JES Global Summit XIII: Inveterate, Intriguing, and In-Person
Former President George W. Bush headlines annual speaker series
After a tremendously exhausting and disappointing 2020, there is nowhere to look but the future.
This is doubly true for the team at the Jefferson Educational Society, where 2020's Global Summit was canceled and 2021's earlier event was held virtually. However, the entire 2020 lineup agreed to keep their engagements with the JES, and the nonprofit think tank is now proud to present Global Summit XIII, headlined by keynote speaker President George W. Bush.
"It's been so long since we have been able to see our audience in-person; we miss them dearly," Ferki Ferati, Ph.D., president of the Jefferson Educational Society, said. He continued, "We are an organization in the business of gathering people, and not being able to do that because of COVID-19 was extremely challenging. We were able to successfully provide content for them online but seeing them in person is much more satisfying."
And while the JES looks forward to returning to in-person programming, its illustrious lineup of speakers, panelists, moderators and presenters all speak to where the country, and our little city within it, is heading.
This is highlighted by the keynote speaker, George W. Bush — a polarizing figure, and a highly influential one. Bush, along with U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, will comment on the state of the nation today, and how we can overcome the threats we face. Ferati hopes that "the audience comes with an open mind to learn the different perspectives on how to address those issues." Of course, the threat of COVID is far from over, but according to Ferati, safety has always been the utmost concern in bringing audiences back.
"We know from our research that the vast majority of our audience is vaccinated," Ferati said. "Until otherwise recommended by the CDC, anyone attending our events will either provide a vaccine record or a negative test."
For the JES' full COVID policy, you can visit their website at jeserie.org/about/covid-policy
Monday, Nov. 1 // 7:30 p.m.
Clayola Brown and DeWitt Walton: The Impact of Systemic Racism in Communities of Color
Clayola Brown is a leading voice in civil rights activism as the president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute in Washington, D.C., which contributes to the AFL-CIO organization's "unions' bridge to diverse communities, creating and strengthening partnerships to enhance the standard of living for all workers and their families."
A native of Charleston, S.C., Brown spent 17 years winning a union contract for the employees of textile giant J.P. Stevens, and went on to lead, organize, and inspire over the next four decades.
According to the JES, Brown will "discuss the impact of systemic racism in communities of color," in a talk that will be moderated by DeWitt Walton, the District 10 Council Representative of Allegheny County and vice president of the Pittsburgh A. Philip Randolph Institute.
Wednesday, Nov. 3 // 7:30 p.m.
Jeffrey Rosen: An Evening with Jeffrey Rosen
A law professor at George Washington University, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, and a contributing editor to The Atlantic, Jeffrey Rosen has also published six books, including (Conversations with RBG: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Liberty, and Law.)
Rosen will bring his expert knowledge of the Supreme Court (he has personally interviewed several justices), White House politics, and constitutional law to Global Summit XIII and provide insight that only "the nation's most widely read and influential legal commentator" can.
Thursday, Nov. 4 // 7:30 p.m.
Camille Busette: The Power of Policy Reform to Address Racial Justice in Erie
Camille Busette, Ph.D., has worked for years to address income inequality in communities of color throughout her career, and most significantly now, as a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where she has spearheaded the organization's Race, Prosperity, and Inclusion initiative.
Dr. Busette is returning to the JES with a discussion on how currently written policy, in cities like Erie and other comparably sized locations, engenders racial inequality, as well as how these policies have been and are being addressed.
Monday, Nov. 8 // 7:30 p.m.
Barbara Perry, Stacy Cordery, and Anita McBride: The History and Role of First Ladies
Each panelist in this discussion of First Ladies, a role of ever-increasing influence and inspiration, brings a long history of study and insight into the women who have stood — some more boldly than others — next to the men who become Commander-In-Chief.
Barbara Perry, Stacy Cordery, and Anita McBride each have close ties to the lives of some of the most visible women in the country, whether it's multitudes of interviews with presidential insiders (Perry), years of research and study (Cordery), or direct working access with presidential staffs and First Ladies (McBride).
