June 2019 Newsletter

Hello from the Goldfarb Center!

We end the 2019 spring semester at the Goldfarb Center with gratitude and hope. We are very grateful to all who have supported the center by creating opportunities for internships and visiting speakers. Your impact on our students is game-changing.

We finished our year by piloting our Goldfarb Freedom of Expression Symposium—see the picture below of students passing through Pulver Pavilion for the poster sessions. What stood out for me was the way that our students entered a competition of fact-based ideas for immigration policy reform. Rather than the hyper-partisanship that has infected national politics, contestants stood in respectful dialogue, listening to others’ proposals to resolve some of the challenges facing migrating peoples. Our national shouting match and tweet wars leave a few moments to listen and genuinely hear different viewpoints. On-campus, students living in this polarized climate often keep viewpoints to themselves for fear of being judged.

The Goldfarb Center is working to build spaces to exchange thoughtful perspectives. Through programs such as the Freedom of Expression Symposium, we seek to open debate and build bridges across the divide of public viewpoints. Next year our symposium and associated lectures will tackle questions of inequality. As Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, notes, “Inclusive growth is one of the critical challenges of our time.” Growing gaps between winners and losers are undermining the legitimacy of democratic systems and the credibility of liberal capitalism. The many Democratic party presidential hopefuls offer sound bites that hint at distributive changes in our system; Republicans are focusing on income-generating effects of growth. Senator Warren and President Trump both have quarrels with Google and Amazon that point to concentration in markets and equality of access. What ideas will our students offer? It is their willingness to share ideas and bridge divides that gives me hope.

As we close out this year, we say goodbye to our terrific seniors and thank them for their contributions to the Goldfarb Center. Goldfarb senior Helen Chavey (below left) will be continuing her work at the DLCC, the result of a Hill2Hill connection. “I am so grateful to have had that opportunity,” she said. We also say goodbye to Goldfarb Student Communications Director Ella Jackson (below right). Thanks, Ella, for all of your work over three years organizing (and later supervising) communications outreach! We also are grateful for the work of Education Professor Adam Howard who has served as the associate faculty director—enjoy your much-deserved sabbatical!

 

 

 

 

Patrice Franko, Director; Grossman Professor of Economics and Global Studies

 

Recap of Goldfarb Late Spring 2019 Events

The Goldfarb Center joined other clubs in welcoming prospective students in April. Incoming co-chairs Adam Bowes ’21 (left) and Chasity McFadden ’20 (right) were joined by board member Genesis Gonzalez (center) to share some of the amazing work that the Goldfarb Center has done over the past year. They are excited to welcome new students into the Goldfarb Center, where they can interact with one another on public policy topics.

Writes Adam Bowes, “I am a rising junior from Richmond, Va. At Colby, I am economics: financial markets major with a statistics minor. I have a strong interest in policy through an economic lens and spent last Jan Plan interning with an educational nonprofit and studying corporate social responsibility in Lima, Peru, I have enjoyed working with the Goldfarb Center in the past, and I look forward to expanding student engagement this upcoming year.”

Chasity McFadden adds, “Hello, everyone! I am a rising senior from Tennessee, majoring in economics and Jewish studies. I am really interested in economic development within Jewish communities. This coming year, I hope to work through the Goldfarb Center to have conversations with students about these hot topics: economic development and antisemitism. I believe that Goldfarb has the amazing ability to bring people together for healthy dialogue regardless of political affiliation. I hope that this year we can use this platform to bridge the gap between groups on campus and provide a space where everyone feels free to share their opinion, no matter if it is the majority or minority. I have absolutely loved working with Goldfarb in the past couple of years and look forward to continuing this coming year.”

 

Populism and Double Standards:
Growing Challenges to Human Rights in the Americas
Senator George J. Mitchell Distinguished International Lecture Series
José Miguel Vivanco, Executive Director, Americas Division, Human Rights Watch

April 15

How has the rise of populist leaders from the left and the right impacted our global human rights record? In the annual George J. Mitchell Lecture, José Miguel Vivanco, director of Human Rights Watch’s Americas Division shed light on the main threats from populist governments. Autocratic leaders weaken the checks and balances of democracy of the media, judiciary, and civil society. Widespread polarization allows populists to flourish. Mr. Vivanco highlighted the rise of populist leaders as the main threat to human rights today as they take advantage of electoral processes to demonize minorities by exploiting their constituents’ fears. “Facts” reaffirm dominant views; the truth is complex.

Venezuela was on everyone’s mind. In a lively question and answer session, students pressed to understand the complexities involved in holding perpetrators of abuses accountable.

