HIV+ Playboy Playmate, Body Builder and Fitness Expert
At the age of 18, Rebekka became a Playboy Playmate after being chosen to be Miss September 1986, a culmination of her childhood dream. For the next four years, she led an exciting life as a Playmate, traveling, modeling, and attending star-studded parties. However, she was often tired and bruised easily. At the age of 22, she was diagnosed with HIV.
Dr. Terrence Roberts
Lessons from Little Rock
All the seats at the hamburger joint were reserved for white patrons, so 13 year old Terrence Roberts ordered food to go. While waiting, he impulsively sat down at the counter and then realized a hush had fallen over the place. Suddenly everyone seemed to be looking at him threateningly. He canceled his order and left. As he walked home, Roberts remembers wondering “what it would take for (him) to be treated like a real human being.”
Two years later, in 1957, he volunteered to be one of the ‘Little Rock Nine’ who desegregated Central High School, in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The Atheist Next Door
As a rotating host and regular contributor to The Atheist Experience and The Non-Prophets, Russell Glasser has spent around fifteen years publicly debating with believers of all stripes. During this time he’s answered all the questions and heard all the misconceptions about atheists, such as: “Why do you hate God?” “If you don’t believe in God, then who created the world?” “Aren’t you afraid you’ll go to hell?” “How can you understand the difference between right and wrong without a God? What’s stopping you from going on a crime spree right now?”
Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade
The modern-day slave trade is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, enslaving more than 30 million individuals today. Slavery is wrapped up in almost every industry’s supply chain, tainting the food we eat, the clothes we buy and the electronics we love.
Combating this $32 billion-dollar-a-year industry takes enormous effort as well as a large framework of diligent abolitionists. David Batstone offers an inspiring and detailed look at the efforts of modern-day abolitionists and multiple pathways for getting involved, whether that means volunteer opportunities or simply shopping with social justice in mind.
The Sex Diaries Project on Campus
What’s really going on behind closed doors on your campus?
Arianne Cohen spent six years collecting 3,500 anonymous seven-day sex diaries from people all over North America and the world – including college towns. In The Sex Diaries Project On Campus, she takes you on a tantalizing tour through the sometimes shocking, always entertaining real diaries of college students, creating a compelling portrait of sex and sexuality on campus today that will forever change how you look at relationships.
Exploring Intersecting Identities Through Story
Eliaichi Kimaro initially went to Tanzania to document her family’s stories and her father’s tribal culture. But when she sat down with her Aunts, she unearthed stories about surviving violence that her Aunts never even shared with each other. By simply bearing witness to her aunts’ truth-telling, Kimaro catalyzed a healing process within her family and her community. The dialogue that began in a hut on Mt Kilimanjaro evolved into a documentary that is transforming the lives of viewers halfway around the world.
Speaker, Filmmaker and Activist
Socheata Poeuv is the founder of Khmer Legacies, which has the goal of recording 10,000 testimonies of survivors of the Cambodian genocide by encouraging children to interview their parents. Her award-winning documentary New Year Baby documents her family’s story of survival and healing.
Phil Plait will be head science writer for Bill Nye’s new show
BIll Nye Saves the World will explore science and its impact on politics, society and pop culture. Each episode will tackle a different topic from a scientific point of view, dispelling myths and refuting anti-scientific claims that may be espoused by politicians, religious leaders or titans of industry. Nye also will bring in special guests, conduct experiments and, ultimately, let the facts make the case. The series is slated to debut in spring 2017.
Netflix and Bunim/Murray Productions will produce the series, with Gil Goldschein and Julie Pizzi set to exec produce with Michael Naidus (The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson), who will serve as showrunner. Writer and stand-up comedian Mike Drucker has been tapped as head writer, with astronomer, author and award-winning science communicator Phil Plait set as head science writer.
Portrait of a Survivor
Leah Warshawki featured in CityArts: “Big Sonia, the latest documentary by Leah Warshawski, follows in the socially aware steps of Finding Hillywood, her award-winning 2013 history of the Rwandan film industry. But the Seattle-based filmmaker’s follow-up takes a personal turn: Warshawski’s subject in this absorbing, moving feature is her paternal grandmother, Sonia, a pint-sized, energetic 90-year-old businesswoman whose beloved tailoring shop faces eviction from its location in a Kansas City mall. Stylish and irascible, Sonia’s also burdened with a harrowing past: As a child she survived the Holocaust while her friends and family perished in the wake of the Nazi atrocities. Big Sonia follows Sonia as she exorcizes those demons and opens the eyes of everyone from high school students to local prison inmates by relating her story to the world.”
David Batstone’s latest social venture: Z Shoes
David Batstone, along with his sons, is at it again! Z shoes, a 100% eco friendly shoe, will begin pre-sales in Fall of 2016. Not only will a portion of the revenue from each shoe be going to Not For Sale, the materials and factory production will be in Peru- providing real jobs for the indigenous communities Not For Sale works with.
David Montgomery and the latest research to link geologic and oral histories
A recent study led by Chinese researcher Qinglong Wu, provides evidence that supports oral stories of a flood that took place in China about 4,000 years ago. In an accompanying commentary, David Montgomery discusses how the study is the latest to provide historical and geologic support to traditional tales. Read more about the findings and David Montgomery’s commentary here.
Samara Lectures speakers cover a wide range of important and timely topics, ranging from health to religion to civil rights. Browse by theme using the links below.
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