PA Speaker Series: Announcing the 2016-17 Speakers

The PA Speaker Series invites distinguished speakers to Lab on a quarterly basis to provide parents with informative and innovative topics. The PA is proud to present several prominent thinkers this year.

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot
Tuesday, November 15
8:45–9:45 a.m.
Gordon Parks Assembly Hall



Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, a MacArthur prize-winning sociologist and the Emily Hargroves Fisher Professor of Education at Harvard University comes to Lab.

Ms. Lawrence-Lightfoot, an educator, researcher, author, and public intellectual, has written nearly a dozen books and received more than 25 honorary degrees at universities across the United States. In her work, she  examines the culture of schools, the broad ecology of education, and the relationship between human development and social change.

Among her books is The Essential Conversation: What Parents and Teachers Can Learn From Each Other (2003), which captures the crucial exchange between parents and teachers, a dialogue that is both mirror and metaphor for the cultural forces that shape the socialization of our children.

Prof. Lawrence-Lightfoot will speak on the themes of her new book, Growing Each Other Up: When Our Children Become Our Teachers. As parents and teachers we invest enormously in helping our kids grow up. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot will focus on the lessons our children can teach us in life, and especially so as they emerge as young adults.

She received the prestigious MacArthur Prize in 1984. In 1993, the Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot Chair, an endowed professorship, was established a her alma mater, Swarthmore College. And in 1998 she received the Emily Hargroves Fisher Endowed Chair at Harvard University. Upon her retirement, the Emily Hargroves Fisher Endowed Chair will become the Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot Chair, making Professor Lawrence-Lightfoot the first African American woman in Harvard’s history to have an endowed professorship named in her honor.



Robert T. Michael

Monday, February 20

7 p.m.

Gordon Parks Assembly Hall


Robert T. Michael, UChicago Eliakim Hastings Moore Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus, Senior Fellow, NORC, on The Five Life Decisions.


APRIL 2017

Eboo Patel

Tuesday, April 4

8:45 a.m.

Gordon Parks Assembly Hall


Eboo Patel, founder and president of the Interfaith Youth Core and member of President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council, on making  interfaith cooperation a social norm.