Reflecting on Religion and Philanthropy

Giving to religion makes up a third of all giving in America, and over half of all Americans say their religious or spiritual values motivate their philanthropic giving. If this is the case, why do religion and money remain such taboo topics in our society?

The full philanthropic impact of religious communities goes far beyond finances. The story of religious philanthropy speaks to when, why, and how religious institutions engage their broader communities in volunteering, advocacy, and cultivating a civil society.

Is philanthropy primarily meant to take care of those within one’s own community or the larger society? Does philanthropy provide for basic needs or promote institutional change? Should religious giving develop an individual’s character or shape the morality of society, or are such purposes off limits in a pluralist society?

Two leading historians will share their reflections on what we can learn from the intersections of religion and philanthropy in the past and what issues might define the topic into the future: Jim Hudnut Buemler, Anne Potter Wilson Distinguished Professor of American Religious History at Vanderbilt University, and David Hammack, Hiram C. Haydn Professor of History at Case Western University. The event will be moderated by David P. King and Philip Goff.

This public talk will be held on Thursday, May 17, at 5:30pm, at the Damenvervein Room of the Athenaeum, 410 E. Michigan Street.

Three Decades Later: Art and Race in Indianapolis

A public conversation with local artists about art and race in Indianapolis takes its start from the 1989 essay “Ethos and Creativity: The Impulse as Malleable” by Indianapolis writer Mari Evans. This essay combines autobiography, history, and conceptual analysis to relate local conditions to a broader understanding of the significance of artistic creation. Join a panel of Indianapolis artist to consider the essay’s continuing relevance to art, justice, and community.

The conversation will take place on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 6:30 pm in the Basile Auditorium of Eskenazi Hall, 735 West New York Street. Visitor parking is available in the Sports Complex Parking Garage, 875 West New York Street.

Panelists will include Phyllis Boyd, an urban designer and former gallery director who trained as a landscape architect and now serves as executive director of Groundwork Indy; David Hoppe, writer, editor, and playwright who edited the book in which Evans’ essay originally appeared; Adrian Matekja, Poet Laureate of Indiana and Ruth Lilly Professor at Indiana University; Carl Pope, a critically acclaimed, Indianapolis-based conceptualist whose museum installations and public art interventions explore the intersections between conceptual art, American Literature, hidden histories, and social justice; and LaShawnda Crowe Storm, a visual artist, activist, and community builder who uses the making of art to create space and place for difficult conversations promoting healing and change.

This event is sponsored by the Indiana University Bicentennial Celebration, the Institute for American Thought, the IUPUI Africana Studies Program, the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts, the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute, and Indiana Humanities.

Critical Conversations on Black Homicide

The Critical Conversations series is hosted by a partnership of IUPUI, the Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis, and the Baptist Minister’s Alliance. The partnership seeks to bring together the IUPUI campus and the faith-based community organizations around public health issues, providing a safe space to educate, inform, and strategize around these issues, leading to positive social change in the community.

The conversation will be held on February 15, 2018, at 6:30 pm in the IUPUI Hine Hall Auditorium, 875 W. North Street. Doors will open at 6 pm, and free parking will be available in the garage located under the building.

IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett will give opening remarks, followed by an introduction by Dr. Molly Rosenberg, author of Black Homicide Report. Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, author of Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community will give a presentation.

The culminating panel discussion will include moderator Rev. David Greene, President of the Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis and Pastor of Purpose of Life Ministries Indianapolis; criminal justice and best practices expert Dr. Tom Stucky, Executive Associate Dean of the IUPUI School of Public and Environmental Affairs; clergy member Rev. Dr. Wayne L. Moore, President of the Baptist Minister’s Alliance and Pastor of Olivet Missionary Baptist Church; community member Gregory L. Wilson, Executive Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission; youth representative Anthony Beverly, Director of Stop the Violence Indianapolis; policymakers Rep. Greg Porter of the State of Indiana and Rep. Stephen Clay, President of the City-County Council of the City of Indianapolis; law enforcement representative Chief Bryan Roach, IMPD; and media member Steve Jefferson, Crimebeat Report from WTHR-Channel 13.

The Entanglements Series: What is the Future of Farming?

Along with the Wenner-Gren Foundation and Indy Reads Books, the IAHI is proud to present “What is the Future of Farming?” as a part of the Entanglements Series. Join us on Friday, May 19, at 7pm to discuss the local and global cultures of farming. The forum will be held at Indy Reads Books, 911 Mass Ave., and hopes to answer numerous questions.

What does it mean to be a farmer in the 21st century? How can we cultivate enough food to feed 9 billion people? How do changing economic and political conditions shape food production and distribution? In what ways are we preparing our food systems for the effects of climate change?

Support for the Entanglements Series is provided by the IU Office of the Vice President for Research and the New Frontiers Grant Program.

Free tickets are available via Eventbrite at

A Conversation with Muslim Women: Islamophobia, Sexism, and Daily Life Challenges

Blue Square

This panel discussion will include light refreshments. While the doors open and refreshments start at 5:30, the discussion begins at 6:00 p.m. on March 7 in the IUPUI Campus Center, Room 305.

This discussion is sponsored by the IUPUI Women’s Studies Program in the School of Liberal Arts, the IUPUI Office of Intercultural Literacy, Capacity, and Engagement, the IUPUI Office for Women, the IUPUI Department of World Languages and Cultures in the School of Liberal Arts, and the American Friends Service Committee.

