Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series

President Thomas A. Parham established the Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series to showcase CSUDH as the place where important and consequential issues of the day become the topics of critical discourse. Each year, the series welcomes prominent 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 Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series events can be seen here.

President Lecture Series with Amber Riley

Finding Me: A Journey of Self-Care and Wellness

November 30, 2022  |  5-6 p.m.
Loker Student Union Ballroom

You are invited to an intimate and raw conversation with Amber Riley, GRAMMY-nominated singer, award-winning actress, producer, and author. Best known for her role on “Glee,” Amber is a vocal advocate of self-love and prioritizing mental health. Riley will candidly discuss her own experiences, how she has navigated personal challenges, and what wellness means to her.

Event Timeline

5:00 p.m. - Opening Remarks and Introductions | Nnamdi Okafor
5:05 p.m. - Amber Riley
5:25 p.m. - Conversation between Amber Riley and President Thomas A. Parham
5:50 p.m. - Audience Q&A & Closing Remarks

Amber Riley Biography

Amber Riley is a multi-faceted entertainer who has accumulated various titles over the years including GRAMMY-nominated singer, award-winning actress, theater performer, producer and author! This Compton native rose to success for her portrayal of "Mercedes Jones" on FOX’s critically-acclaimed series, Glee, where she shined as the show's powerhouse vocalist. After competing and winning season 17 of Dancing With The Stars , Amber returned to her acting roots and earned roles in both the live TV adaptations of The Wiz Live! & The Little Mermaid Live! She is also most notably known for her critically acclaimed performance as "Effie White" in the West End debut of Dreamgirls in the fall of 2016. So much so in 2017, she won the Laurence Olivier Award (UK's version of the Tony Awards) for Best Actress in a Musical.

Following her success in the acting world, Amber released her debut EP, titled after her new moniker, RILEY. The 6-track project served as an re-introduction to the woman and artist that Amber has become and how her experiences from growing up in Compton and her transition into Hollywood has shaped her.

Most recently, Amber starred in Lifetime’s Single Black Female, which brought in over 5.1 million viewers!