Soundbites, overheard @ Ford School events

April 30, 2015

“For all the young people who want to go and do something, you should all go do something. And put your heart into it. And continue doing it.… [M]ost of the places that you might go to work, people don’t expect outsiders to go in and save some community…it’s impossible. But what you can do is accompany people in their struggles.”

Victoria Sanford, cultural anthropologist and professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York (CUNY), on “The comparative politics of accountability, transitional justice, and civil conflict,” Sept. 18, 2014

“Greenhouse gases are an externality; markets don’t solve externalities. We need rules that make people take those into account. That’s true whether it’s greenhouse gases or auto emissions or other sorts of toxic pollutants.”

Severin Borenstein, professor of business administration and public policy at the University of California, Berkeley and former IPPS professor, on “Is the utility of the future sustainable?” Sept. 22, 2014 

“While I’m sitting here, all these people are in these horrible detention centers. All of them. And it’s still true that taking an extremely hard line on immigration and boat people in Australian politics pays. It’s always paid. And that’s still true.”

Luke Mogelson, author of “The Dream Boat,” a New York Times Magazine exposé on the refugee crisis, and winner of the Livingston Award for exceptional young journalists, on “The refugee crisis: Who makes it to safety?” Jan. 12, 2015

“Whenever we witness poor political leadership we have a tendency to say this to ourselves: I could do better…. So my challenge to you today is a straightforward, simple one. If you think you can do better, why don’t you? Why don’t you? Think in terms of that old Nike commercial: Just do it. Your community, your state, and your country need you now more than ever.”

Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California system, former governor of Arizona, and former secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, on “Public service and politics,” Jan. 14, 2015

“The entire white middle class in this country is an invention of affirmative action. In the 1930s and the 1940s we decided we wanted to have a bigger middle class; we decided that we would expand the social safety net…and the way we did that, largely, was by cutting African Americans out of it.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates, an award-winning writer and journalist, senior editor for The Atlantic, and author of “The Case for Reparations,” on “A deeper black: Race in America,” Jan. 21, 2015

“I’m trying to create a creative discomfort for the audience, a real discomfort. And there’s a desire not to let the audience off the hook.”

Llewellyn Smith, award-winning filmmaker, founder of Vital Pictures, and producer and director of American Denial, during a preview screening, Jan. 26, 2015

Below is a formatted version of this article from State & Hill, the magazine of the Ford School. View the entire Spring 2015 State & Hill here.