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.

2019 Lecture Series

Charles Montgomery

The Happy City

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

FileAdd to Calendar

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 U.S., Canada, the U.K., 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 well-being. 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 Neighborhood 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 Nonfiction and vigorous praise from reviewers in The New York TimesThe Guardian, and elsewhere.

This lecture is part of the Annual Ethics Conference.

Margaret Wheatley

Margaret Wheatley, Author and Management Consultant
Friday, June 28, 2019
10 a.m. - Weber Center for the Performing Arts

*This lecture is part of the 2019 National Conference on Servant Leadership.  Tickets are required. Registration information coming soon.

Since 1966, Margaret Wheatley has worked globally in many different roles, as a speaker, teacher, community worker, consultant, advisor, formal leader. From these deep and varied experiences, she has developed the unshakable conviction that leaders must learn how to evoke people's inherent generosity, creativity, and need for community. As this world tears us apart, sane leadership on behalf of the human spirit is the only way forward. She is a best-selling author of nine books, from the classic Leadership and the New Science in 1992 to her newest book (June 2017) Who Do We Choose To Be? Facing Reality, Claiming Leadership, Restoring Sanity.

She is co-founder and President of The Berkana Institute, a non-profit that supports emerging leaders and emerging ideas about how to organize in life-affirming ways. Berkana has worked in many countries, especially in the Global South; its newest work is to provide training and community for leaders from over 20 countries to take on the work of Warriors for the Human Spirit.

She received her doctorate from Harvard University in 1979 in Administration, Planning and Social Policy. She continues to be honored for her ground-breaking work by many professional associations, universities and organizations. She was inducted into the Leadership Hall of Fame of the International Leadership Association in 2014, and the American Society for Training and Development dubbed her a 'living legend' when they honored her with their highest award for contributions to workplace development.

Past Lecture Series Events

News_David Dennis

What Does It Mean to Be an American?

David Dennis Sr., Activist and Author
Monday, Jan. 21, 2019
7 p.m. - Fine Arts Center Main Theatre

This lecture is part of the Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

David J. (Dave) Dennis Sr., interrupted his collegiate experience during his freshman year in 1961 at Dillard University in New Orleans to work in the '60s civil rights movement in the South, particularly Mississippi and Louisiana, where he was arrested over 30 times in relation to his activities to register disenfranchised voters. He was on the first freedom bus ride from Montgomery, Ala., to Jackson, Miss., in 1961. He served in both states as field secretary for Congress on Racial Equality (CORE). He was a codirector of Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) and of the effort to organize Freedom Summer 1964. He worked closely with Mickey Schwerner and James Chaney who were murdered along with Andrew Goodman as Freedom Summer began. Dennis spoke in Mississippi at the funeral for James Chaney, delivering a eulogy that will long be remembered. He returned to Dillard University in 1965 where he graduated in 1968. Continuing his education, Dennis left for law school at the University of Michigan; there he graduated in 1971. In 1972, he was an organizer of a successful challenge to the Louisiana Democratic Party structure that resulted in an African-American chairman and a majority African-American delegation being sent to the national convention, the first time since Reconstruction.

Dennis’ practice of law gave way in 1991 to his work with Bob Moses—a fellow veteran of the civil rights movement in Mississippi—and the Algebra Project. In the '60s, the most pressing need for African-American residents in Mississippi for citizenship was to be able to register to vote unobstructed. Dennis became committed in the early '90s to the pressing need of quality education as necessary for first class citizenship, joining Moses in his work to increase participation of low-performing students in the gatekeeper course Algebra I by or before the eighth grade. Without early access to Algebra I, students cannot complete a heavy mathematics program in high school enabling them to go into careers in science and technology. Dennis and Moses have begun to pursue “quality education as a constitutional right”. The current climate in which the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is under assault underscores that citizens must be ever vigilant in our efforts to maintain safeguards to our citizenship already hard-won and to continue the pursuit of those necessary elements for full citizenship that are yet to be secured.

Dennis, father to six and grandfather to 11, resides in Summerville, S.C., with his wife Nancy Ledford Dennis and pups, Pippa and Missy. He is active with two organizations—the Southern Initiative Algebra Project and Dave Dennis Connections.

Dennis has been interviewed and recorded in numerous documents, articles, books, newspapers, magazines, and documentaries over the years. He has also received many awards and recognitions.

