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Dr. Joanne Freeman is a leading expert on the life of Alexander Hamilton, her findings about the history of dueling inspiring the song “Ten Duel Commandments” in the Tony Award-winning musical “Hamilton.”
 
 
Thursday, October 15, 2020
 

PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

 The burning, front-page issues of the season are at the forefront of discussions in The Alturas Institute’s virtual edition of “Conversations with Exceptional Women,” which will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Friday—Oct. 16.

Acclaimed speakers will address climate change, racial tensions, election security and Russian interference, as well as the tentativeness of a peaceful transfer of power, a 200-year-old democratic norm brought center stage by President Donald Trump’s refusal to commit to a customary peaceful transition of power should he lose to former vice-president Joe Biden on November 3.

 The sixth annual event, relegated to a virtual forum because of Covid-19, has drawn interest from men and women from across the country, according to Dr. David Adler, President of the Institute.

 The theme of this year’s program, “America Reimagined,” affords a cast of award-winning leaders to take stock of America and imagine what the nation might look like under different circumstances, policies and programs. Each presentation will last 50 minutes.

 Adler, a nationally-known constitutional scholar, will serve as moderator, pitching questions to each of the speakers in an interview format, generating a conversation that reflects The Alturas Institute’s commitment to civil conversations about great issues confronting the nation.

“We’re really proud to feature such an outstanding lineup,” Adler said. “Consider that Diane McWhorter, the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of ‘Carry Me Home,’ which focused on the civil rights movement, will join us to discuss America’s racial reckoning.  Amy Harder, the Axios reporter covering energy and climate change, will talk about the politics of climate change and its impact on humanity. And Joanne Freeman, an award-winning Yale historian, will address an issue which, historically, has been a non-issue--the matter of a peaceful transition of power and its importance and implications for American Democracy.”

Two national security experts and authors, Gina Bennett, the CIA’s Senior Counterterrorism Analyst and Lauren Buitta, founder and CEO of Girl Security, will address the issue of election security and foreign interference. Two academics who have written books and articles about the American Presidency, and are frequent national television commentators —Dr. Caroline Heldman and Dr. Lara Brown—will analyze the presidential campaign and share their predictions on the outcome of the race.  Soraya Chemaly, an acclaimed author and executive director of The Representation Project, will offer her views on the continuing hurdles to the achievement of gender equality.

 Tickets to the event cost $20.  There is no admission charge for teachers and students.  Those who sign up for the event at alturasinstitute.com will receive on Thursday a link to the conference and a recording that will be emailed to patrons immediately following the conclusion of the program. For more information, visit www.alturasinstitute.com.

 “Ticket sales have been brisk,” Adler said. “I am heartened by the enthusiasm of teachers and students, including those in the Wood River Valley, who are signing up for the program.  And I’m deeply grateful to our two Valley members of The Alturas Institute’s Board of Directors, Laurie Sammis and Suzanne Hazlett, for their great work on behalf of our organization.”

Sammis is an author and the publisher of Sun Valley Magazine, Territory Magazine and Mandala Media Books.  Hazlett, of Hazlett Wealth Management, is an artist and editor of  the “Giving Guide of the Wood River Valley, Inc.”  

 

 

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