D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership

Lecture Series

The D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership sponsors a series of lectures by internationally, nationally, and locally known speakers on a variety of topics related to ethics and leadership. 

The lectures are intended to be both informative and inspiring, and to address ethical issues in a variety of settings, including business, health care, science, religion, politics, and technology.

2018-19 Fall Lecture Series

The Late Homecomer
Kao Kalia Yang, Author, Activist and Teacher
Thursday, September 13, 2018
7 p.m. - Fine Arts Center Main Theatre  


Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American author, film-maker, and teacher; she is also a co-founder of ‘Words Wanted,’ a company dedicated to helping immigrants with writing, translating, and business services. Her writing and speaking is passionate and eloquent as she seeks to deepen the understanding of the human condition in order to garner more compassion in the world.

Kalia was born in Ban Vinai Refugee Camp in 1980; she and her family came to Minnesota as refugees in the summer of 1987, and her first book, The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, reflects upon this move. It is a first-hand account of the journey that many Hmong people had to make from place to place in order to find ‘home.’ A review by Publishers Weekly praises Kalia, “Yang tells her family's story with grace; she narrates their struggles, beautifully weaving in Hmong folklore and culture.” It is the first Hmong-authored book to gain national distribution from a literary press, the only book to have ever garnered two Minnesota Book Awards, the best selling book in Coffee House Press History, and earned a NEA Big Read title.

Her latest, The Song Poet: A Memoir of my Father, is the first Hmong book to ever receive national recognition and representation. Jane Hamilton-Merritt proclaims that Kalia’s writing “allows us to hear the whispered sorrows and hopes of those transplanted onto foreign soil among strangers.”

When she’s not in front of an audience inspiring social change and awareness, Kalia raises twin sons that keep her and her husband busy at their home in Minneapolis.

World Premiere of Decoding the Driftless
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
7 p.m. - Fine Arts Center Main Theatre  


Human Trafficking
Rachel Lloyd, Author of Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale
Monday, October 15, 2018
7 p.m. - Fine Arts Center Main Theatre  


In 1998, at just 23 years old, Rachel Lloyd founded Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) at her kitchen table with $30 and a borrowed computer. She was driven by the lack of services for commercially sexually exploited and domestically trafficked girls and young women and the incredible stigma and punishment they faced from service providers, law enforcement, the courts, their families and society.

Twenty years later, her indelible impact on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking has helped shift the perception of trafficked girls from criminals to victims and now to survivors and leaders. GEMS is now the largest service provider of its kind in the nation providing
intensive services and support to over 400 girls and young women, preventive outreach and education to 1,000 youth, and training over 1,400 professionals each year.

Rachel is well-known for her tireless dedication to ‘her girls’ and has impacted thousands of individual lives through her love and commitment, but she is also passionate about changing public perception and policy. Her courageous advocacy ensured the passage of New York State’s Safe Harbour
for Sexually Exploited Children Act, which in 2008 became the first law in the nation to protect and not punish trafficked and exploited youth. Since then 28 other states have followed suit. She co-produced the ground-breaking Showtime documenta ry Very Young Girls, which has been seen by over 4 million people and created a national dialogue on the issue. Rachel is also the author of the critically acclaimed Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale, and has used her unique voice to advocate for survivors at the White House, the United Nations, and before Congress.

Nationally recognized for her innovative work in transforming the movement’s understanding of survivor leadership, she continues to pave the way for survivor leaders across the country. She was honored as one of the “50 Women Who Change the World” by Ms. Magazine and recognized with a Reebok Human Rights Award. She was also a recipient of a 2009 Ashoka Fellowship, the Frederick Douglass Award from the North Star Fund, and the Susan B. Anthony Award from the National Organization for Women, among many other accolades. Most recently she is the recipient of the Swedish World’s Children’s Prize (WCP), known as the “Children’s Nobel Prize.”

Additionally, Viola Davis and husband Julius Tennon’s company, JuVee Productions, is partnering with EveryWhere Studios to produce a movie adaptation of Rachel Lloyd’s critically acclaimed novel “Girls Like Us.”

