ACLS 1919 Celebration: The Value of a Degree in the Humanities & Social Sciences


The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to present “ACLS 1919 Celebration: The Value of a Degree in the Humanities & Social Sciences​” on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 4-5:30 PM EDT.
This annual commemoration of the founding of ACLS in September 1919 will feature a panel of speakers reflecting on the value of their humanities and interpretive social sciences degrees in their professional and personal lives. The discussion will be moderated by ACLS President Joy Connolly and includes:
  • Debo P. Adegbile, Partner, WilmerHale
  • Edward E. Cohen F'65, G'64, Adjunct Professor of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, and Chairman of the Board of Resource America, Inc.
  • Heather McGhee, Author and Board Chair, Color of Change
  • Chikako Yamauchi F’17, Strategic Learning and Evaluation Officer, The Kresge Foundation

This event is presented as part of the ACLS Humanistic Knowledge in the 21st Century public event series.
Joy-Connolly.jpgJoy Connolly, Moderator, began her service as president of the American Council of Learned Societies on July 1, 2019. Previously, she served as provost and interim president of The Graduate Center of The City University of New York, and as dean for the humanities at New York University. A distinguished professor of classics, Connolly is the author of two books and over seventy articles, book reviews, and essays. She speaks and writes regularly about the future of humanistic inquiry and her own discipline, classical studies — the topic of her current book project, Co-Creating Antiquities. Connolly was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Science in 2021.    
Debo-Adegbile.jpgDebo P. Adegbile is a partner in the Government and Regulatory Litigation Group of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. He serves as chair of the firm’s anti-discrimination practice. He is also the board chair of Connecticut College. Adegbile’s broad practice focuses on a range of matters at the intersection of law, business and government policy. In addition, Adegbile currently serves as a commissioner on the US Commission on Civil Rights, appointed by President Obama in 2016. Previously, he served as senior counsel to the chairman of the US Senate Judiciary Committee and as director of litigation and acting president for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Adegbile twice defended the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act at oral before the U.S. Supreme Court and has testified before Congress on multiple occasions.
Edward-E-Cohen.jpgEdward E. Cohen is an economic historian specializing in the economy and society of Classical Athens and of Imperial Rome.  He is the author of many articles and books on Athens, including Ancient Athenian Maritime Courts; Athenian Economy and Society: A Banking Perspective; The Athenian Nation; and most recently Athenian Prostitution: The Business of Sex (Oxford 2015).  In 2011, he was honored with the prestigious Hart Publications’ award as the year’s outstanding oil and gas executive in North America.  He is a lawyer admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and in the District of Columbia.  Cohen holds earned doctorates in ancient history (Princeton) and in law (Penn), as well as a doctorate in economics (honorary) from Panteios University of Athens, Greece. 
Heather-McGhee.jpgHeather McGhee is the board chair of the Color of Change. She is also the author of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together. For nearly two decades, Heather helped build the non-partisan "think and do" tank Demos, serving four years as president. She was a featured speaker at the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit in October 2017 and gave the commencement address at Vassar College in June 2018. McGhee holds a BA in American Studies from Yale University and a JD from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, as well as honorary degrees from Muhlenberg College, Niagara University, and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy.
Chikako-Yamauchi.pngChikako Yamauchi is a strategic learning and evaluation officer at The Kresge Foundation, where she works with program and practice teams to develop and refine strategies, foster cross-team collaboration, and advance equity. Before joining Kresge in 2021, Yamauchi led a team co-designing and facilitating a learning consortium that brought together funders, public agencies, and nonprofit leaders to better support community capacity strengthening across Los Angeles County. Yamauchi holds a PhD in art history from the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), a master’s degree in Pacific Islands studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She serves on the EPIP Los Angeles steering committee, is a member of Artists Co-creating Real Equity (ACRE), and was a 2017-2019 Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow.