Florida Humanities Speakers Directory

2021 Florida Humanities Speakers Directory

Engaging Speakers, Compelling Topics, and Thought-provoking Discussions

Welcome to the Florida Humanities’ Speakers Directory, a curated collection of the Sunshine State’s best and brightest experts, scholars, journalists, folklorists and more, poised to bring engaging presentations and conversations right to your local community.

Florida Humanities is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Partnering with nonprofit organizations across the state, Florida Humanities funds a wide variety of grants and public programming that explores Florida’s rich history and culture.

How to use this directory:

Using this directory, organizations can connect with these experts to bring a wide variety of compelling humanities programming to their community.  Speakers can engage the public is several ways:

Florida Talks

Speakers may be asked to give a program for one of our Florida Talks partners. Florida Talks offers nonprofit organizations an easy, inexpensive way to host informative and thought-provoking presentations across the state.

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Community Project Grants

Speakers may be contacted to participate as a scholar, presenter, or panelist for a Florida Humanities-funded Community Project Grant. These grants support a variety of humanities programming based on the specific needs of a community.

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Museum on Main Street

Speakers may be asked to give a program that complements the theme of one of our Museum on Main Street exhibits. These exhibits travel to small and underserved communities and explore a variety of humanities topics.

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Please Note: Speakers on this directory have agreed to a capped speaking fee of no more than $300 for a Florida Humanities-funded event. This fee does not include travel, so be sure to discuss those details as you plan your event.

2021 Speakers Directory

Back to all programs » Ethnic Heritage
Photo of Basma Alawee Basma Alawee Activist, Writer

Contact the Speaker

Contact Number:
407-879-0170

Notes

Program format(s) available:

  • In-person
  • Virtual

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About the speaker

Born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq, Basma came to the U.S. with her husband as a refugee in 2010, leaving behind her career as an engineer with the Ministry of Oil within the Government of Iraq. As a refugee and activist, her stories and activism have been featured in the media. Most recently, she was nominated to be one of the Athena40 women in the world who are leading change and was the recipient of the 2019 OneJax Humanitarian Award. She was also elected the Florida delegate for the UNHCR Refugee Congress and is a board member of USAHello (formerly, Refugee Center Online) and many other nonprofits. Currently, she is the State Refugee Organizer with the Florida Immigrant Coalition and resides in Jacksonville. Basma is the Executive Director and Co-founder of WeaveTales.

Programs Available

Refugees Stories

Humanize the stories of refugees by giving them a voice and to correct misconceptions about refugees by spreading the truth in their own words. We also document, preserve, and share the stories of refugees around the world for advocacy to support global efforts in peace-building and freedom of the press to help refugees find a home. We seek to let known the untold stories of millions of refugees around the world to bring justice, equity, and peace in helping refugees find a safe and permanent home.

Photo of Dr. Rebecca Dominguez-Karimi Rebecca Dominguez-Karimi Scholar

Contact the Speaker

Contact Number:
561-779-9156

Notes

Program format(s) available:

  • Virtual

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About the speaker

Dr. Rebecca Dominguez-Karimi is an oral historian, writer, and podcaster. Rebecca holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Studies and a Certificate in Gender Studies from Florida Atlantic University. Her primary research focuses on structural violence in minority communities, gender studies, and Mexican American history. She taught English at Nova Southeastern University and Broward College. The Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded Rebecca a fellowship at The African American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Her archival research focused on the Sixto Campano sheet music collection and culminated in a Research Pathfinder entitled “African American Women in Sheet Music Cover Art 1850-1956.”

Rebecca produces a monthly podcast: “The Tortilla Diaries” that highlights voices from the Treasures of Aztlan Oral History Project and artists from the diverse Hispanic community.

For more: rebeccakarimi.com

Programs Available

Treasures from Aztlan: Hispanic Women’s Voices

This program highlights how Hispanic women view issues of race and ethnicity in their lives. Utilizing multiple formats, this presentation includes podcasts, oral histories, audio-visual presentations, and literary readings.

