Former Star Trek actor George Takei will headline Butler University's Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series. The lineup also includes an award-winning radio broadcaster and a national journalist.

January 21, 2015

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — Actor/social activist George Takei, urban revitalization strategist and Peabody-winning radio broadcaster Majora Carter, and journalist Michel Martin will speak at Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University this spring as part of the Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series.

Takei will begin the series on February 16, followed by Carter (March 18) and Martin (April 2).

Admission to all talks in the series is free, but tickets are required. Tickets will be available to the public at the Clowes Hall box office and through Ticketmaster on January 27 at 10:00 a.m. for Takei, February 5 at 10:00 a.m. for Carter, and February 20 at 10:00 a.m. for Martin.

There is a limit of two tickets per person.

More about each speaker follows.

George Takei

February 16, 7:30 p.m.

Clowes Memorial Hall

“An Evening with George Takei”

Takei is an actor, social justice activist, social media mega-power, star of the upcoming Broadway musical Allegiance, host of the AARP-produced YouTube series “Takei’s Take,” and subject of To Be Takei, a documentary on his life and career.

Takei is known around the world for his founding role in the acclaimed television series Star Trek, in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise. He starred in three seasons of Star Trek and later reprised his iconic role in six movies.

Mashable.com in 2012 reported Takei is the most influential person on Facebook, currently with more than 7.2 million likes. Takei also has more than 1.25 million followers on Twitter.

Takei, a Japanese American who from age 4 to 8 was unjustly interned in two U.S. internment camps during World War II, is an outspoken supporter of human right issues and community activist. Takei is Chairman Emeritus and a Trustee of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

The openly gay Takei has served as the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign “Coming Out Project,” and was Cultural Affairs Chairman of the Japanese American Citizens League. He was appointed to the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission by former President Clinton and the government of Japan awarded Takei the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his contribution to U.S. – Japanese relations.

Majora Carter

March 18, 7:30 p.m.

Clowes Memorial Hall

“Home (town) Security”

Carter is probably the only person to receive an award from John Podesta's Center for American Progress and a Liberty Medal for Lifetime Achievement from Rupert Murdoch's New York Post. Fast Company named her one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business; The New York Times described her as “The Green Power Broker;” and the Ashoka Foundation's Changemakers.org recently dubbed her “The Prophet of Local.”

Carter hosts the Peabody Award-winning public radio series “The Promised Land” and serves on the boards of the U.S. Green Building Council and The Wilderness Society. She has a long list of awards and honorary degrees, including a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.

Carter founded and led Sustainable South Bronx, from 2001 to 2008, when few were talking about “sustainability”—and even fewer in places like the South Bronx.

By 2003, Carter coined the phrase “Green the Ghetto” as she pioneered one of the nation's first urban green-collar job training and placement systems, and spearheaded legislation that fueled demand for those jobs. Her 2006 TEDtalk was one of six presentations to launch that groundbreaking website.

Since 2008, Carter's consulting company has exported climate adaptation, urban revitalization, and leadership development strategies for business, government, foundations, universities, and economically underperforming communities.

Michel Martin

April 2, 7:30 p.m.

Clowes Memorial Hall

“Tell Me More”

Martin has spent more than 25 years as a journalist—first in print with major newspapers and then in television. Her NPR show “Tell Me More,” which aired from 2007–2014, marked her debut as a full-time public radio show host. Martin has also served as contributor and substitute host for NPR newsmagazines and talk shows, including “Talk of the Nation” and “News & Notes.”

Martin joined NPR from ABC News, where she worked since 1992. She served as correspondent for “Nightline” from 1996 to 2006, reporting on such subjects as the Congressional budget battles, the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, racial profiling and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. At ABC, she also contributed to numerous programs and specials, including the network's award-winning coverage of September 11, a documentary on the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas controversy, a critically acclaimed AIDS special, and reports for the ongoing series “America in Black and White.”

Before joining ABC, Martin covered state and local politics for the Washington Post and national politics and policy at the Wall Street Journal, where she was White House Correspondent. She has also been a regular panelist on the PBS series “Washington Week” and a contributor to “NOW with Bill Moyers.”

About Butler University

Butler is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Together, these colleges offer more than 60 undergraduate areas of study, eight pre-professional programs, and 19 graduate programs. Around 4,700 students are enrolled at Butler, representing 45 states and 49 countries. Ninety-five percent of Butler students will have participated in some form of internship, student teaching, clinical rotation, research, or service learning by the time they graduate. This community-centered immersion is coupled with classroom learning that nurtures critical thinking, effective communication, cooperative teamwork, and ethical decision making to prepare students for both professional success and to have lasting impact in their communities. Butler’s overall placement rate for the class of 2012 was 96 percent, including 19 percent who went on to graduate or professional school.

Source: Butler University

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