Secondary School


The Cultural Center’s lecture series gives students, faculty, staff and parents the opportunity to meet leading authorities in a wide range of fields, from literature to politics and economics to science.

Elections and Voting Republican with Jordan Blashek

Thursday, October 29, 2020 | 3pm-3:55pm

Jordan Blashek is a businessman, military veteran, and attorney. Jordan invests in entrepreneurial efforts to grow the American middle class as a part of Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt. He is the co-author of Union: A Democrat, a Republican, and a Search for Common Ground (2020), the story of the two friends’ three-year journey across America. Jordan is a Republican and his co-author, Christopher Haugh, is a Democrat.
In English. Mandatory for students in grades 10 to 12.

Elections and Voting Democratic with Nita Lowey

Wednesday, October 28 | 11:25-12:20pm

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey is currently serving her sixteenth term in Congress, representing parts of Westchester and Rockland Counties. She was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1988 and served in the Democratic Leadership in 2001 and 2002 as the first woman and the first New Yorker to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She is also the first woman to chair the powerful House Appropriations Committee. 
In English. Mandatory for students in grades 10 to 12. 

Antisemitism with Delphine Horvilleur

Wednesday, September 30 | 11:25pm

Delphine Horvilleur is a leading voice of the Liberal Jewish Movement of France. After attending the Rabbinical Seminary of Hebrew Union College (HUC) in New York, she was ordained a rabbi in 2008 and returned to France where she became the country's third female rabbi. In 2009, she became head of the Tenou’a review, where she is currently managing editor. She is the author of several books including "Des mille et une façons d’être juif ou musulman" (2017), cowritten with Rachid Benzine, and most recently "Comprendre le monde" (2020).

Past lectures

Intercultural Competency with Rachid Benzine, Emile Ackerman and Myriam Ackerman

Rachid Benzine is an Islamic Scholar who has taught at the Institute for Political Studies in Aix-en-Provence, as part of the Master's degree in "Religions and Society" and has been an associate researcher at the religious observatory. A prolific writer, he strives to think of an Islam in tune with our times and is also involved in the Islamic-Christian dialogue. He is the author of Letter to Nour and cowrote A Thousand Ways of Being Jewish and Muslim with Delphine Horvilleur. Held on Tuesday, February 11, 2020.

Climate Change with Bill McKibben and Alexandria Villaseñor

Bill McKibben is an author, environmentalist, and activist. In 1988, he wrote The End of Nature, the first book for a common audience about global warming. He is a co-founder and Senior Advisor at 350.org, an international climate campaign that works around the world. Alexandria Villaseñor is a 14-year-old climate activist who, inspired by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, began her own solo weekly school strike for climate in front of the United Nations Headquarters in December 2018. This conference is organized in conjunction with Festival Albertine 2019, curated by Bill McKibben. Held on Friday, November 8, 2019.

James Baldwin Day

On this James Baldwin Day we are focusing on stories, both told and, in the case of our screening, untold. We will begin the day with a program conceived by jazz musician and scholar Sammy Miller on Albert Murray, American literary and jazz critic and friend of James Baldwin. In the afternoon we will screen Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché. She was a pioneer in the film industry, and although she created more than 1000 productions, her name seems to be forgotten today. Director Pamela Green will introduce her film and participate in a Q&A following the screening. Held on Tuesday, October 8, 2019.

Sustainable Development with Jeffrey Sachs

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a leader in sustainable development and University Professor of Economics at Columbia University. He is the Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, serves on the UN Broadband Commission for Development, and acts as SDG Advocate for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Professor Sachs is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on economic development, global macroeconomics, and the fight against poverty. Held on Monday, February 27, 2019, 2-4pm.

Islam and National Identity with Kaoutar Harchi

Sociologist Harchi Kaoutar conducts research on cultural nationalisms and the construction of national identities. She will talk to the ninth graders about the different markers of Muslim identity depending on the nation. How is the sense of feeling Muslim affected by religion, beliefs or ethnicity in France and Europe or in the United-States? Held on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 1:30PM-2:30PM, Y9.

Workshop on Slam Poetry with Gaël Faye

Gaël Faye, born in 1982 in Bujumbura, Burundi, is a French-Rwandan rapper, composer and writer. During the civil war in Burundi and the nearby Rwandan genocide, 13-year old Gaël was forced to flee his home country and move to France. Living in the suburbs of Paris, he discovered rap and hip-hop culture while starting writing poetry. In August 2016, Gaël published his first novel Petit Pays (Small Country by Hogarth Press), inspired by his childhood. The book received numerous prizes such as the Prix du roman Fnac, the prix Goncourt des lycéens and the prix littéraire du Lycée Français de New York in 2017. Held on Friday, October 26, 2018 - 2pm-4 pm, Y10.

James Baldwin Day with Mame-Fatou Niang

Mame-Fatou Niang is an Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. She conducts research on contemporary France, Sub-Saharan Africa, Postcolonial and Transnational Studies, Media, and Urban Planning. Her recent research examines the development of Afro-French identities, and the works of second- and third-generation female immigrant writers of the banlieue. In 2015, she co-directed a documentary entitled “Mariannes Noires: Mosaïques Afropèennes” in which seven Afro-French women unravel what it means to be black and French, black in France. Held on Friday, September 28, 2018.