Voices from the Sunshine State: Florida Women’s Voices

A compilation of oral histories from diverse women of various racial backgrounds, ethnicities, social classes, and birthplaces. A comparison of life stories between transplanted Floridians versus native Floridians will visualize the ways in which their lives are similar yet differ from their early years to later years. This presentation includes readings, oral histories, audio-visual presentations, and podcasts.

Florida’s Hidden Treasures: African American Women in Sheet Music Cover Art–The Sixto Campano Collection

This multimedia presentation highlights the Sixto Campano Sheet music collection at the African American Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL. This colorful collection contains 1,000 pieces of archival sheet music and this presentation focuses on African American women. The audio/visual presentation highlights works from the 1850s to 1950s and chronicles the artistic evolution of African American women throughout the 100-year time span. The artistic images range from plantation life to the Harlem Renaissance to Hollywood and includes archival music from the library’s collections.

Photo of Arlo Haskell Arlo Haskell Historian

Contact the Speaker

Contact Number:
305-395-1899

Notes

Program format(s) available:

  • In-person
  • Virtual

Download Speaker Listing

About the speaker

Arlo Haskell is currently executive director of Key West Literary Seminar, the nonprofit organization whose eponymous writers’ conference has been held annually since 1983. His 2017 book, The Jews of Key West: Smugglers, Cigar Makers, and Revolutionaries, won the Phillip and Dana Zimmerman Gold Medal for Florida Nonfiction from the Florida Book Awards and a President’s Medal from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association.

Programs Available

The Jewish Underground: Smuggling Refugees from Cuba to Key West

The little-known story of thousands of Jewish immigrants who became refugees in Cuba in the 1920s when they were barred from entering the United States. Cuban authorities looked the other way as smugglers transported them to Key West, pitting them against powerful local officials who belonged to the Ku Klux Klan and inspiring Ernest Hemingway’s novel To Have and Have Not.

Vengeance Against Spain: Jewish Immigrants who fought for Cuban Independence

A clandestine cell of Eastern European Jewish immigrants in Key West in the 1890s delivered weapons to the Cuban revolutionary rebels who chased the Spanish Empire out of the Americas. Jews in Key West and Tampa were drawn to the revolutionary movement led by José Martí and paralleled the Zionist cause that led to the creation of Israel.

Photo of Magdalena Lamarre Magdalena Lamarre Scholar

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Contact Number:
786-223-4828

Notes

Program format(s) available:

  • In-person
  • Virtual

Download Speaker Listing

About the speaker

Magdalena Lamarre was a Full Professor of History and Sociology at Miami Dade College until her retirement in 2016.

She earned a BA in History and Secondary Education from Hunter College, MA in History from Stony Brook University, and did post-graduate work in Sociology and Education at Florida International University.

During her tenure at MDC, she co-produced three Oral History documentaries: Surviving and Thriving (2012) Holocaust Survivors experiences during and after the Holocaust; Crossing Bridges Towards Equality (2015) Civil Rights era integration of a high school in Alabama; Forging New Lives After Hurricane Maria: Puerto Rican Student Voices (2019) Experiences of Puerto Rican students who attended Miami Dade College after the hurricane; a project supported by a Florid Humanities Council Community Project grant.

She was awarded the prestigious Miami Dade College Alumni Association Endowed Teaching Chair in 2011, and the NISOD Excellence Award in 1994 and 2012.

Programs Available

Female Superheroes: What are Their Real Powers?

An examination of the perceptions of women in popular culture through the lens of comic books.

Afro-Caribbean Migration to Florida

This program will examine the migration and settlement patterns of the various Afro-Caribbean peoples who made Florida their home and their contributions to its history and culture.

Black Superheroes: Evolution of Black Panther

This program addresses how Black characters have been portrayed in comic books and how that depiction has evolved. It examines past and present comic book characters and the changing image of Black people in American society through this medium.

