Programming at the Jefferson Educational Society

The Jefferson Educational Society offers different programs during the Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall terms. Some of the past and current programs include the Global Summit, Metro 100, Brock Institute Lectures, Community Conversations, Jefferson Satellite programs, and other special programs.

Programming has been a cornerstone of the Jefferson Educational Society since its beginning. From the launch of the annual Global Summit, which itself grew from a two-and-half day series to one spread over six weeks, to the total of annual events to over 100, to the launch of the Satellite Programming initiative throughout Erie County, to the more than 200 digital programs livestreamed and broadcasted to the public during the pandemic and ongoing, JES programming continues to expand in an effort to make our events more accessible to the community in new ways.


2023 Spring Term Programs

Camille Busette 2021

"The Power of Policy Reform to Address Racial Justice in Erie", with Dr. Camille Busette 

Global Summit XIII, November 2021


Click a program to add it to your personal calendar!

 Subscribe to our Programming email list to receive news on all JES programs, click below to subscribe!



 Latest News in JES Programming


2023 Spring Program Schedule Announced for Erie's Jefferson, ECAT, Corry, Fairview, and Edinboro

Posted on April 3rd, 2023 at 11:42 AM
2023 Spring Program Schedule Announced for Erie's Jefferson, ECAT, Corry, Fairview, and Edinboro


2023 Spring Program Schedule Announcedfor Erie’s Jefferson, ECAT, Corry, Fairview, Edinboro

Erie, Pennsylvania (April 3) – Jefferson Decadian scholar Dr. Judy Lynch will kick off the 2023 spring term programming season at the Jefferson Educational Society by presenting the remarkable travels and achievements of French General Marquis Lafayette in America and northwestern Pennsylvania.

In all, 29 programs are planned during the spring term, including 17 in-person presentations at the Jefferson Educational Society, 3207 State St.; one digital program; and 10 programs at Jefferson satellite sites at ECAT in east Erie, Corry, Fairview, and Edinboro through May 26. All events are open to the public.

“We are very excited to get the new season underway, and Dr. Lynch, an avid historian with extensive knowledge of American and local history, is the perfect speaker to get things started,” said Jefferson President Dr. Ferki Ferati. “We welcome back all Jefferson members and Erie area residents eager to attend some enlightening programs this spring.”

The events at the Jefferson include a number of “lunch-and-learn” programs on topics such as the Invasive Species in the Great Lakes (James Grazio); the Power and Potential of Philanthropy (Karen Bilowith); Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Gary Lee); Erie downtown developments (Emily Fetcko and Dave Tamulonis); and Erie’s public libraries (Karen Pierce). Evening and afternoon programs include two lectures in the series “Americans and Their Games” with Jefferson scholar-in-residence Andrew Roth; Erie’s Christian Places of Worship with Michael DeSanctis; new responses to the overdose epidemic with Daniel Schank; Africa and Geography with Ed Grode; the return of writer Yvonne Caputo with her second book; crime as political capital with Chris Magno; and pirates of Lake Erie with David Frew.

The events at Jefferson satellite locations include timely topics such as diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workforce, diverse media outlet, environmental justice, community health topics, and a special event with Precious McKesson at ECAT on May 11. McKesson was appointed by the Biden Administration to the Department of Education Office of Communications and Outreach and is the current executive director for the Nebraska Democratic Party.

On May 9 at 7 p.m., distinguished visiting speaker Wendy Schiller will present the impact of social media on the capacity of self-government in a democracy. Dr. Schiller is the director of the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy at Brown University and has served on the staffs of the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and the late Governor Mario Cuomo.

On May 23 at 7 p.m., distinguished visiting speaker Kenneth Gormley will present American Presidents and the Constitution. Dr. Gormley is the president of Duquesne University and a leading constitutional scholar. The event is part of the Hagen History Center Lecture Series and is held in partnership with the Jefferson. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Among the term’s highlights will be presentations by several Jefferson scholars-in-residence, including Judy LynchAndrew Roth, David Frew, and Parris Baker.

For more information about the programs, memberships, or to make reservations, call 814.459.8000 or visit

Media coverage of all events is welcomed; a Jefferson spokesperson and the presenters will be available for comments at all term events.


For comments in advance, please contact:

Angela Beaumont,Director of ProgrammingJefferson Educational


Following is a brief listing of the Jefferson’s Spring Term events. All programs are at the Jefferson Educational Society, 3207 State St., unless otherwise indicated.


Jefferson Programs:

