Leah Seupersad, 404-413-1354
ATLANTA — From astronaut Captain Mark Kelly to GRAMMY winning recording artist John Legend, a host of high profile speakers will inspire students on Georgia State University’s campus this year.
The internationally known speakers are a part of GSU’s Distinguished Speaker Series, which aims to provide students meaningful learning opportunities that increase awareness and encourage critical thinking and discussion about relevant, thought provoking issues.
“It gives us a chance to see what we can actually do with the education we are getting and see how far we can go,” said Andres Cruz, a freshman majoring in journalism. “These are the icons for a lot of us down here and to get to hear them speak or meet them is something amazing to all of us.”
Acclaimed journalist and film documentary producer Lisa Ling kicked off the spring Speakers Series Jan. 24. Ling, co-executive producer and host of “Our America” on the Oprah Winfrey Network, shared stories that she said changed her perspectives on life, including covering stories about the Civil War in Afghanistan, Korea, adoptions in China and sex trafficking in America.
“She definitely informed me because I knew nothing about what was going on in Korea or that they were shut off from the rest of the world,” said Latoya Taylor, a physical therapy graduate student. “She taught me a lot of stuff today and I might go to the Internet and look up more on it.”
Ling, who was also the first female host of National Geographic’s Explorer series and a co-host on ABC’s show “The View,” encouraged GSU students to take advantage of the resources that are available in America.
“In North Korea the people are prevented from knowing what’s going on in the world, even if they want to find out information,” Ling said. “But in America we have more information than we know what to do with at the tip of our fingers, but yet how much do we choose to know about what’s going on in the world.”
Ling ended with a quote from Oprah, “Now that you know, you can’t pretend that you don’t.”
Following Ling this semester are Mark Kelly on Feb. 1; nine-time GRAMMY Award winning recording artist and humanitarian, John Legend on Feb. 20; Kathryn Stockett, best-selling author of the “The Help” on March 29; and on April 12, Deepak Chopra, founder and chairman of the Chopra Foundation and the Chopra Center for Wellbeing.”
Legend will share his experiences as a R& B singer and humanitarian through lecture and song. In 2007, Legend launched the Show Me Campaign, a nonprofit organization fighting poverty around the world. He also sits on the Boards of The Education Equality Project, Teach for America, the Harlem Village Academies, and co-chairs the Harlem Village Academies’ National Leadership Board with Rupert Murdoch.
On April 12, Chopra will conclude the series by discussing practical ways to experience higher consciousness, transformation and healing. He will also address questions such as: “Are we in the midst of a major paradigm shift in science?” and “Is there an ultimate reality?”
The Kelly, Legend and Stockett events will all be held at 3 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom. Those events are free and open to the public.
Chopra will speak at 6 p.m. on April 12 in the GSU Sports Arena. His speech is free for GSU students, faculty, and staff, but admission for the public is $10 at the door.
The Distinguished Speaker Series is hosted by GSU Campus Events. For more information about the speakers, visit http://www.gsu.edu/studentevents/events.html
January 27, 2012