Defining America: Dialogues across Difference
Please join Montgomery College President DeRionne P. Pollard
for a series of conversations focused on American identity.
Portrait photo of Patricia A. McGuire, President, Trinity Washington University
President Patricia A. McGuire
Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus
Cultural Arts Center, Theatre One
7995 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Free parking. Click here for directions.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017 7 p.m.
Patricia A. McGuire
President, Trinity Washington University
As the president of Trinity University in Washington, DC, Pat McGuire works at the confluence of several demographic and social trends in the US. One hundred percent of Trinity students receive financial aid (half of entering freshman have family incomes under $25,000), and 70 percent of students are African American. McGuire has been a tireless advocate for all students, some marginalized from opportunity by race or poverty. What is the role of education in the American ideal? Is education a public good, and if so, why is it still privately financed? Should there be a right to higher education in America? McGuire brings decades of insight and advocacy to these questions.

Portrait photo of Mr. Seth Goldman, CEO, Honest Tea
Mr. Seth Goldman
Rockville Campus
Science West Building, Room 301
51 Mannakee Street
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Free parking. Click here for directions.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017 7 p.m.
Seth Goldman
Cofounder, Honest Tea
How American consumers communicate their values through purchasing is a topic of increasing attention. Businesses in the US, including the Bethesda-based Honest Tea, which was cofounded by Seth Goldman in 1998, have the capacity to influence such conversations. Honest Tea—which is committed to giving back to the communities from which it sources its products—has paid more than $1.5 million in premiums since 2003 to the Fair Trade, organic tea and sugar sourcing communities around the world. Fair Trade Communities are, then, empowered to use those funds for projects such as clean cook stoves, schools and ambulances, mechanized farm equipment, and more. Goldman will speak to these issues and more as he explores what it means to be an American businessman in the global economy.

Portrait photo of Mr. Robert Green, Director, Montgomery County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Mr. Robert Green
Rockville Campus
Theatre Arts Arena
51 Mannakee Street
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Free parking. Click here for directions.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 7 p.m.
Robert Green
Director, Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation
Incarceration, sentencing, and racial bias are topics that are much debated in American society. Director Robert Green’s 33 years of experience in one of the most diverse counties in the country have given him unique perspectives on correctional management and the implementation of special programs that serve incarcerated and returning citizens. Green serves as the chairman of the Maryland Commission on Correctional Standards and on the Maryland Justice Reinvestment Council, roles that allow him to speak on the tradition of American criminal justice, incarceration, and reforms. He is also well versed in racial and economic inequities as well as disparities in education and workforce development.

Portrait photo of Mr. Joshua Johnson, host of WAMU’s “1A” program
Mr. Joshua Johnson
Germantown Campus
High Technology and Science Center
Globe Hall
20200 Observation Drive
Germantown, Maryland 20876
Free parking. Click here for directions.
Tuesday, March 6, 2018 7 p.m.
Joshua Johnson
Host of WAMU’s “1A” Program
The role of the media as a pillar of American democracy is increasingly important. Questions about American identity and values are being negotiated regularly in public discourse and on social media. Journalist and broadcaster Joshua Johnson has brought insight and depth to audiences of millions. He hosts a daily national conversation tackling the most pressing issues of our time. Whether discussing race, politics, history, or foreign policy, Johnson brings a spirit of informed inquiry to each topic he engages. His flair for exploring controversial issues while maintaining civility and intellectual rigor has been honed over the years working in public radio first in Miami, then in San Francisco, and most recently as the host of WAMU’s “1A” based in Washington, DC.

About the Series
Defining America is a series dedicated to exploring identity and ideals in our nation. Challenges to traditional notions of who belongs in America have emerged in diverse, sometimes painful ways recently, revealing deep fissures in communities’ beliefs about what America represents. A series of guests will join Dr. DeRionne Pollard to explore the question of how we define ‘Americans’ and how dissent from majority opinion impacts national identity. Several experts whose work relates directly to these questions will contribute their informed perspectives, casting new light on these essential questions at the root of American democracy.
For information, call the President’s Office at 240-567-5267 or visit
For special accommodations, please contact Lori Stegeman at 240-567-7301 or, two weeks prior to the event.
Attendance at one or more of these events meets multicultural and diversity training criteria for Montgomery College employees.

Special thanks to our media sponsor, Bethesda Beat: Bethesda Magazine’s Online News Briefing “Bethesda Beat” – “Bethesda Magazine’s” Daily Dispatch (logo)

MC Montgomery College (logo)
Join the conversation: #MCpresdialogues Facebook icon Twitter icon