The annual Dorothy Day Lecture Series was launched in 2013 by the Emmanuel College Class of 1971 to honor liberal arts as the foundation and inspiration for meaningful social action. The goal of the lecture series is to encourage ongoing engagement with issues of social justice among students, alumni and the general public. The Dorothy Day Lecture Series features speakers who are role models for contributing to positive social change. The series is named for Dorothy Day, a courageous 20th-century woman of faith who dedicated her life to the struggle for economic and social justice. Read more about the history of the lecture series.

Past Speakers

Kade Crockford (April 28, 2024)

Director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts, Kade is a passionate and engaging speaker on issues at the intersection of technology and civil liberties. Kade led the ACLU of Massachusetts “Press Pause on Face Surveillance” campaign, which has thus far won the passage of a Massachusetts’ state law regulating police use of facial recognition, and eight municipal bans on government use of face surveillance technology, including in Massachusetts’ four largest cities.

Amy Goodman (April 23, 2023)

New York Times best-selling author and host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, an award-winning independent national news program airing daily on over 1,400 public television and radio stations worldwide. Goodman has co-authored six New York Times bestsellers. Her latest book, Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America, looks back over the past two decades of Democracy Now! and the powerful movements and charismatic leaders who are re-shaping our world.

Pam Wilmot (April 24, 2022)

Director of the National Popular Vote Initiative and Vice President of State Operations for Common Cause. Wilmot is a widely recognized expert on the Electoral College, campaign finance, ethics, elections, and transparency laws; and is also Director of the National Popular Vote Initiative at Common Cause.

Patrick Radden Keefe (April 28, 2021)

Staff writer at The New Yorker and the New York Times best-selling author of Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty and Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland. Say Nothing received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, and was selected as one of the ten best books of 2019 by the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal. Keefe’s work has been recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing and the Orwell Prize for Political Writing.

Heather McGhee (October 7, 2020)

Political commentator, writer, and public policy expert on economic and social policy, particularly issues related to inequality, racism, and economic justice. McGhee is the author of the New York Times best-selling book The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together.

Robert Ellsberg (April 28, 2019)

Editor of Dorothy Day’s letters and diaries. Author, publisher and social commentator, Ellsberg is a member of the Archdiocese of New York’s Historical Commission to advance Dorothy Day’s case for sainthood.

Razia Jan (April 22, 2018)

Advocate for women and girls in her native Afghanistan. Through her Razia's Ray of Hope Foundation, Jan established a girls' secondary school and the first private women's community college in Afghanistan. Her advocacy has been profiled in the documentary What Tomorrow Brings, which portrays how her school is transforming the lives of Afghan girls.

Diane Nash (April 23, 2017)

Founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee who organized some of the most important civil-rights campaigns of the 20th century. Nash spent a lifetime on the front lines of the nonviolent movement for civil rights and social justice. An activist and strategist for freedom rides and lunch counter sit-ins, a founder of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, and associate of Martin Luther King, Jr., Nash was arrested multiple times for her commitment to racial justice. She was instrumental in crafting the 1965 Voting Rights Act. She is a recipient of the 2022 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Tracie McMillan (April 24, 2016)

Author of The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table, a New York Times bestseller. Blending investigative and undercover reporting with intimate storytelling, McMillan’s work has been acclaimed by institutions ranging from the James Beard Foundation, Books for a Better Life and the International Association of Culinary Professionals to the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, the Sidney Hillman Foundation and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Reverend Liz Walker (April 26, 2015)

 An ordained minister, community activist, documentary film producer and co-founder of the humanitarian organization My Sister’s Keeper, which focuses on economic and educational initiatives for Sudanese women and girls. Walker entered this work after 21 years as Boston’s first African American television news anchor on WBZ TV.

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS (April 14, 2014)

Member of the Sisters of Social Service and former Executive Director of NETWORK, a Catholic social justice organization. Campbell is also a prominent advocate for economic justice, immigration reform, and healthcare policy. She is a recipient of the 2022 Presidential Medal of Freedom.