Thomas Mangelsen

Thomas Mangelsen, Renowned Nature Photographer

Tuesday, Feb. 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 Photomagazine, 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

This lecture is part of the Annual Leopold Day Celebration.

Magda Brown

Magda Brown, Holocaust Survivor

Thursday, March 21, 2019
7 p.m. - Fine Arts Center Main Theatre

Magda Brown was born June 11, 1927, in Miskolc, Hungary. On June 11, 1944—Magda’s 17th birthday—she and her family were crowded onto a railroad boxcar with 80 other people. Each transport held thousands of people, including children and the elderly. They traveled for three days without food, water, or any idea where they were being sent. The final destination was the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland. After arriving, Magda was separated from her mother, father, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. It was the last time she saw them — they were sent directly into the gas chambers.  For more information regarding Magda, please visit her website.

This lecture is part of the 2019 Teaching the Holocaust Workshop.

Fall 2018 Fall Lecture Series

Kao Kalia Yang

The Latehomecomer

Kao Kalia Yang, Author, Activist and Teacher
Thursday, Sept. 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 firsthand 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.

Decoding the Driftless

World Premiere of Decoding the Driftless

Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018
7 p.m. - Fine Arts Center Main Theatre

Emmy Award-winning filmmakers George Howe and Tim Jacobson of Sustainable Driftless, and Rob Nelson of Untamed Science, have teamed up again to produce a feature-length film on the amazing origins, diversity, and resources of the “Driftless Region.”  This time the creative team also includes Swedish filmmaker Jonas Stenstrom of Untamed Science, and six-time Emmy-winning wildlife cinematographer Neil Rettig.  This team delivers some extremely rare footage of natural phenomena in the Driftless, in a way never seen before.

Join us for a wild ride of adventure from the air, ground, water, and of the secret under-world, as leading scientists, local guides, and area enthusiasts reveal their passion for, and knowledge of the Driftless. Travel to back in time 500 million years to discover how this unique region formed and has evolved over time. Learn why this one region, in the heart of America, is the only “Island Driftless Region” in the world.

Explore the archeology, paleontology, geology, and biology of this fascinating region with fun-loving hosts from Untamed Science who will open your eyes, mind, and heart like never before. Your journey will take you to parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois, to uncover ancient hidden mysteries, endangered Ice-Age throwbacks, and globally rare ecosystems as you experience Decoding the Driftless.

Mike Foy and Tom Hauge

A Proposal to Halt Chronic Wasting Disease in Wisconsin

Mike Foy, Retired Wildlife Biologist, Wisconsin DNR
Tom Hauge, Retired Director of the Wildlife Management Program, Wisconsin DNR
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018
7 p.m. - Reinhart Center Board Room

Chronic wasting disease has been detected in 53 counties in Wisconsin, and its continued spread threatens the future of Wisconsin’s hunting heritage and a $1 billion per year economic resource. Up to this point, there have been no serious proposals for slowing the spread of CWD in Wisconsin.

Foy and Hauge’s proposal is to pay hunters and landowners for killing CWD-infected deer. “Payment 4 Positives” is an incentive-based program that would invest approximately two percent of the annual economic gain realized from deer hunting to enlist hunters throughout the state to address a problem that has long frustrated natural resource officials.

 “We suggest taking a business world approach and offer landowners, hunters, and small businesses a robust financial reward for voluntarily acting to sustain the health of Wisconsin’s deer herd,” said Foy and Hauge. “Our deer hunting heritage and its $1.3 billion annual economic contribution to our state.”

Foy retired from the Wisconsin DNR as a wildlife biologist working more than 30 years, half of which he was on the front lines of the state’s CWD response efforts in southern Wisconsin. Hauge retired from the DNR after 37 years with the wildlife program, the last 25 as director of the Wildlife Management Program.

Rachel Lloyd

Rachel Lloyd, Author of Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale

Monday, Oct. 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.

Lloyd 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 documentary Very Young Girls, which has been seen by over 4 million people and created a national dialogue on the issue. Lloyd 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 Lloyd’s critically acclaimed novel Girls Like Us.

Lloyd received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marymount Manhattan College and a master’s degree in Applied Urban Anthropology from the City College of New York.

Amit Sood

Resilient Living

Amit Sood, M.D.
Thursday, Nov. 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 health care in Rochester, Minn.

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