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Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University announces spring programs

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  February 27, 2012 05:22 PM

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Old South Meeting House will co-host the April 12 forum.

The Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University has announced its schedule of six public presentations for spring 2012. The forums are intended to help connect members of the community while exploring contemporary social and political issues.

Begun in 1908, the Ford Hall Forum is believed to be the oldest series of free public lectures in the country, and includes prominent figures from academia, government, science, law, the news media, and the entertainment industry. The organizers promise equal time to audience members for asking questions and challenging speakers’ positions.

The schedule is as follows:

Strategery: SNL’s Remarkable Influence Over Politics Through Satire
The 2012 Louis P. and Evelyn Smith First Amendment Award Honoring James Downey
Tuesday, March 27, 6:30 – 8 p.m., C. Walsh Theatre, Suffolk University
Bill Murray, a “Saturday Night Live” cast member from 1977-1980, will lead a discussion with James Downey, who joined the show’s writing crew in 1977 and never left. Downey will be presented with the forum’s First Amendment award for his commentary on current events.

The State of Human Rights
A Frederic G. Corneel Memorial Forum, co-presented by Old South Meeting House and Suffolk University’s Model United Nations
Thursday, April 12, 6:30 – 8 p.m., Old South Meeting House
Jasmine Waddell, a visiting lecturer at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, will moderate as Rev. William Schulz, CEO of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, discusses recent US progress on human rights and the regions where they are most threatened and John Cerone, professor of human rights law and the U.S. member of the International Law Association’s International Human Rights Law Committee, explores the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.

Brand-Name Genes
Thursday, April 19, 6:30 – 8 p.m., Moot Court Room, Suffolk University Law School
Dominick Ianno, Ford Hall Forum president and director of public affairs for Pfizer's northeast division, will moderate as attorney Lee Carl Bromberg explains the efforts by companies to patent genetic codes and Dr. Robert Klitzman, author of “Am I My Genes?” tells the stories of lives permanently altered by genetic testing.

Worth a Thousand Words
Thursday, April 26, 6:30 – 8 p.m., Main Function Room, Suffolk University Law School
Helen Rees, Ford Hall Forum’s vice president, leads a discussion on photojournalism between Charles M. Sennott, a former Boston Globe reporter and co-founder of Global Post; Lou Jones, a photographer and board member of the Photographic Resource Center; and Nichole Sobecki, a photojournalist and former director of The Tufts University Institute for Global Leadership's EXPOSURE program.

Dysfunctional Democracy
Co-presented by the Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University and the Rappaport Center at Suffolk Law School
Thursday, May 3, 8 – 9:30 a.m., C. Walsh Theatre, Suffolk University
For this breakfast forum, local radio host Callie Crossley will ask always-candid Congressman Barney Frank for his views on Capitol Hill partisan battles, voter apathy, and the 2012 presidential race.

Beantown Centennials
Thursday, May 10, 6:30 – 8 p.m., C. Walsh Theatre, Suffolk University
Peter Meade, director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, will lead this discussion on three local centennials happening this year. Saul Wisnia, author of “Fenway Park: the Centennial,” will discuss the beloved stadium’s history. John Linehan, president and CEO of Zoo New England, will discuss how zoos and zoology have changed of the past 100 years. Paul Tormey, regional vice president and general manager for the Fairmont Copley Plaza, will explore the history of this popular luxury hotel.

The Ford Hall Forum will also host “flash forums” on breaking news stories as they happen. For more information and updates on flash forums, visit or call 617-557-2007.

The Ford Hall Forum is supported by individual donors and by these sponsors: ACLU Massachusetts, AIG, The Barr Foundation, The Boston Beer Company, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP, Edwards Angell Palmer and Dodge, The Fred and Marty Corneel Fund, Helen Rees Literary Agency, Houghton Chemical Corporation, Iron Mountain, Jackson & Company, Katz Nannis + Solomon PC, The Lowell Institute, Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Old South Meeting House, Penny Pimentel, The Pfizer Foundation, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation, Prince Lobel Tye LLP, Ropes & Gray, Suffolk University, WBUR 90.9 FM, and WilmerHale.

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