Public Engagement

August 24, 2021

  • 2021 |

Wallace House is continuing to team with partners across campus to bring conversations into the virtual public space this semester. Mark your calendars and get ready to join us online.

Upcoming Events, Fall 2021

Robin Wright Photo credit: April Brady/Project on Middle East Democracy

America’s Place in the Post-Afghanistan World

With Robin Wright, writer for The New Yorker and Jawad Sukhanyar, journalist and 2019 Knight-Wallace Fellow

4 p.m. ET | Wednesday, October 27

This is a virtual event.

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What are the implications of the U.S. retreat from Afghanistan? Does it mark the “end of the American era?” What can the world community do for the thousands of Afghan refugees across the globe? How will the Taliban government treat women and Afghans who worked with Western organizations? Amid the continuing uncertainty, journalists Robin Wright and Jawad Sukhanyar will give their perspectives on the evolving situation, in conversation with Lynette Clemetson, Director of Wallace House.

Robin Wright has written for The New Yorker since 1988 as a contributing writer and columnist. Her first piece on Iran won the National Magazine Award for best reporting. A former correspondent for The Washington Post, CBS News, the Los Angeles Times, and The Sunday Times, she has reported from more than 140 countries.

Wright received the U.N. Correspondents Association Gold Medal for international coverage, and the Overseas Press Club Award for the “best reporting in any medium requiring exceptional courage and initia­tive,” for her coverage of African wars. The American Academy of Diplomacy named her journalist of the year for “distinguished reporting and analysis of international affairs.” She also won the National Press Club Award for diplomatic reporting and has been the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation grant.

Wright is the author of several books, including “The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran,” “Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam,” and “Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East,” which was selected by The New York Times and The Washington Post as one of the most notable books of 2008. Her book, “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World,” was selected as the best book on international affairs by the Overseas Press Club.

She received her bachelor of arts and masters’ degrees from the University of Michigan and was the first female sports editor for The Michigan Daily.

Jawad Sukhanyar, journalist and 2019 Knight-Wallace Fellow, was a reporter for The New York Times in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2019. He returned to Ann Arbor this month and will join the university as a journalist-in-residence with the Donia Human Rights Center and the International Institute. This research fellowship, sponsored by Wallace House, will commence once Sukhanyar receives full clearance from U.S. resettlement and immigration officials. He will study the implication of the U.S. departure from Afghanistan and new rule under the Taliban.

A target of the Taliban for his reporting and his affiliation with a U.S. media outlet, Sukhanyar faced grave danger when the Afghan capital fell to the extremist group. Escaping chaos and gunfire at the Kabul airport and hiding in the city for several days, Sukhanyar and his family were evacuated out of Afghanistan in August through an extraordinary effort led by the New York Times.

Sukhanyar first came to the university in September 2018 as a Knight-Wallace Fellow, where he studied issues related to women’s rights in Afghanistan. Read more about Sukhanyar’s journey

This Policy Talks @ the Ford School event is co-sponsored by Wallace House and the Donia Human Rights Center.

Previous Events, Fall 2021

Beth Fertig and Aisha Sultan

Covering 9/11: How the attacks shaped our world today

With Beth Fertig and Aisha Sultan

Thursday, September 9, 2021

4 p.m. ET

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It’s been 20 years since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the world we live in is still shaped in many ways by the events of that day. Join the Ford School and Wallace House for a special retrospective on 9/11 with journalists Beth Fertig of WNYC and Aisha Sultan, a nationally syndicated columnist, who has written about the U.S. Muslim experience, in a post-9/11, post-Trump America. Lynette Clemetson, Director of Wallace House, will moderate the conversation. 

Beth Fertig is a senior reporter at WNYC. She is currently covering New York City’s economic recovery from the pandemic. Since starting her career at WNYC in 1995, she has reported on immigration, public education, 9/11, and city politics.

Beth has won many local and national awards, including the prestigious Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award for Broadcast Journalism for her series of reports in 2001 about an effort to privatize some struggling city schools. She won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award and a Gracie Award for her coverage on family separation and changes in asylum law. The New York Press Club gave her a special award after the 2001 terrorist attacks for a profile on the friendship of two WTC survivors.

Beth is a New York City native who discovered her love for journalism at The Michigan Daily, her college newspaper at the University of Michigan. She also has a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio.

Aisha Sultan is a nationally syndicated columnist and award-winning filmmaker and features writer. Her work has run in more than a hundred publications. She has won several national honors, including the Asian American Journalists Association “Excellence in Written Journalism” award for her coverage of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. Her work explores social change with an emphasis on education, families and inequality.  She teaches college writing at Washington University and speaks at conferences, universities and training events. Her essay on being a Muslim in this country during 9/11 and the ensuing 20 years was published in the September 1, 2021 issue of Newsweek.

This conversation will be moderated by Lynette Clemetson, Director of Wallace House.

This event is a Josh Rosenthal Education Fund Lecture and part of the Policy Talks at The Ford School event series, co-sponsored by Wallace House.