The speaker series hosted Dr. Ronald Takaki, the nation's foremost expert on multiculturalism. Takaki provided insight on diversity in America and the 2008 presidential election in a lecture entitled "America in a Different Mirror: A History for the 21st Century" on October 28, 2008 at the West Los Angeles graduate campus.
Takaki's lecture shared scholarship from his new, updated edition of A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America (Back Bay Books, December 8, 2008), acclaimed by President Bill Clinton: "In this timely update of A Different Mirror, Professor Ronald Takaki examines the challenges we face in reconciling our differences and forming a secure, sustainable future for our country. Now more than ever, it's essential that we understand and embrace our diversity if we are to grow together as a nation."
Takaki has been a lightning rod for the study of America's diversity. He is a professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of Iron Cages: Race and Culture in 19th Century America and Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans, which was selected by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the best 100 non-fiction books of the 20th century. A Different Mirror is read on college campuses across the country and has more than half a million copies in print.