The Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University – the nation’s oldest free public lecture series – has announced its fall 2014 lineup.

For complete details of events, including possible supplementary Flash Forums to be announced later, please see the Ford Hall Forum website.

The Revolution Will Be Online

6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2
African Meeting House, 46 Joy St., Boston


  • Jay Smooth, blogger, The Ill Doctrine
  • Spectra Asala, blogger, Queer Women of Color Media and Spectra Speaks
  • Andrew Ti, blogger, Yo, Is This Racist?


  • Callie Crossley, broadcast journalist and radio host of WGBH’s Under the Radar with Callie Crossley

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, Ford Hall Forum convenes a panel of popular anti-racism bloggers to discuss how far we’ve come – or haven’t – since 1964. They will discuss how racism is now fought through the world’s electronic town hall, what racism and anti-racism look like from a millennial perspective, and how activists relate to those who came before them. This nuanced conversation will touch upon multiracial contexts, the value of intersectionality, the perils and perks of connecting via commenting, and more.

Presented in collaboration with the Museum of African American History, ArtWeek Boston and the Boston Literary Cultural District

Going to Pot

6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9
C. Walsh Theatre, Suffolk University, 55 Temple St., Boston


  • Eric Steenstra, executive director, Hemp Industries Association
  • Michael Head, researcher, Beacon Hill Institute
  • Cara Crabb-Burnham, MassNORML board president

Some see enormous environment and health potential for cannabis/hemp, as well as uses for food, fuel, and construction. Regulatory structures around the drug already are being instituted following Massachusetts’ legalization of medical marijuana and decriminalization of possession of small marijuana amounts. Questions remain about who will monetarily benefit from legalized marijuana and who won’t. Corporate, pharmaceutical, or political interests could profit. And cannabis tax policies, regulation of growers, and more must be addressed. The panel will discuss these questions and deliberate on how they impact whether or when marijuana might be fully legalized.

Place Your Bets

6:30-8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23,
Sargent Hall first-floor function room, Suffolk University, 120 Tremont St., Boston


  • Scott Harshbarger, former Massachusetts attorney general
  • Carlo DeMaria, mayor, city of Everett
  • Wooten Johnson, campaign manager, Coalition to Protect Mass Jobs
  • John Ribeiro, director, Repeal the Deal campaign


  • Father Richard McGowan, research associate, Harvard Medical School

This public forum, to be held just before the Nov. 4 vote, likely will be the last chance for the leaders on each side of the casino debate to make their cases to – and take questions directly from – the people of Greater Boston. The Fiord Hall Forum present this opportunity for concerned residents to hear the principals and decide for themselves whether the licensing process is playing out as expected, with jobs to be available right on schedule, or whether the lawsuits and hints of organized crime and regulator bias in this process are harbingers of worse effects to come.

Presented in collaboration with the Suffolk University Alumni Association

Obsessive Political Correctness (O.P.C.)

7- 8:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 3
C. Walsh Theatre, Suffolk University, 55 Temple St., Boston


  • Eve Ensler, playwright, The Vagina Monologues and O.P.C. (Obsessive Political Correctness)


  • Joyce Kulhawik, president, The Boston Theater Critics Association &

Eve Ensler’s reputation as a 21st century leader in activism through art is legendary. Her play The Vagina Monologues continues to open countless eyes to the prevalence of violence against women and girls, while her “V-Day” philanthropic project has exploded into a marvel of fund-raising, education, and programming. While much of the public is not fully aware of her indefatigable fight for women’s safety in various countries through V-Day, even fewer know of her work in Ciudad Juarez, Riyadh, and Bedford Hills. Boston’s arts ambassador, Joyce Kulhawik, converses with Ensler on her latest production, O.P.C. (Obsessive Political Correctness), and what drives her to make the world a better place through theater.

Free to Hate

6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6
C. Walsh Theatre, Suffolk University, 55 Temple St., Boston


  • Azhar Majeed, program director, FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education)
  • Jeremy Waldron, author, The Harm in Hate Speech


  • Jeff Jacoby, columnist, Boston Globe

The question of whether hate speech is protected by the First Amendment is not a new one but is rapidly demanding an answer in the age of vicious online commenting. Some believe that objectively defining hate speech is nigh on impossible and argue that the answer to its propagation is to not censor it but to further bolster the First Amendment. Others defend dignity and respect as basic human rights that can only be upheld by curbing hate speech. Join us to determine whether the United States should join its European counterparts in adopting laws that don’t allow hate speech to be considered free speech.

Presented with the Suffolk University Forensics Team

The Birth of a Nation

6:30 – 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20
C. Walsh Theatre, Suffolk University, 55 Temple St., Boston


  • Dick Lehr, author of The Birth of a Nation

Journalist and author Dick Lehr has chronicled a little-known history surrounding The Birth of a Nation, D. W. Griffith’s film that portrayed post-Civil-War-era freed slaves as disgusting and dangerous. In 1915, journalist agitator Monroe Trotter’s and Griffith began an argument over this incendiary movie. What followed was a public confrontation that spiraled into protests about civil rights. Join us to hear the true story of race, war, activism and free speech that all began with a film.