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Hastings Public Library
January Series

January Series

The Hastings Public Library is proud to be a remote viewing site for Calvin University's annual January Speakers Series.


Jan 09, 2020 from 12:30 PM to 01:30 PM (America/New_York / UTC-500)


Community Room

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Interest level is Teen and Adult, no age limit.

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Join us at the Hastings Public Library to view any or all of the presentations from Calvin University's January Series. We are a remote site so patrons can see presentations without having to drive to Grand Rapids.

No reservations are necessary, just come and join us in the Community Room on the second floor.

See below for summaries of all the 2020 presentations.

Amber Warners

The Fierce Humility of Winning

Wednesday, January 8
Underwritten by: Howard Miller

Amber Warners is in her 18th year as head coach of the Calvin volleyball program. As Calvin’s head coach, she has compiled a record of 541-87 for a winning percentage of .874 that ranks as the leading win percentage amongst active NCAA Division III women's volleyball coaches. Under Warners the Knights have won three national championships, in 2010, 2013 and 2016. Warners is a four-time AVCA Division III National Coach of the Year (2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014). Off the court, Dr. Warners has connected her love of volleyball with her degree in sports psychology. She has created a technology to help players develop their game. The device captures a player’s thoughts out loud and also allows them to receive feedback during practice. Warners has traveled around the country to work with players from six Division I teams on their home courts; she continues to research what makes a volleyball player—and people—tick.


Todd Charles Wood & Darrel R. Falk

Moving Beyond Labels to a Christian Dialogue about Creation and Evolution

Thursday, January 9
Underwritten by: Issachar Fund

A deeply personal story of two respected scientists who hold opposing views on the topic of origins, share a common faith in Jesus Christ, and began a sometimes painful journey to explore how they can remain in Christian fellowship when each thinks the other is harming the church. These two scientists—one a theistic evolutionist and the other a six-day creationist—provide a model for how faithful Christians can hold opposing views on deeply divisive issues yet grow deeper in their relationship with each other and to God.


Sandra Postel

Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity

Friday, January 10
Underwritten by: World Renew and The Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics 

A leading authority and prolific author on global water issues, Sandra has been hailed for her “inspiring, innovative and practical approach” to promoting the preservation and sustainable use of freshwater. She directs the independent Global Water Policy Project, based in New Mexico, and is the co-creator of Change the Course, a national water stewardship initiative which brings together the public, the business community, and on-the-ground conservation organizations to transform the way society uses, manages, and values freshwater. A Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment and a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, Sandra has been named one of the Scientific American 50. She appears in the BBC’s Planet Earth and Leonardo DiCaprio’s The 11th Hour.


Jonathan Haidt

The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting up a Generation for Failure

Monday, January 13
Underwritten by: Miller Johnson and I.C.N. Foundation 

Due to contract restrictions, this presentation will not be recorded or archived.

Jonathan Haidt (pronounced “height”) is a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He received his Ph. D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, and taught for 16 years in the department of psychology at the University of Virginia. Haidt’s research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultures—including the cultures of American progressive, conservatives, and libertarians. Haidt is the author of three books: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom; The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion; and The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (co-authored with Greg Lukianoff). The last two books each became New York Times bestsellers.


Cathy O'Neil

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

Tuesday, January 14
Underwritten by: Friends of the January Series

Due to contract restrictions, this presentation will not be recorded or archived.

Cathy O’Neil is the author of the New York Times bestselling Weapons of Math Destruction, which was also a semifinalist for the National Book Award. She is a columnist for Bloomberg View and founded the company ORCAA, an algorithmic auditing company. She earned a Ph.D. in math from Harvard, was a postdoctoral fellow in the MIT math department, and a professor at Barnard College. She then switched over to the private sector, working as a quantitative analyst for the hedge fund D.E. Shaw in the middle of the credit crisis, and then for RiskMetrics, a risk software company that assesses risk for the holdings of hedge funds and banks. She left finance in 2011 and started working as a data scientist in the New York start-up scene, building models that predicted people’s purchases and clicks.