To make this illuminating panel even better, Steve Scully, Erie native and former broadcaster with C-SPAN, and the current senior VP of communications with the Bipartisan Policy Center, will be moderating.
Tuesday, Nov. 9 // 7:30 p.m.
George W. Bush: An Evening with President George W. Bush
Bayfront Convention Center, 1 Sassafras Pier
The illustrious keynote speaker for the Summit XIII, George W. Bush's life has been politically charged since birth.
The son of George H. W. Bush, VP to Ronald Reagan and our nation's 41st President, GWB went on to become the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 until 2009.
During his tenure the world changed dramatically; from the terror attacks of 9/11 to the rapidly transforming digital and technological revolution, Bush guided the country with the steady presence of his wife Laura by his side, while raising two college-aged daughters.
After his tenure as arguably the most powerful man in the world, Bush retired to pursue major philanthropic endeavors, author four books, and enjoy grandparenthood.
His speaking engagement will be preceded by both former Pa. Gov. Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security and Erie native son, as well as U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey.
Steve Scully (the longtime C-SPAN host now working with the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Global Summit chair) will moderate the program.
Wednesday, Nov. 10 // 7:30 p.m.
Andrew Card and Mack McLarty: A Conversation with Former White House Chiefs of Staff
The President's Chief of Staff wears many hats — just ask Andrew Card and Mack McLarty, who served under George W. Bush and Bill Clinton respectively.
Card became a visible figure in the American landscape when he notified President Bush about the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center buildings on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. A politician and administrator, he formed part of Bush's administration for three years before being promoted to Chief of Staff.
Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty had a successful career as, among other positions, the CEO of Arkla, a natural gas company. He entered politics under the first Bush administration before transitioning to the Clinton administration — a natural switch, as it turned out, since McLarty and Clinton had known each other since kindergarten.
Join these two, also moderated by Steve Scully, as they recount the challenges (and hopefully some triumphs) of advising two of the most influential and powerful men in the world.
Thursday, Nov. 11 // 7:30 p.m.
Doris Kearns Goodwin: The New Deal to Great Society: FDR and LBJ
A die-hard Red Sox fan, a Ph.D. holder, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Doris Kearns Goodwin combines the down-to-earth with the aspirational.
A White House Fellow during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration, Kearns tackled poverty concerns, before moving on to teach at her alma mater, Harvard, and later aiding Johnson as he wrote his memoirs.
Her entry into the literary world, a biography of LBJ, has been joined by several other books, including 2018's Leadership in Turbulent Times, a work which promotes the idea that men and women in leadership often travel a long road to reach the point of influence, and that under the surface, they're all as human as any of us.
Kearns' unique first-hand experience of one of the most influential political leaders of all time also gives her particular insight into the integration of more women in leadership positions.
Friday, Nov. 12 // 7:30 p.m.
Robert Pape: Holding the Line: Political Violence in America and the Implications for Democracy
What is the role of violence in the political arena? After all, this country was founded only after fighting a bloody, five-year war with Great Britain.
If anyone has answers, it's Robert Pape, this year's Thomas B. Hagen Dignitas Award recipient and a life-long scholar of "the effectiveness of economic sanctions, humanitarian intervention policy, U.S.-China relations, and American Grand Strategy," according to the Global Summit XIII press materials.
Pape will present his discussion of violence's place in American democracy, drawing on his decades of research and firsthand experience. Pape is currently installed at the University of Chicago, though he hails from our little corner of the world, Erie, Pa.
All events begin at 7:30 p.m. // See the JES website at jeserie.org/global-summit for the events listing, including individual locations // Adult tickets: $35; VIP Tickets: $60; Adult pass: $150; VIP pass: $300; see the JES online brochure at jeserie.org for full ticket options, including early bird prices and special event pricing for keynote speaker