Tag Archives: Sheila Kennedy

Shameless Promotion

What’s the point of having one’s very own blog if you can’t use it for marketing, right? So I’ve been asked to share the media release put out by IUPUI to hype my upcoming presentation of what the University calls “The Last Lecture.”

I really struggled with this particular speech (it’s so much easier to “vent” to a blog each morning…), so I hope at least some members of this blog community will be able to attend.

I should probably clarify that, despite the title,  it won’t really be my last lecture, much as some folks might wish it were so….

Here’s IUPUI’s media release.


The old African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” goes to the heart of political philosophy: what should that village look like?

What is the common good? What is the nature of mutual social obligation? What sort of social and political arrangements are most likely to promote and enable — in Aristotle’s term — human flourishing? Perhaps most importantly, do we live in an era when such questions have largely been abandoned?

Sheila Suess Kennedy of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs will explore these and other questions in “Defending Reason in an Unreasonable Time” during IUPUI’s 2015 Last Lecture at 2 p.m. March 27 in the Campus Center Theater.

Kennedy has been at IUPUI since 1998, rising to her role as a professor of law and public policy in SPEA and as director of the Center for Civic Literacy.

The Last Lecture offers the university community the opportunity to hear reflections on life’s lessons and meaning from a retired or current IUPUI colleague of exceptional merit.

Reservations are required. RSVP online by March 23, or call Angie Vinci-Booher at 317-274-4500.

Kennedy says she has lived through the women’s movement, the civil rights movement, the ’60s, the sexual revolution, the gay rights movement, recent decades of religious zealotry that might be characterized as “America’s most recent Great Awakening,” and a dizzying explosion of new transportation and communication technologies. All those experiences have given her perspectives she will share on issues such as social justice, education and the nature of the common good.

Kennedy has a breadth of personal and professional experience that can rival anyone; she has been a lawyer (both in law firms and for the city of Indianapolis), a businesswoman, an author of nine books, a columnist for the Indianapolis Business Journal, a blogger on her own website and others, executive director of the Indiana affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union and a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Last Lecture is sponsored by the Senior Academy, the Office of Academic Affairs and the Indiana University Foundation. For additional information, contact the Office of Academic Affairs at 317-274-4500.



Leaving the Star

If you are reading this message—via Facebook, my blog, or email list—it is because I want to ask a favor.

For the past fourteen years, I have written a regular column for the Indianapolis Star. Most recently it has run every other Monday.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to make my opinions known in newsprint, but it has become increasingly clear that the traditional media environment is undergoing profound change. One result is that fewer people access my columns by reading the Monday Star than do so through my distribution list, Facebook, or my blog.

I had been mulling over the implications of these changes when I received an email from Tim Swarens, the Star’s editorial page editor. Tim informed me that he was reducing the frequency of my column to once a month, in order to bring in new community voices.

After thinking about it, I’ve decided that the time has come to sever the relationship. While a once-a-month column makes sense for certain subject matter, my columns have always reflected on the broader implications of current events, and it is very difficult to be “current” or timely in a once-a-month column. (It has been hard enough in a twice-a-month gig!)  The beauty of the internet is that it makes timeliness not only possible, but the norm. (The downside, of course, is that speed doesn’t always favor accuracy…but that’s a concern for another day.)

Anyway—back to the favor.

If you have enjoyed my columns, please follow me via www.sheilakennedy.net. Bookmark the blog or subscribe to the feed (http://sheilakennedy.net/feed/). If you like a column, post the link to Facebook. If you have a blog of your own, link to mine and I’ll link back. If you twitter—I don’t—tweet me. Or whatever you call it. And please, use the comment function to talk back, argue or agree, and keep our conversation going!

I’m stepping out of the “horse and buggy” world I know, and dipping my toe—okay, my computer—into the 21st Century, and while I’m excited, I’m also nervous.  I may be too old and outdated to make it in our brave new cyberspace world, but I’m hoping that you all will help me make a successful transition.

Thanks in advance, and let’s see what happens!