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Ignite your thinking about change and how it happens. Through interviews, book talks, field trips, film screenings, and more, you'll get to know the women and nonbinary people leading change in a wide range of areas, and learn more about the hard, but important, work of building a better future.

SPARK is open to all members of the Barnard community, including faculty, staff, alumnae, and friends of the college.

In 2022-2023, our theme is protest.

Join us as we explore and investigate the power of protest as a tool for changemaking.

Click here to view our archive.


On Protest: A Screening of The U.S. and the Holocaust, and Panel Discussion :: Monday, April 3, 2023, 6 - 8 PM

RSVP is required.

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This fall, PBS released a stunning three-part series: The U.S. and the Holocaust. Co-directed by Sarah Botstein ‘94, the series sheds light on what the U.S government and Americans knew and did — and did not do — as Hitler rose to power. 

Join the Kraft Center, the Athena Center for Leadership at Barnard, and the Office of DEI at Barnard for a screening of a portion of the documentary and a conversation with Botstein, Avalon Fenster '24, and Deborah Lauter, Executive Director of The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Education and Human Rights.


SPARK :: Fireside Chat with Binta Brown '95 :: Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 6 - 7:30 PM

RSVP is required.

“Society is a reflection, in part, of our cultural and creative industries, so for me being in the music business is also a form of protest, advocacy, [and] human rights work."

Binta Brown '95, Way Back Wednesday

Join the Athena Alum Network for a fireside chat with Binta Niambi Brown '95 about her shift from a successful career in law into uncertainty - and ultimately, success once again - and how your work can be your stand. Today, Brown, the founder of omalilly projects, a full scale talent management company with record label and film/tv production services capacity, and consultancy, spends her days driving change in the entertainment industry. When do you know if you should make a change, and how do you do it once you've decided? Moderated by Reni Calister '11.


SPARK Faculty Lunch :: Rebecca M. Jordan-Young, PhD, Thursday, April 20, 2023, 12 - 1 PM

RSVP is required.  
In this lunch series, Barnard faculty members join small groups of students for lunch and conversation about how the idea of protest has shaped their teaching, research, and work. Rebecca M. Jordan-Young, PhD, shares:

"Beginning with organizing protests in the 1980s that linked demands for campus divestment from South Africa to the struggle for racial justice in Philadelphia, my involvement in protest has involved a deep commitment to linking the ends with the means, and paying attention to process and my own privilege. When does effective protest require leading, and when does it require following and supporting?"

Space is limited to 10 students. Lunch will be served.


Comrade Sisters: Women of the Black Panther Party Book Celebration :: April 25, 2023

Barnard welcomes Ericka Huggins, photographer Stephen Shames, Angela LeBlanc-Ernest, and former members of the Black Panther Party, Yasmeen Majid and Claudio Chesson-Williams, to Barnard College in celebration of the new book Comrade Sisters: Women of the Black Panther Party. Our panelists will talk about the diverse and crucial roles women played in the Black Panther Party, followed by a moderated Q&A and book signing. Free and open to the public (in person and online). 

RSVP for non-Barnard/Columbia community members and Zoom attendees is required.

Sponsored by Barnard Library and Academic Information Services, The Athena Center, The Barnard Center for Research on Women, Barnard's Africana Studies department, and The Digital Humanities Center. 

Thank you to the Harnisch Foundation for supporting this series!



 Funding for SPARK is provided by

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