wilbur


Portrait of Van Jones

Van Jones

"Election 2016 – Protest & Politics in the Age of Twitter” with Van Jones