Rachel received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Marymount Manhattan College and her Master’s in Applied Urban Anthropology from the City College of New York.

Resilient Living
Amit Sood, M.D.
Thursday, November 8, 2018
7 p.m. - Fine Arts Center Main Theatre​


Amit Sood, M.D., is a professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic and directs the Mind-Body Medicine Initiative. He is also the creator of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Resilient Mind program and has authored multiple books including The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living, The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness, Immerse: A 52-Week Course in Resilient Living, and Mindfulness Redesigned for the Twenty-first Century. Sood received the 2010 Distinguished Service Award, the 2010 Innovator of the Year Award, the 2013 Outstanding Physician Scientist Award, and the 2016 Faculty of the Year Award from
Mayo Clinic. He was also honored as the Robert Wood Johnson Health Care Pioneer in 2015. The Intelligent Optimist (formerly Ode Magazine) selected Sood as one among the top 20 intelligent optimists helping the world to be a better place. In 2016, he was selected as the top impact maker in healthcare in Rochester, Minn.

This lecture is part of the Annual Seven Rivers Research Symposium.

Tom Mangelsen, Renowned Nature Photographer
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
7 p.m. - Fine Arts Center Main Theatre


Legendary nature photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen has traveled throughout the natural world for nearly 40 years observing and photographing the earth’s last great wild places.

Mangelsen is a critically acclaimed photographer whose honors include being named Conservation Photographer of the Year by Nature’s Best Photography, the BBC’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the Outstanding Nature Photographer of the Year by NANPA, one of the 100 Most Important People in Photography by American Photo magazine, and one of the 40 Most Influential Nature Photographers by Outdoor Photography. 

Mangelsen’s award-winning limited edition prints have been exhibited in major museums including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and collected by thousands around the world through his MANGELSEN®--Images of Nature Galleries. The entire Mangelsen portfolio can be viewed online at www.mangelsen.com.

This lecture is part of the Annual Leopold Day Celebration.

The Happy City
Charles Montgomery, Author of The Happy City
Thursday, April 4, 2019
7 p.m. - Fine Arts Center Main Theatre

Charles Montgomery is an award-winning author, urbanist, and leader of a consultancy building more happiness into cities. He is the author of the book Happy City, about which The New York Times wrote: “Happy City is not only readable but stimulating. It raises issues most of us have avoided for too long. Do we live in neighborhoods that make us happy? That is not a silly question. Montgomery encourages us to ask it without embarrassment, and to think intelligently about the answer.”  

He has advised and lectured planners, students, and decision-makers across the USA, Canada, the UK, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico. He also creates experiments that challenge us to see our cities—and ourselves—in entirely new ways. Montgomery’s Home for the Games initiative led hundreds of people to follow his example and open their homes to strangers during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Working with the BMW Guggenheim Lab and the citizens of New York City, he transformed an empty lot into a machine to maximize feelings of altruism. Whether it is empowering people to re-imagine a city street using hundreds of giant building blocks, or challenging them to hug complete strangers, each experiment is driven by insights in the science of human wellbeing. Montgomery’s work ultimately nudges us out of our comfort zone to find a hopeful new vision for cities of joy. 

Montgomery and his team have turned the lessons from Happy City into a tool for helping people bring more happiness into their cities. They are using it to transform places and people’s lives in Mexico City, Auckland, London, and elsewhere. Montgomery launched the world’s first Happy Neighbourhood Audit in Mexico City, and his team also began work with the World Health Organization’s Europe Healthy Cities Unit. Montgomery has also been working with TIME Magazine on an interactive survey exploring happiness in American cities. Beta version here, with interactive version in development.

Montgomery’s writings on urban planning, psychology, culture, and history have appeared in magazines and journals on three continents. Among his awards is a Citation of Merit from the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society for outstanding contribution towards public understanding of climate change science. His first book, The Last Heathen, won the 2005 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction and vigorous praise from reviewers in The New York Times, The Guardian, and elsewhere.

This lecture is part of the Annual Ethics Conference.


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