INconversation with Jim Madison

nextinAttend a special Next Indiana-themed INconversation with Indiana historian Jim Madison days before our state’s bicentennial. Eric Halvorson, a former anchor for WISH-TV, will moderate a candid, surprising and thoughtful discussion with Madison about what’s next for the Hoosier State. The event will be held in the WFYI Public Media Community Room at 8am on December 1st. The audience will also get a behind-the-scenes look at stories from WFYI’s Hoosiers: The Story of Indiana. The two worked on the four-part documentary released earlier this year.

Tickets are free, but seating is limited, so be sure to register now!

2016 John D. Barlow Lecture in the Humanities


In conjunction with Spirit & Place’s 21st Annual Public Conversation


A sculptor, sociologist, community activist, and political scientist reflect on poverty, homelessness, public policy, and the human spirit.What if “home” is an unaffordable place? What if we’re unwelcome in the spaces we try to claim as “home?” How do we make the idea of “home” a reality for those without? New York Times bestselling author Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City), sculptor Timothy Schmalz (“Homeless Jesus”), and MLK Center executive director Allison Luthe, along with moderator Terri Jett of Butler University, will grapple with the essence of home from their unique perspectives.

Join us for a conversation between four leaders with unique perspectives into theme of “Home” and the issues surrounding it as they examine the nuances of home through a tighter social justice and policy lens to understand the opportunities and challenges we face as a society when it comes to creating just communities.

Sunday, November 13, 2016, Indiana Landmarks Center (1201 Central Ave), 4-5:30 p.m.

Free and open to the public, but RSVPs are strongly encouraged.


Banned Books Week: Secretary of the Future to feature NPR Marketplace’s David Brancaccio

banned-books-weekOn September 30th, 2016, at 6:00 pm, join the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, and WFYI for an evening with NPR Marketplace’s David Brancaccio and a panel of local experts in a lively discussion revolving around the future of our planet.

Panelists include Nanny Vonnegut, Terrian Barnes, Jason M. Kelly, Sam Van Aken, and Aman Brar. The event will be held at Shortridge High School, and catering is sponsored by Bluebeard restaurant.

To register for this event, please click here.

Panel of experts to discuss sports law, business and college athletics at IU McKinney School of Law

INDIANAPOLIS — Sports law and college athletics will be the topic for discussion as four Inlow Hall (IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law) Imageadministrators with almost a century of enforcement, financing, legal and sports-business experience — not to mention playing time — among them sit down for an upcoming panel presentation at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

“Business, Law, and Intercollegiate Athletics” will take place at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14 in Wynne Courtroom of Inlow Hall, 530 W. New York St., on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. Following the panel discussion, a reception will take place at 7 p.m. in the Inlow Hall atrium.

Panelists will include NCAA Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Oliver Luck; IU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Fred Glass, McKinney Class of ’84; Horizon League Deputy Commissioner Julie Roe Lach, McKinney Class of ’04; and Gene Marsh, of counsel at Jackson Lewis, who has focused on collegiate sports work for 20 years.

Luck, who joined the NCAA national office in early 2015, oversees the day-to-day operations for NCAA regulatory functions in a position that combines academic and membership affairs, the Eligibility Center, and enforcement. The former director of athletics at West Virginia University, Luck has held various positions in collegiate and professional sports, including serving as quarterback for the Houston Oilers from 1982 to 1986. He is the father of two-time Heisman Trophy finalist and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

Glass is in his seventh year as IU athletics director and is credited with cutting administrative overhead and increasing fundraising to help generate financial resources for the department’s priorities. He secured funding for several facilities, including Cook Hall, Bart Kaufman Field and Henke Hall of Champions.

Roe Lach is in her second year as deputy commissioner with the Horizon League, having brought 20 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics to the position. That experience includes 16 years at the NCAA, working her way from an intern to vice president of enforcement.

USA Today called Gene Marsh a “go-to college sports attorney” in a 2013 article when Marsh joined Jackson Lewis as part of the national law firm’s professional sports industry practice group. Marsh has represented clients including Penn State University and former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel in NCAA infractions cases. He is also the former chair of the NCAA Committee on Infractions, on which he served from 1999 to 2008.

“Business, Law, and Intercollegiate Athletics” is free and open to the public; registration is required and online. Attendance offers 1.5 hours of continuing legal credit to eligible attorneys. For questions, contact Beth Young at or 317-274-8036.

The panel discussion is made possible through the Alan and Linda Cohen Family Foundation Sports and Entertainment Law Fund, established in 2011 at IU McKinney Law on behalf of Alan H., Class of ’73, and Linda M. Cohen and their daughter Lauren Cohen Edmundson, Class of ’05. The program is an activity that is part of the Sports Innovation Institute on the IUPUI campus.

To learn more about this and other upcoming events at the law school, visit the IU McKinney website.

Ask an Expert: How to Live / How to Die

Date: April 15, 2016
Time: 12:00PM-1:00PMAsk An Expert Before I Die Festival Image
Location: Calvin Fletcher’s Coffeehouse, 647 Virginia Ave, Indianapolis, IN

Everybody is an expert in something.

“Ask an Expert” is an event series that brings together community members to share their expertise and learn from each other.

We believe that when we do this, we not only educate each other, but we also strengthen our communities.

As part of the Before I Die Festival, we will host two experts who will tackle the subject, “How We Live / How We Die.” Please join us, ask a question of our experts, and share your expertise with them.

“Ask an Expert” is a project of the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute and presented in collaboration with Big Car.

This event is part of the Before I Die Festival of the IU School of Nursing and powered by Spirit & Place. The festival is an event for the living about dying, to be held April 15-17, 2016.