Margaret J. Weber Distinguished Lecture Series
Emeritus Dean Margaret J. Weber established the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) in 2010. To honor her leadership and legacy, GSEP continues this event series in her name. The lecture series helps support the GSEP mission of educating students to inspire lasting change in their communities and to lead lives of purpose, service, and leadership.
2021 - 2022 - Event Schedule
Thursday, March 11, 2021
5:30 - 7:00 PM | Virtual event | Register Here
Women in Leadership: Navigating Through Power Structures, Personal Challenges, and a Pandemic
The Margaret J. Weber Distinguished Lecture Series welcomed a dynamic panel of female leaders to share lived experiences and perspectives to inspire all genders. More than just another "women's history month event," these pioneers offered advice for obtaining "stretch-opportunities" for professional growth, expanding networks, and accessing resources.
Moderated by respected family law practitioner, Stacy D. Phillips, the panel discussed navigating the contours of power related to gender, race, and the political structure in an organization, and the role male advocates and managers play in addressing workplace challenges faced by under-represented employees, particularly women. They also shared how the pandemic has amplified obstacles and created opportunities that did not previously exist.
Christine Deschaine, Senior Vice President and Kennedy Wilson, a global real estate investment company
Kara Katz, CEO and Founder, Riff App
Chickie Leventhal, Founder and Owner, Chickie's Bail Bonds
Christal Morris (EdD ' 17), SVP, Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Peloton
Denise Pines, Immediate Past President, Medical Board of California
A recording of this event is viewable here.
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Deconstructing Us: Self-Interrogation at the Intersection of Christian Worldview & Social Justice
Dr. Anita Phillips - trauma therapist, life coach, and host of the podcast "In The Light with Dr. Anita Phillips"
In joint sponsorship with the Caruso School of Law (CSOL) Dean's Speaker Series, the Weber Distinguished Lecture Series at the Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology welcomes Dr. Anita Phillips to examine how cultural contexts misshape the image of God and riddle our Christian worldview with blind spots that breed and maintain schisms in the community of Christ, including racial division.
Dr. Phillips holds degrees from the University of Maryland and Regent University and completed an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Boris L. Henson Foundation and the Faith Communities Task Force for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Dr. Phillips also hosts a weekly podcast titled, "In The Light with Dr. Anita Phillips" where she brings a new dimension to the faith and mental health conversation.
A recording of this event is viewable here.
2019-2020 - Event Schedule
Tuesday, January 23, 2020
The Ritz Carlton Marina Del Rey
GSEP Urban Initiative 2.0 Community Dinner
The Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) held an Urban Initiative 2.0 Community Dinner to recognize trailblazer alumni honorees who have worked tirelessly within their communities since the founding of GSEP in the mid-1970s. Renowned professor, author, philosopher, and activist Dr. Cornel West delivered an inspiring keynote address to the attendees from the various partner organizations and supporters of the GSEP Urban Initiative in attendance.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, who has a family history association with Pepperdine, presented Dean Helen Easterling Williams and GSEP with a commendation of congratulations for the celebratory event from the County of Los Angeles. The evening closed with the reciting of the GSEP Urban Initiative Pledge by all in attendance. View the Urban Initiative pledge here.
The Urban Initiative of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) seeks to link community partners committed to understanding and addressing the mental health and educational issues of the underserved in Los Angeles and around the world. The aim of the Urban Initiative is to develop transformative solutions to social problems that have both a humanitarian value and are grounded in problem-oriented perspectives.
Alumna Merelean Wilson, Chancellor Sara Jackson, Alumna Dessie Burns Kelly, Supervisor Janice Hahn, alumna Dr. Avery Ruth-Shaw, and alumnus Dr. Anthony Francisco
2018 -2019 - Event Schedule
Living and Learning with Civility
The 2018-19 series is centered on the quote from Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." Each event will host a speaker or panel who will explore thought-provoking ideas, anchored in civility to produce positive change.
Thursday, January 24, 2019
West LA Campus | 7-9 PM | Room 203
The Triple-Bottom Line of Social Entrepreneurship in Sports and Entertainment
Christine Simmons - Chief Operating Officer of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and former President and Chief Operations Officer of the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks
The Weber Distinguished Lecture Series at the Pepperdine Graduate School of Education
and Psychology welcomed Christine Simmons to speak on the importance and multiple
benefits of social entrepreneurship in business and culture, specifically sports and
entertainment. As chief operating officer of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences, Simmons oversees the day-to-day management and elevation of the Academy's
internal organization, including the Academy Foundation and educational programs.
Her life philosophy has always been "do more - do good - do well." In her view, as a leader, she is responsible for more than managing a business or franchise, but to also inspire and champion girls and women to be leaders who make a cultural impact.
Simmons served as president and chief operations officer of the WNBA's most successful franchise business operation, the Los Angeles Sparks. Prior to taking the helm of the three-time league championship team, Simmons served as executive vice president of Magic Johnson Enterprises, as well as holding senior positions at both Disney and NBCUniversal. She currently serves on the advisory councils for Women in Sports and Events and Next Play Capital. In October 2018, Ebony magazine included her in its "Power 100" list of inspiring African Americans.
Taking place in West Los Angeles, this event is free to the Pepperdine community and
to the public.
Registration is required. Join in the discussion of elevating social purpose alongside corporate profitability.
A recording of the event is viewable via YouTube.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
West LA Campus | 7-9 PM
HATE: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship
Nadine Strossen - Former President of the American Civil Liberties Union
Nadine Strossen expertly dissects constitutional law to share current challenges to our civil liberties today, stimulating thoughtful consideration of democratic ideals. With her expert knowledge of the Constitution, Strossen is a unique and valuable resource for understanding the context behind policies and legislation that curtail civil liberties, such as freedom of speech. In her new book, HATE: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship, she explores how speech is protected under the constitution and how free speech can be used to counter hate speech.