Photo of Pedro Medina Pedro Medina Author

Contact the Speaker

Contact Number:
305-263-0112

Notes

Program format(s) available:

  • Virtual

Download Speaker Listing

About the speaker

Pedro Medina León studied Literature at Florida International University and is an award-winning writer, speaker, and editor. He is the author of the acclaimed novel Varsovia (Florida Book Award 2017), Mañana no te veré en Miami, and Marginal and Tour: una vuelta por la cultura popular de Miami, and coeditor of the anthologies Viaje One Way and Miami (Un)plugged.

Programs Available

Our Man in Miami

The East Coast Railway, the railroad of Henry M. Flagler, opened Miami to the rest of the world. Before that, the land south of Palm Beach was inhospitable. Built between 1906 and 1912, the railway was called the eighth wonder of the world.

The Vice of Miami during the 80’s

Miami in the early ‘80s had the highest murder rate in the country and was the center of drug cartels populated by immigrants from Latin America’s lowest strata, no longer the peaceful old-age spa. But on September 28, 1984, Miami Vice debuted on national television and reinvented the city in poplar imagination.

Celebrities Who Leave a Legacy: Jim Morrison, Bob Marley & Cassius Clay

Miami’s connection to some of America’s biggest celebrities and pop culture icons: the beginning of the end of the band The Doors was in Coconut Grove; Bob Marley’s transcendental relationship with the city; the Miami Beach monument dedicated to an African American was for Muhammad Ali.

Books & Libros: The Great Novel of Miami

The reality of Miami told through fiction and the debate over the “great novel of Miami,” focused on works in English and Spanish: 8th Street by Douglas Fairbairn, Miami Blues by Charles Willeford, Continental Drift by Russell Banks; Miami [UN] Plugged and Viaje One Way: Snow in Miami by Juan Carlos Castillón, and Extremo Occidente by Juan Carlos Castillón.

Photo of Marcia Jo Zerivitz Marcia Jo Zerivitz Scholar, Oral Historian

Contact the Speaker

Contact Number:
305-761-5193

Notes

Program format(s) available:

  • In-person
  • Virtual

Download Speaker Listing

About the speaker

Marcia Jo Zerivitz, Founding Executive Director, Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, is a native West Virginian who has lived in Florida for more than half a century. She has been a trailblazer in the American and Floridian Jewish communities serving national, state, and local organizations and has broken the “glass ceiling” as the first woman in many positions. Her focus for the past forty years has been organizing Florida Jewish communities to collect, document, and preserve their history, researching and collating the hidden 250+ years of Florida Jewish history, and creating a state-wide history museum with collections, exhibits, publications, and educational programs. She initiated the legislation for both Florida Jewish History Month (FJHM) each January and Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) each May to increase awareness of the contributions of Jews to the quality of life for all. In 2020, her seminal book, Jews of Florida: Centuries of Stories was released.

Programs Available

Jews of Florida: Centuries of Stories

This 60-minute PowerPoint presentation is based on the author’s seminal book, the first comprehensive history of the Jews of Florida from colonial times to the present —a sweeping tapestry of voices spanning centuries. Despite not being officially allowed to live in Florida until 1763. Jewish immigrants escaping expulsions and exclusions were among the earliest settlers. They have been integral to every area of Florida’s growth, from tilling the land and developing early communities to boosting tourism and ultimately pushing mankind into space. You will meet contemporary Floridian Jews—names that are recognized globally—and pioneers who impacted history beginning 257 years ago and possibly in 16th century Florida.

Antisemitism: Why the Longest Hatred? Images of Hatred in Florida Culture

Why have antisemitism and resulting hate crimes increased during this pandemic? This 60-minute PowerPoint presentation will explain its genesis and tropes. Historically, antisemitism has been the early warning signal of a society in danger. Why? Using degenerate artworks, Marcia Jo Zerivitz will demonstrate the historical background of antisemitism – the virus that mutates with every generation, and the insidious power of imagery in communicating the agenda of hatred, including Christian roots, the modern world and contemporary racist images from Florida culture since the Civil War covering the Klan, Nazism and restrictive covenants.

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