 

Mexico Under AMLO
Andrew Rudman ’87
Managing Director, Monarch Global Strategies

April 18

Populism is on the rise globally—and Mexico has its own variant. Andrew Rudman ’87, managing director at Monarch Global Strategies, walked through changes in Mexico as a result of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (or AMLO) policies. Despite successes such as turning the presidential palace into a public museum and doubling old-age pensions, AMLO has faced difficulty in large policy initiatives such as the Tren Maya, or educational reform. The fact that AMLO’s Morena is a movement and not a traditional party hampers governability. Rudman expressed hope that if AMLO follows through on his political rhetoric, Mexico could see increased economic growth. Nevertheless, AMLO’s promises are quite ambitious; it remains to be seen if he can deliver.

 

Colby’s Mock Trial Team, supported by the Brody Fund in the Goldfarb Center, had an incredible 2018-19 competition year with five tournaments across the Northeast, and, for the first time, brought two full teams to tournaments.

In the fall, Colby’s Mock Trial Team attended three invitational tournaments at the University of New Hampshire, Clark College, and Fordham University. At each tournament, members took home individual awards in either or both of the Outstanding Witness and Outstanding Attorney categories. Individual awards recognize top performers on a single side of a case who displays skills in public speaking and critical thinking in a courtroom setting.

In the spring, Colby Mock Trial’s A and B teams competed at the American Mock Trial Association’s Regional Tournament at Yale University. For the first time in five years, Colby’s A team qualified for the opening round of the championship series by placing sixth out of over 30 teams. This team went on to compete at Boston College in April and performed in the top half of the field. Colby’s A team was the only team in the country to beat the national champion on all ballots in a trial during the spring’s competitive season.

The Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award, under the Goldfarb Center, helped sponsor all of the tournaments and made it possible to expand the program and the number of students involved in Colby Mock Trial. Students learn legal skills through simulated courtroom procedures and develop case theory about cases released by the American Mock Trial Association each year. Look for our biannual Brody award announcement for 2020 at the end of the summer—and come to join us to honor a distinguished judge and also meet some of our wonderful mock trial competitors.

 

Maine Law Review Symposium
“Ensuring Equal Access to Justice in Maine’s Rural Communities”
University of Maine School of Law and Colby College

April 26-27

The “Ensuring Equal Access to Justice in Maine’s Rural Communities” symposium was presented by the Maine Law Review at the University of Maine School of Law in partnership with Colby College.

More than a hundred attorneys, judges, healthcare professionals, and legal scholars gathered in Waterville for a discussion on the access to justice and health-care issues that challenge Maine’s rural communities. Symposium participants took a strategic look into Maine’s rural realities with two days of panel discussions and presentations. Day one (April 26) focused on access to justice, and day two (April 27) focused on access to health care. The keynote address was presented by Lisa Pruitt, Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law at UC

Davis School of Law. Professor Pruitt is a national expert on the intersection of law with rural livelihoods.

 

Goldfarb Student Engagement Center End-of-Year Dinner
Leadership Lessons with Colby VP Andy McGadney

April 2

Addressing the Goldfarb Student Engagement Board the theme of leadership, Andy McGadney, vice president and dean of student advancement, shared his doctoral research on how educational leaders make decisions in the face of crises. McGadney showed how important it is for institutions, such as small liberal arts colleges, to build and anticipate crises before they arise. Communication, he argued, is critical to crisis management.

 

Goldfarb Freedom of Expression Symposium

May 5

The Goldfarb Center hosted its first annual Freedom of Expression Symposium. Focusing on the theme of immigration, students were encouraged to submit policy briefs focusing on one aspect of the immigration debate. Ten were selected to make posters and present in front of a panel of judges for the chance to win up to $2,000. The selected proposals addressed a wide range of topics from aid efforts and border technology to what it means to have a border. Four semi-finalists gave terrific impromptu defenses of their ideas; a proposal for climate visas by Andrew Ordentlich ’22 and Alex Ozols ’22 took first place, with a policy on renewing aid efforts by Ryan McClennen ’22 taking second place. The Goldfarb Center thanks all the participants for their passion and creativeness! A special thanks to our judges—Associate Provost and Professor of Biology Russell Johnson; immigration attorney Courtney New ’02; and Guidehouse (formerly PWC) consultants Ashley Gutwein and Lisa Kaplan13 (former Democratic and Republican party staffers)— for their work at our first GFES!

 

And our work continues over the summer!

The Goldfarb Summer Sandy Maisel Internships Fund is proud to support:

Ashlee Guevara ’21: The Boston Law Group

John McConnell ’20: Kennan Institute

Alexandra Huelbig ’20: Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (Fordham University)

Gal Cohen ’20: Centre for European Policy Studies in Belgium

Grace Franklin ’21: Appalachia Service Project

John O’Brien ’20: U.S. House of Representatives: Office of Kay Granger (TX-12)

Elias French ’20: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Joshua Goldberg ’20: Warren for President Campaign 2020

 

Happy summer to all! As always, we remain open to and grateful for any suggestions for programming for next year. Send an email to Patrice Franko, director, at pmfranko@colby.edu or saberard@colby.edu.