Speakers and Conferences

Speakers representing a variety of perspectives, professions, and contexts are frequently invited to the schoolhouse to read from their work, lecture, or answer questions in a large open forum or a single-class setting. Recent speakers have included Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem; playwright and novelist Edwin Sánchez; NASA Chief Scientist Dr. Ellen Stofan; Nagasaki bombing survivor Sueichi Kido; activist Cameron Russell; National Book Award–winning poet Mark Doty; Conductor Murry Sidlin; and Pulitzer Prize–winning author and DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University Eric Foner, who delivered the annual Joan Stitt McMenamin Memorial Lecture (presented in conjunction with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History), telling the stories of fugitive slaves and anti-slavery activism that he uncovered during his research for his acclaimed book, Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad. Other notable guests have included former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Pulitzer Prize–winning author and journalist Anna Quindlen, renowned Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer, Hindu monk Gadadhara Pandit Dasa, and Muslim-American activist Irshad Manji.

Each year, Nightingale students and teachers attend the Student Diversity Leadership Conference and the People of Color Conference, which are run by the National Association of Independent Schools in late fall. Students also participate in workshops through the Diversity Awareness Initiative for Students.