Deborah & James Fallows

Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America

Wednesday, January 15
Underwritten by: Calvin Academy for Lifelong Learning 

Due to contract restrictions, this presentation will not be recorded or archived.

James, a writer for the Atlantic, and Deborah, a linguist and writer, spent five years visiting small towns and cities in America, flying a modest propeller airplane, to capture firsthand a surprising portrait of the civic and economic reinvention happening across the country, outside the spotlight of national media. The result was Our Towns, the bestselling book Publishers Weekly called “an eye-opening, keenly optimistic reminder of the strength of America’s vital center.” It is a tonic for what ails us as a nation, a captivating story of energy and renewal across the land.

The 5 Browns

The 5 Browns in Concert

Thursday, January 16
Underwritten by: Holland Litho Printing Services

Due to contract restrictions, this presentation will not be recorded or archived.

The 5 Browns—Ryan, Melody, Gregory, Deondra and Desirae—all attended New York’s Juilliard School. In fact, they became the first family of five siblings ever accepted simultaneously. The piano playing quintet enjoyed their first wave of critical attention in February 2002 when People magazine dubbed them the “Fab Five” at about the same time they were featured on Oprah and 60 Minutes. The 5 Browns have released three CDs that each went to #1 on Billboard Magazine’s Classical Album Chart. The New York Post has proclaimed: “One family, five pianos and 50 fingers add up to the biggest classical music sensation in years.”  The 5 Browns tour extensively and have performed in numerous venues including Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium, Grand National Theater in China, and Suntory Hall in Japan.


Bob Fu

When Caesar Demands to be God: Religious Freedom in China

Friday, January 17
Underwritten by: Bruce and Mary Okkema

Bob (Xiqiu) Fu is one of the leading voices in the world for persecuted faith communities in China. Fu was born and raised in mainland China and was a student leader during the Tiananmen Square demonstrations for freedom and democracy in 1989. A former dissident and pastor of an illegal underground church in Beijing, Bob and his wife Heidi fled to the United States as religious refugees in 1997. He founded ChinaAid in 2002 to bring international attention to China’s gross human rights violations and to promote religious freedom and rule of law in China. He has served as a distinguished professor on religion and public policy at Midwest University, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Chinese Law and Religion Monitor.

Alice Marie Johnson

After Life: My Journey from Incarceration to Freedom

Monday, January 20
Underwritten by: Larry & Mary Gerbens 

Due to contract restrictions, this presentation will not be recorded or archived.

In 1996 Alice Johnson was sentenced to a mandatory life sentence plus 25-years without parole for her role in a nonviolent federal drug case. This was her first and only conviction ever. After she served twenty-one years, her life sentence was commuted in 2018 by President Donald Trump, with the help of Kim Kardashian West. An ordained minister, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Johnson shares her dramatic story of hope, mercy and gratitude while making the public aware of the realities of life behind bars and the importance of the ongoing struggle to end mass incarceration. Her story is a vital reminder of the power of redemption and of the importance of making second chances count.


Mitch Albom

A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family

Tuesday, January 21
Underwritten by: Samaritas and Barnes & Thornburg, LLP 

Due to contract restrictions, this presentation will not be recorded or archived.

Author, columnist, radio host, and philanthropist Mitch Albom is an inspiration around the world. His books, including the New York Times Bestselling Tuesdays with Morrie, have sold over 39 million copies and have been translated into over 45 languages. While nationally recognized for his sports writing at the Detroit Press, Albom is perhaps best known for the themes of hope and kindness that weave through his books, plays, and films. In his talks and presentations, he brings the same inspiring message of community building, giving, and purpose. He is the founder of 10 charities, nine in Detroit and one in Haiti. His latest book, Finding Chika, marks his return to nonfiction for the first time in more than a decade as a memoir that celebrates Chika, a young Haitian orphan whose short life would forever change his heart. It is a book about the making of a family and our responsibility to abandoned children worldwide.