  1. Monday, April 17, 7 to 8:30 p.m., General Marquis de Lafayette, Part II: French Revolution and Return to America, Judy Lynch, Ph.D., Richard Arthur, M.A., Free Lecture
  2. Thursday, April 20, 7 to 8:30 p.m., “Americans and Their Games”: Sports in American History Part II: The Tales of Race and Ethnicity, Andrew Roth, Ph.D., Lecture Series
  3. Friday, April 21, noon to 1:30 p.m., Invasive Species in the Great Lakes: A Brief History of the World's Most Invaded Freshwater System, James Grazio, Ph.D., Free Community Conversation, Earth Day Talk, $5 lunch optional
  4. Monday, April 24, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Places of Grace and Beauty: Reflections on Erie’s Christian Places of Worship, Michael DeSanctis, Ph.D., Free Lecture
  5. Tuesday, April 25, 7 to 8:30 p.m., A Humane Response to the Overdose Epidemic: Exploring the Impact of 'Harm Reduction' in Erie, Daniel Schank, Ph.D., Free Lecture
  6. Friday, April 28, noon to 1:30 p.m., The Power and Potential of Philanthropy: Inspiring Generosity, and Fueling Community Transformation, Karen Bilowith, M.P.A., Free Community Conversation, $5 lunch optional.
  7. Tuesday, May 2, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Why Africa and Geography Matter, Ed Grode, M.A., Lecture
  8. Wednesday, May 3, 7 to 8:30 p.m., New Americans: Demographic Trends and Immigration Patterns in Erie, Pennsylvania, Baher Ghosheh, Ph.D., Free Lecture, Reception at 6:00 p.m. and book signing.
  9. Thursday, May 4, 4 to 5:30 p.m., A WWII Veteran, His Experiences, and His Wishes for His Final Flight, Yvonne Caputo, M.Ed., Afternoon Lecture, Book signing
  10. Tuesday, May 9, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Impact of Social Media on the Capacity of Self-government in a Democracy, Wendy Schiller, Ph.D., Distinguished Visiting Speaker
  11. Friday, May 12, noon to 1:30 p.m., Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Is It Just a #Hashtag, or Is It Real?, Gary N. Lee, MBA, Free Community Conversation, $5 lunch optional
  12. Monday, May 15, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Crime as Political Capital: Comparing the Use of Crime as a Tool for Political Gain in the United States and the Philippines, Chris Magno, Ph.D., Lecture
  13. Thursday, May 18, 7 to 8:30 p.m., “Americans and Their Games”: Sports in American History Part III: The Tales of Gender and Women’s Rights, Andrew Roth, Ph.D., Lecture Series
  14. Friday, May 19, noon to 1:30 p.m., Creating Engaged and Energized Public Spaces in Downtown Erie , Emily Fetcko, B.S., Dave Tamulonis, B.S., Free Community Conversation, $5 lunch optional
  15. Tuesday, May 23, 7 to 8:30 p.m., American Presidents and the Constitution, Ken Gormley, J.D., Hagen History Center Lecture Series, Free Lecture
  16. Wednesday, May 24, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Lake Erie Pirates: Dodgy Characters at the Cut, David Frew, Ph.D., Lecture
  17. Friday, May 26, noon to 1:30 p.m., Revisiting and Reimagining Public Libraries in the 21st Century, Karen Pierce, MLIS, Free Community Conversation, $5 lunch optional.


Jefferson Digital Program:

Live-streamed on and Video on demand at

  1. Wednesday, April 19, 4 p.m., The June Fourth Incident - Looking back at the Tiananmen Square Uprising in China, Robert Kibler, Ph.D., Digital program.


Jefferson Satellite Programs (all free):

East Erie – Erie Center for Arts & Technology (ECAT), 650 East Ave, Ada Lawrence Community Room

  1. Thursday, April 13, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Media Made for Us, By Us: Diverse Communication Outlets in Erie, Sonya Byes
  2. Michael Kenton Mahler, B.S., Panel Discussion
  3. Thursday, April 27, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Environmental Justice: Exploring Urban Agriculture and Green Cities, Raven Clark, B.A. , Earth Day Lecture
  4. Thursday, May 11, 7 to 8:30 p.m., You are More than a “Break in Case of Emergency”: Knowing the Value of Your Voice When Making Change in Your Community, Precious McKesson, Distinguished Visiting Speaker Lecture
  5. Thursday, May 25, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Changing the Narrative: Overcoming the Challenges to Mental Health Treatment in the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Community , Adrienne Dixon, Ph.D. , Mental Health Awareness Month Lecture


Edinboro – PennWest Edinboro University, William P. Alexander Music Center, 110 Kiltie Rd.

  1. Wednesday, April 19, 6 to 7:30 p.m., What is Afrocentrism? - A Look at World History through a Different Lens , Parris Baker, Ph.D., Lecture


Fairview – Lincoln Community Library, 1255 Manchester Road

  1. Monday, April 3, 6 to 7:30 p.m., President Abraham Lincoln’s Time in Erie County, Sabina Freeman, B.A., Lecture
  2. Monday, May 1, 6 to 7:30 p.m.What is White Supremacy & Christian White Nationalism? - Perspective from a Unitarian Universalist Minister, Charles Brock, M.Litt.Lecture


Corry – Corry Higher Education Council, 221 N Center St

  1. Tuesday, April 18, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Nimitz, Halsey & Spruance - The Admirals who won the Pacific War, Mark Squeglia, B.A. , Lecture
  2. Tuesday, May 16, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Reimagining Farming in Northwestern Pennsylvania , Julie Zajac, MPH, Visiting Speaker Lecture


Courses and Conversation

  1. Tuesdays, 3 p.m. - Great Conversations Discussion Group. Chris Riehl, M.P.P. Eight sessions, started March 21


The Jefferson Educational Society of Erie is a nonprofit and nonpartisan institution founded to promote civic enlightenment and community progress for the Erie region through study, research, and discussion. The Jefferson offers courses, seminars, and lectures that explain the central ideas that have formed the past, assist in exploring the present, and offer guidance to enhance the civic future of the Erie region. As an Erie think tank, the Jefferson Educational Society promotes knowledge and civic pride through research, the publication of policy papers on public issues, essays, reports, and the sponsorship of civic forums.