“Mindful of the Future” Speaker Series

Founded in 2015 by Andrew Lydens ’17, Chance Kawar ’17 and Josue Pasillas ’17, the “Mindful of the Future” Speaker Series presents a unique and diverse roster of distinguished speakers who engage with students, staff, faculty, and community members on topics that relate to the values of Pitzer College. Featured speakers touch on a variety of social, political, economic, environmental, and cultural issues that will be impacting our world in the coming decades—facilitating a solution-driven discourse on campus.

Since its inception, the speaker series has brought prominent national leaders and thinkers to campus, including U.S. Presidential and Senate candidates, current and former state elected officials, and leading journalists from The New York Times and Democracy Now! To recommend a speaker, email senate@pitzer.edu.

CA State Senator Anthony Portantino  

On October 28, 2017, California State Senator Anthony Portantino came to Pitzer College to tell his story of how he entered the world of politics. He encouraged students to get involved, advocate for issues about which they are passionate, and never give up. He frequently referred to himself as a father and emphasized the importance of connecting with individuals face-to-face. Senator Portantino will be back on campus on November 29, 2017 to hold a Millennial Open Dialogue, an opportunity targeted towards constituents ages 15-30 to voice their concerns and questions about any issue and offer legislation ideas.

Read more about Hon. Portantino’s visit in The Student Life. 

Director & Producer of Justice for My Sister Kimberly Bautista ’07


On October 20, 2017, Kimberly Bautista ’07 returned to Pitzer to talk about healing from sexual trauma through arts and advocacy. She used a variety of films she has directed and collaborated on to demonstrate how healing is cynical, communal, and unique. Following her Mindful of the Future Talk, Executive Director Bautista also held two workshops: a closed workshop on the intersection of self-care and advocacy for survivors of color, and one on the complexities of #MeToo campaign and how to support a friend/loved one.

Read more about Kimberly Bautista’s visit in The Student Life.

Winning Margins Co-Founder Michael Ceraso ’14

On October 11, 2017, Michael Ceraso PZ ’14 returned to Pitzer College to talk to students about his career as a political campaigner and encourage them to engage with local politics. Ceraso worked for the 2008 Obama presidential campaign team in New Mexico went on to promote other Democratic candidates. He has worked in several local elections and was the New Hampshire deputy state director and California state director for Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential bid.

Read more about Michael Ceraso’s visit in The Student Life.

Washington Supreme Court Justice Steven Gonzalez

Justice Steven Gonzalez speakingJustice Steven Gonzalez with Student Senate President Josue PasillasJustice Steven Gonzalez, Gabriel Madrid, and Pitzer President Melvin L. Oliver Ventura Torres-Ayala P'12, P'15, Gabriel Madrid '17, Justice Stephen Gonzalez, Frank Ayala P'12, P'15.

On April 14, 2017, Supreme Court Justice Steven Gonzalez came to Pitzer College to speak to students, staff, faculty, and community members about the history of immigration.

The New York Times Columnist Thomas B. Edsall

On November 14, 2017, New York Times Op-Ed Columnist spoke to the Pitzer Community about the results of 2017 Presidential Elections  and analyzed the party preferences of voters based on their regional location, consumption patterns, and historical trends.

Read more about Thomas B. Edsall’s visit on The Student Life.

Congresswoman and U.S. Senate Candidate Loretta Sanchez


On October 21, 2016, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez came to Pitzer College to speak to students, staff, faculty, and community members about her record in Congress and her campaign to serve on the U.S. Senate. Sanchez covered a wide rage of topics, including education, sexual assault, and the military.

Read more about Congresswoman Sanchez’s visit to Pitzer College in The Student Life.

California State Senate President Kevin de León PZ ’03


Read more about Senator de León’s visit in this publication: The Student Life newspaper

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla


On April 22nd, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla came to Pitzer College to speak to students and community members about the importance of voting in the upcoming primary elections. As one of the state’s most prominent and respected Latino leaders, Mr. Padilla covered a wide rage of topics about his efforts to strengthen California for future generations. Following the discussion, Mr. Padilla spoke with local media regarding the upcoming elections. (More event information.)

To learn more about Alex Padilla, visit here: http://www.sos.ca.gov/administration/about-alex-padilla/

Read more about Alex Padilla’s visit in this publication: The Student Life newspaper

Democracy Now! Host Amy Goodman

On April 14th, Pitzer College Student Senate welcomed world-renowned journalist and host of Democracy Now! Amy Goodman for a talk and book signing with students. Before a packed crowd in Benson Auditorium, Ms. Goodman spoke about her decades-long career as an activist & journalist who has consistently used her radio show to hold politicians and public figures accountable. Following the talk, she met with students and autographed dozens of books for event attendees. (More event information.)

To learn more about Amy Goodman, visit here: http://www.democracynow.org/about/staff

Read more about Amy Goodman’s visit in this publication: The Student Life newspaper


California State Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez PZ ’97


On February 1st, as part of the second annual Student Voice Week, Pitzer College Student Senate hosted former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez for a discussion with students. He spoke about his incredible journey from being a New Resources student at Pitzer College, to being one of the most influential politicians in California. His speech was followed by a Q&A session in which he took questions from dozens of people gathered for the event. (More event information.)

To learn more about Fabian Núñez, visit here: http://bit.ly/1nUdn4Q

U.S. Presidential Candidate & Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley

On September 24th, Pitzer College Student Senate invited former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to speak in Benson Auditorium, as he travels the country in his bid to win the 2016 Democratic nomination for President of the United States. The governor was greeted by a completely packed house with standing-room only, while others watched a live stream of the event from the Pitzer Mounds. Before taking some tough questions from the audience, Governor O’Malley spoke on a variety of issues facing the country; everything from climate change, to immigration policy, to higher education. (More event information.)

To learn more about Martin O’Malley, visit here: https://martinomalley.com/

Read more about Governor O’Malley’s visit in these publications: