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President's Speaker Series

President's Speaker Series

The President's Speaker Series welcomes distinguished scholars and thought leaders representing diverse points of view to examine topics and issues facing our communities and the world today. Driven by a desire to connect deeply with our community and inspire meaningful dialogue, the series provides opportunities to cultivate an engaged and impassioned collective through civil discourse.

Featured Event

Bernard Kinsey and family

The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection
"The Myth of Absence"

Wednesday, February 24, 2021
5–7 PM PST

The President's Speaker Series welcomes alumnus Bernard Kinsey (MBA '73), his wife, Shirley (MA '76), and their son, Khalil, who will present "The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection - 'The Myth of Absence.'" This event is part of Pepperdine's celebration of Black History Month that seeks to uplift Black voices, celebrate Black achievements, and serve as moments of reflection and remembrance of Black history in the United States.

Through a powerful and engaging interactive presentation, the Kinsey family will give an in-depth view and perspective of the objects and periods in history featured in the Kinsey Collection, widely considered one of the most comprehensive surveys of African American history and culture outside the Smithsonian Institution. The presentation will inspire, educate, and entertain—filling in gaps to the American story by highlighting the many and often untold examples of African American achievement and contribution.

During this dynamic presentation, audiences will be introduced to the "myth of absence" concept that has played a significant role in America's view of African Americans. Serving as a virtual tour of the Kinsey African American Art & History Collection, the presentation will prompt attendees to question what they were taught and challenge thought processes in regards to race and contribution in America.

Learn more about the Kinsey family and The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection with Bernard's recent Coffee with Jim.


About the Kinsey Family

While traveling and exploring other countries and cultures as newlyweds, Bernard, an internationally recognized business consultant with particular expertise and leadership experience in urban revitalization and market development, and Shirley, who has held careers in both education and corporate America, began collecting art and artifacts as treasured memories of their travel experiences. As their collection grew, their passion for world culture led them to want to understand and develop a deeper connection with their own African American history and culture.

Through countless travels and life-changing experiences, the Kinseys’ journeys inspired them to study, and then collect, objects that share their own heritage, arts, and culture. Today, The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection travels the globe as an award-winning museum exhibition seen by more than 15 million people—led by the stewardship of Bernard and Shirley and their son, Khalil, who began working alongside his parents in 2009 and serves as general manager and curator for The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection. Khalil also oversees The Kinsey Collection exhibitions and properties, including operations, museum services, strategic partnerships, and more.



Suggest a Speaker or Topic

The Pepperdine community is invited to participate in developing a robust roster of speakers with diverse backgrounds and perspectives for the President's Speaker Series. Submit a speaker or topic for consideration by completing the suggestion form. All submissions will be considered and evaluated based on programming needs.


Past Events

Robert George and Cornel West

Honesty and Courage, Humility and Hope:
Robert George and Cornel West in Dialogue

Tuesday, January 12, 2021
5–7 PM PST

Robert George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, and Cornel West, professor of the practice of public philosophy at Harvard University and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University, discuss the deep character required to engage thoughtfully and respectfully in vibrant conversations that explore diverse viewpoints.