Guest Speaker Dr. Terri Givens to Explore ‘Radical Empathy’ at Keuka College

The author and educator will deliver the Provost’s Distinguished Lecture on April 11. The event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Keuka College’s Provost’s Distinguished Lecture Series returns on Monday, April 11, with a presentation by Dr. Terri E. Givens, professor of Political Science and Provost’s Academic Lead and Advisor at McGill University and founder of Brighter Higher Ed, a higher education consulting firm.

Free and open to the public, the lecture begins at 4:30 p.m. in Norton Chapel. Dr. Givens’ presentation will focus on her most recent book “Radical Empathy: Finding a Path to Bridging Racial Divides.”

“While there are lots of noteworthy scholars operating in the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) arena, I really appreciate Dr. Givens' approach, specifically her focus on empathy,” says Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Brad Fuster. “Keuka College is lucky to host her, especially at a time when the world is desperately in need of more conversations that focus on understanding and appreciating one another.”

Dr. Givens’ definition of radical empathy means being willing to be vulnerable, opening yourself to the experiences of others, taking action, becoming grounded in who you are, practicing empathy, creating change, and building trust.

In the first-person narrative, Dr. Givens shares several of her personal experiences as she discusses the importance of vulnerability and empathy in her own life, and how those traits have enabled her to overcome obstacles and become a leader. Deftly weaving these experiences with politics, she offers practical steps to call out racism and bring about radical social change. 

Her book also provides broader information about how empathy can be applied to tackle racism in different areas of life, including family dynamics, politics, health care, higher education, and relationships, adding context with historical details and academic references.

“As an internationally respected political scientist, faculty member at McGill University, and former Provost, she is able to artfully draw upon her personal experiences, as well as effortlessly intermingle research, leading practices, and practical commentary,” says Dr. Fuster.  

A first-generation college student, Dr. Givens earned her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of California Los Angeles. She began her career on the faculty at the University of Washington and has held leadership positions including Vice Provost at the University of Texas at Austin and Provost of Menlo College. She was the founding director of the Center for European Studies at the University of Texas and led the faculty and staff at Menlo College in developing programs for first generation students, updating curriculum, and creating infrastructure for evidence-based assessment.

A renowned political scientist, accomplished speaker, consultant, and mentor, Dr. Givens is also the author of several books and articles on immigration policy, antidiscrimination politics, and comparative race politics, as well as the textbook “Immigration in the 21st Century.” She is also a regular contributor to online journals and magazines.