Ann Compton

Up Close and Very Personal: My 41 Years in the White House Press Corps

Wednesday, January 22
Underwritten by: Peter C. & Emajean Cook Foundation 

Due to contract restrictions, this presentation will not be recorded or archived.

Ann Compton is a distinguished and highly respected veteran of the White House press corps. She joined ABC News in 1973 and was the first woman assigned to cover the White House by a television network. From her front seat at the White House for ABC News, Compton covered seven presidents  as well as innumerable life-changing and globe-altering events—from the end of the Cold War to 9/11 to the political dramas that made the daily headlines. With her personal access for over four decades she is well equipped to provide audiences a historical perspective of the presidency and insights into today’s global events and daily headlines.


Jeremy Everett

Solving America’s Hunger Crisis

Thursday, January 23
Underwritten by: Holland Home

Jeremy Everett is the founder and executive director of the Texas Hunger Initiative, an organization that partners with the United States Department of Agriculture, Texas state agencies, the corporate sector, and thousands of faith and community-based organizations to develop and implement strategies  to alleviate hunger through policy, education, research, and community organizing. A noted advocate for the hungry, he served on the National Commission on Hunger, has spent over two decades ministering to the poor, and frequently speaks on poverty, hunger, community development, and social entrepreneurship. Everett regularly writes for HuffPost and has been featured in PBS documentaries, in newspapers such as the Dallas Morning News, and on talk shows.


Johan Norberg

Progress: 10 Reasons to Look Forward to the Future

Friday, January 24
Underwritten by: GMB Architects + Engineering and Calvin Center for Innovation in Business 

Due to contract restrictions, this presentation will not be recorded or archived.

Johan Norberg is an author, lecturer, documentary filmmaker, and a native of Sweden. He lectures about entrepreneurship, global trends and globalization around the world. He is a frequent commentator in Swedish and international media, and has a regular column in Sweden’s biggest daily, Metro. The 15 books he has written and the three books he has edited cover a broad range of topics, including global economics, intellectual history, and the science of happiness. Norberg is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C., and a Senior Fellow at the European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels. According to the daily news our world seems to be collapsing: divisive politics across the Western world, racism, poverty, war, inequality, hunger. While politicians, journalists and activists from all sides talk about the damage done, Johan Norberg, in his book Progress, offers an illuminating and heartening analysis of just how far we have come in tackling the greatest problems facing humanity. In the face of fear-mongering, darkness and division, the facts are unequivocal: the golden age is now.


Karen Gonzalez

The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong

Monday, January 27
Underwritten by: Howard Miller 

Karen Gonzalez is an immigrant from Guatemala—now living in Baltimore, Maryland—where she enjoys writing, cooking Latin food, traveling, and watching baseball (in that order). Karen is a former public school teacher and attended Fuller Theological Seminary, where she studied theology and missiology.  For the last 10 years, she has been a non-profit professional, currently working for World Relief serving immigrants and refugees. Her book The God Who Sees is the story of her own immigration story intertwined with the stories of many of the immigrants found in the Bible.


Najla Kassab

The Reformed Church in the Middle East: Hopes and Challenges

Tuesday, January 28
Underwritten by: Stob Lecture Series

Najla Kassab Abousawan is the president of the World Communion of Reformed Churches and is an ordained minister in the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL). She obtained her B.A. in Christian education from the Near East School of Theology and her M.Div. from Princeton Theology Seminary. In 1993 she received the first preaching license offered to a woman by the NESSL and in 2017 she became the second woman to be ordained as a minister in NESSL. She has worked for two and a half decades with NESSL’s women and children’s ministries, including as Director of Christian Education. She was elected to the WCRC Executive Committee at the 2010 Uniting General Council. She lives with her husband and three children in Beirut, but her work takes her frequently to Syria.