'Her Voice': Female speakers lead assembly lineup

Roster dovetails with the school’s yearlong celebration of 50 years of coeducation.

September 15, 2020

Nicole Christian-Brathwaite (from left), Rachael Denhollander, Natasha Trethewey, Negin Farsad and Kerry Kuykendall Smith '90.

A Poet Laureate, a test pilot, a survivor of sexual assault and a doctor at the forefront of COVID-19 vaccine development are among the female speakers who will address assembly this fall as Exeter celebrates and reflects on 50 years of coeducation at the school.

More than a dozen women in all — including four alumnae — will be featured in the twice-weekly events, each to be presented remotely as the Academy adheres to physical-distancing guidelines prompted by the pandemic. The roster of speakers dovetails with the school's yearlong celebration, "Her Voice at the Table: 50 Years of Coeducation at Exeter."

Dr. Nicole Christian-Brathwaite, a nationally recognized psychiatrist who specializes in working with schools to reduce stigma around mental health needs, is the first of the guest speakers. Dr. Christian-Braithwaite’s presentation on Sept. 15 will focus on the social and emotional challenges of the moment, from the impact of COVID-19 to police brutality against Black people, and how to care for each other.

September assemblies also will include a panel discussion, “Early Women at Exeter,” moderated by Maegan Paul ’21, and a virtual visit with Natasha Trethewey, a former U.S. Poet Laureate under President Barack Obama who won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for her collection, Native Guard.

The assemblies will be presented via Zoom webinar on Tuesdays from 10:50 to 11:35 a.m. and Fridays from 1 to 1:45 p.m. and then posted online for on-demand consumption.

Fall term assembly schedule
Sept. 15: Dr. Nicole Christian-Brathwaite, psychiatrist, on how to care for each other in times of social and emotional pain.
Sept. 18: Janson Wu, executive director of GLAD (GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders), “The State of LGBTQ+ Rights Today.”
Sept. 22: Anne Perkins, author of Yale Needs Women: How the First Group of Girls Rewrote the Rules of an Ivy League Giant.
Sept. 25: Panel discussion: “Early Women at Exeter,” Barbara Eggers ’66 (Hon.); P’89, P’91, chair of the Department of History, dean of faculty emerita, instructor in history; Shirley Brownell ’70 (Hon.), P’71, P’73, P’79, emeritus widow; Martha Brownell Grant ’73; and Beth Brownell Lee ’71. Moderated by Maegan Paul ’21.
Sept. 29: Natasha Trethewey, former U.S. Poet Laureate and 2007 Pulitzer Prize winner.
Oct. 2: Ketch Secor ’96, singer-songwriter, Old Crow Medicine Show, and founder of the Episcopal School of Nashville.
Oct. 9: Negin Farsad, comedian, “Fighting Islamophobia, Bigotry and What Have You with Comedy.”
Oct. 13: Uche Okonkwo, Bennett Fellow
Oct. 16: Jessica Hindman, author of Sounds Like Titanic: Living Authentically in a Time of Disaster.
Oct. 20: Jud Brewer, professor of psychiatry at Brown University, “Awareness: Our superpower for everything from breaking bad habits to fostering kindness.”
Oct. 23 (Family Weekend): Emiliana Vegas P’19; ’21, "The Impact of COVID-19 on Educational Opportunity around the Globe.”
Oct. 27: Khalil Muhammed, professor of History, Race and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. “In Punishment We Trust? Mass Incarceration in the Post-Civil Rights Era.”
Oct. 30: John Phillips Award. Dr Emery N. Brown ’74. Professor of anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School.
Nov. 3: Max Stossel, Center for Humane Technology. “We’ve Been Sneaking Into Your Brains.
Nov. 6: Retired Navy Cmdr. Kerry Kuykendall Smith ’90. “Her Voice in The Military.”
Nov. 10: Martin Cox, John Locke Institute. “How to Listen Generously.”
Nov. 13: Dr. Alison M. Buttenheim ’87, epidemiologist, working on the protocols around distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Nov. 17: Rachael Denhollander, on the sexual-assault survivors’ movement.

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