Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series

President Thomas A. Parham established the Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series to engage the campus and surrounding community in thought-provoking discussions on some of society’s most pressing issues. Each semester, the series will bring leading scholars, artists, and leaders to share their thoughts and experiences with the Toro community. Speakers are chosen for their eloquence as well as the impact of their actions, both within their respective industries and throughout the nation and world. The series is open to CSUDH students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public.


Past Events

Xavier Becerra - Fighting for a Sustainable Future and Healthy Communities
February 7, 2019

The Honorable Xavier Becerra was the featured speaker for the Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series in February, 2019. Attorney General Becerra discussed California’s efforts to defend environmental protections that are critical to our health and well-being. The event was one of several marking President Thomas Parham’s inauguration as the 11th President of California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Since taking office in 2017, Attorney General Xavier Becerra has made protecting the environment a top priority and has filed multiple lawsuits to uphold the rule of law when it comes to protecting the planet. In 2018, Attorney General Becerra established the Bureau of Environmental Justice at the California Department of Justice. The Bureau focuses on protecting people and communities that endure a disproportionate share of environmental pollution and public health hazards.

The lecture was followed by a panel discussion featuring Dr. John Thomlinson, CSUDH Professor & Chair of Biology; Tim Watkins, President/CEO, Watts Labor Community Action Committee; and Hawk McFadzen, CSUDH graduate student and CalFresh Outreach Coordinator.

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Tommie Smith - Silent Gesture: Athletics and Courageous Conscience
November 7, 2018

The lecture series began with legendary Olympic athlete Tommie Smith, whose raised fist on the medal platform at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics has become an iconic and defining moment in the fight for civil rights. Smith's lecture was followed by a panel discussion regarding athletes and social activism, with former NFL star Reggie Bush, NFL Network reporter Steve Wyche, UC Riverside athletic director Tamica Smith Jones, and CSUDH volleyball player Esther Duru. A video of the event can be viewed here or at left.