Trotter Multicultural Center

As a national leader in promoting an inclusive campus climate, the Trotter Multicultural Center serves as a campus facilitator, convener, and coordinator of cultural awareness and inclusive leadership education initiatives for students. The Trotter Distinguished Leadership Series is designed to increase healthy discourse and learning throughout the University of Michigan by inviting speakers from the political and public service sectors of national and international note. Our goal is to bring together bright minds with talks that are idea-focused on a wide range of subjects to foster learning, inspiration, and wonder – and provoke conversations that matter to students at the University of Michigan.

The discussions usually total 75 minutes in length including a 45 minute moderated discussion with 30-minute audience Q&A. A 30-60 minute reception are generally held after the event.

The Trotter Distinguished Leadership Series is developed with the financial support of generous donor gifts and programmatic support from U-M's Weiser Diplomacy Center and the Wallace House.

For more information on TDLS events or if you would like to speak at an upcoming event, please contact us at

2020-2021 Academic Year Events

TDLS: COVID-19: Reflections and vision for the future with Dr. Paula Lantz, moderated by Nicholas St. Fleur, Knight-Wallace Fellow 

This March marks the one year after the pandemic.

Join the Trotter Distinguished Leadership Series as we host social demographer, professor of Public Policy & Health Management and Policy, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Dr. Paula Lantz for COVID-19: Reflections and vision for the future. Award-winning science journalist and author, Nicholas St. Fleur, will be moderating and guiding us through a discussion that reflects on the impacts of the pandemic on local community health and policy, and explores what comes next.

Trotter Multicultural Center looks forward to seeing you on Wednesday, March 31st from 5:30-7 PM. Register at:

TDLS: Cybersecurity, Technology and Government with Javed Ali, moderated by Ravi Rendse, U-M VP IT and CIO

Trotter Distinguished Leadership Series is excited to announce the second installment of our virtual series: Cybersecurity, Technology, and Government on Tuesday, December 1, 5:30-7:00 PM. The event will feature speaker Javed Ali, former Senior Director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council and Towsley Policymaker in Residence, and our very own Ravi Pendse, U-M Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, as the event moderator. Join us for an insightful discussion centered on the intersection of cybersecurity, technology, and government and its role within the campus community, presidential elections, and more. Our guests will also be sharing about their unique career paths into their respective fields.

Be sure to register here:  There will be Q&A opportunities throughout the event! You can also submit questions through your Zoom registration! 

Watch the Recording

TDLS: Reflections from Former Presidential Speechwriters with Sarah Hurwitz and John McConnell, moderated by Aaron Kall, U-M Director of Debate.

Zoom Registration:

With Election Day quickly approaching, Trotter Multicultural Center is beyond excited to present Civic Engagement & the Power of Speechwriting: Reflections from Former Presidential Speechwriters, a continuation of our beloved Trotter Distinguished Leadership Series, on October 29th (Thursday) from 5:30-7:00 PM. Hear from speechwriters, Sarah Hurwitz and John McConnell, as they discuss their experiences speechwriting for the Bush and Obama administration, as well as the role of speechwriting within civic engagement. The event will be moderated by Aaron Kall, U-M Director of Debate.

Watch the Recording

Previous Events:

  • TDLS: A Discussion With Representative Sarah Anthony with Representative Sarah Anthony, Michigan State Representative, moderated by Elizabeth A. James (Friday, February 21, 2020).
  • TDLS: A Discussion With Senator Change with Senator Stephanie Chang, Michigan State Senator, moderated by Niala Boodhoo, Host and Executive Producer at Illinois Public Media (February 14, 2020).
  • Public Health Leadership and Advocacy: A Discussion with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Professor and Director, Michigan State University and author of "What the Eyes Don't See," moderated by Jacob Carah, Independent investigative journalist & documentary filmmaker (January 28, 2020).
  • Shifting the Lens in Today's Society: Leadership in Journalism: A Discussion with Peter Bhatia with Peter Bhatia, Editor for the Detroit Free Press & Pulitzer Prize Winner, moderated by Karen Rouse, Reporter for WNYC News, of New York Public Radio (October 25, 2019). 
  • Condoleezza Rice, 66th United States Secretary of State, moderated by Lynette Clemetson, Charles R. Eisendrath Director of Wallace House, University of Michigan (October 4, 2019).
  • Jim Fitterling (CEO of Dow, Inc.) moderated by Julio Cardona, Director of Trotter Multicultural Center, University of Michigan 
    (October 1, 2019)
  • TDLS: A Discussion on Women in Leadership with U-M Professors Barb McQuade and Kathryn Dominguez, moderated by Arnessa Garrett of the Dallas Morning News (March 27, 2019).
  • TDLS: A Discussion on Immigration with John Sandweg, Former Director of ICE and Homeland Security, and U-M Professor Mara Ostfeld (February 19, 2019).
  • Hailing Cesar Film Screening and Discussion with Eduardo Chávez, grandson of civil rights activist César Chávez (January 15, 2019)