Twice named one of "The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America" by The National Law Journal, Strossen draws from her two decades as president of the American Civil Liberties Union and current post as professor at New York University Law School to highlight the dangers that follow efforts to serve justice by limiting civil rights. She also offers useful and applicable strategies for achieving positive outcomes without violating Constitutional rights. From government surveillance and the decriminalization of drugs to sexual harassment and more, Strossen makes even complex issues accessible through the use of illuminating statistics and true-life stories.
A recording of this event is viewable via YouTube
Thursday, November 8, 2018
West LA Campus | 6-8 PM
Don't Forget About Me! The Importance of Character Development for All Generations
Dr. Ilene Bezjian, Executive Director / Western Region for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation
Established in 1861, The Medal of Honor is the highest accolade for bravery that can be awarded to members of America's armed forces for exceptional acts of valor. Recipients of the Medal of Honor founded the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation to educate and inspire Americans about the values embodied in the Medal of Honor: courage and sacrifice, commitment and integrity, citizenship and patriotism.
The Executive Director of the Western Region for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, Dr. Ilene Bezjian, discussed the importance of character development to support individuals, families, communities, and nations that thrive. With 30 years of higher education experience, Dr. Bezjian has developed unique programs and opportunities for faculty and students alike, including a global program taking students around the world in one year while earning an MBA. Additional programs include a Masters in Public Accounting, an online MBA and Master of Arts in Management both online and face-to-face. She served as Dean of the School of Business and Management at Azusa Pacific University for 14 years and a professor of marketing for 20 years. With more than 1300 students, 6 undergraduate programs and eight graduate programs, she led the 25 faculty through the steps of AACSB accreditation process.
Dr. Bezjian sits on the board of Life Pacific College, The Smith Christian Foundation, Devoe School of Business and assists with the boards of A Million Thanks, and Working to Give. Additionally, she has served in support positions for the military throughout her husband's 37 years of military service.
A recording of this event is viewable via YouTube
Thursday, October 18, 2018
West LA Campus | 7-9 PM
Race and the Internet: The Digital Shadow
Theo E. J. Wilson - YouTube activist, Speaker, Slam Poet
YouTube activist Theo E.J. Wilson was spurred by the racist comments individuals posted on his videos to assume an "alt-right" persona and pretend to be a member of the white nationalist movement. The ensuing conversations informed his presentation, "Race and the Internet: The Digital Shadow," a discussion about civil conversations, especially when people disagree.
Theo E.J. Wilson is the executive director of Shop Talk Live, Inc. The organization uses the barbershop as a staging ground for community dialogue and healing. In 2013, Wilson began speaking with "Rachel's Challenge," an organization dedicated to ending school violence through compassion. After viral video success beginning in 2015, he published his first book in 2017, The Law of Action. The book addresses some of the misconceptions about the law of attraction and the role direct action plays into manifestation.
With a passion for social justice, Wilson began his speaking career in the N.A.A.C.P at the age of 15. He attended Florida A&M University, where he obtained his B.A. in theater performance. Upon graduating, he interned as a full-time actor at the St. Louis Black repertory company. Wilson is a founding member of the Denver Slam Nuba team, who won the National Poetry Slam in 2011.
2017 -2018 - Event Schedule
Civility: The Intersection of Faith, Intellect, and Culture
GSEP aims to be a think tank for higher education. With the Distinguished Lecture Series, we focus on important topics with civility. Collectively, we can have civil disagreements and civil discourse, all leading us to take action in a direction that will bring about a better self, society, and world. The 2017-18 lecture series will continue to explore the themes of faith, intellect, and culture and host individuals to inspire and challenge.
Thursday, February 22, 2018
West LA Campus | 7-9 PM
The Intersection of Clinical and Commerce
Dr. Karen Khaleghi - co-founder of Creative Care Mental Health Treatment Centers
Dr. Karen Khaleghi and her husband Dr. Morteza Khaleghi founded Creative Care Mental Health Treatment Centers, one of the first recovery centers in Malibu, CA. Creative Care was the first to treat individuals with co-occurring disorders. Their inpatient, dual-diagnosis treatment programs and dedicated, in-patient psychiatric facility has been guiding patients to the path of recovery since 1989.
Dr. Khaleghi shared her personal and professional experience in effectively working as a clinician in the field. As a practitioner and business owner, Dr. Khaleghi guided those in attendance to couple their education and training with business savvy to achieve success.
Friday, March 9, 2018
Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles | 7-9 PM
Dr. Cornel West - Philosopher, Author, Activist, and Endowed Visiting Professor at Pepperdine GSEP
GSEP welcomes back Dr. Cornel West, professor, philosopher, author, and activist, who is now a visiting professor at Pepperdine GSEP for the Spring semester in the Doctor of Philosophy in Global Leadership and Change, and Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership programs. Dr. West was invited to speak at the Weber Distinguished Lecture Series for his ability to offer ideas, spark discussion, and move our community to reflect on humanity and act with civility. His lecture Prophetic Fire is open to the public and will encourage attendees to live and inspire through more than ordinary means. His melodic words often soothe, yet his content drills down to the most salient point of the issues of our day. Bookmark this link to watch a portion of the 2018 lecture live.
"These are the times that test women and men's souls. Thomas Paine was right." - Dr. Cornel West
Watch a portion of Dr. West's 2017 Lecture
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