McGee Lecture Series

Dr. Joseph McGee

JoeThe McGee Lecture Series honors the memory of Dr. Joseph McGee, who taught sociology at Marquette for 25 years (1945-1970).

John McGee, Dr. McGee’s nephew, shared that his uncle lived most of his years at Marquette on 13th, across from Schroeder Hall where he and his wife, Annie, lived in a one-bedroom walk-up apartment.  In reflecting back on his uncle’s commitment to social justice,  John recalled how disappointed his uncle was in him when he did not attend a rally and speech made by Dr. Martin Luther King during his freshman year in 1963. John noted that his uncle clearly saw the implications of the Civil Rights movements and he was disappointed that John did not share his vision.  John also recalled a Pi Gamma Mu banquet to which his Uncle had invited one of the nuns who had participated in the Selma marches.  Sadly, John confessed, I was too young to realize the significance of the whole thing. So the McGee lectures honor Dr. McGee’s vision and commitment to social justice.

His family members and friends initiated a memorial fund to support annual speakers who address social justice issues.

Recent Speakers

Recent Speakers

  • Dr. Timmons Roberts, Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies, Brown University delivered a lecture: " Miracle or disaster? Adequacy and equity under the Paris accord on climate change"
  • Dr. Christina Hanhardt, associate professor in the department of American Studies, University of Maryland presented on topic lecture titled "The Fight Against Violence & for Safe Spaces in LGBT Activist History". The lecture focused on what is the place of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activism in current protests against police violence and what is the relationship between the call for “safe spaces” on college campuses and in rapidly changing U.S. cities? In this talk, Dr. Hanhardt traced the history of LGBT activism against violence and for safety from the mid-1960s to the present, highlighting issues of street violence, policing, and gentrification. Dr. Hanhardt is the author of the book Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence (Duke University Press, 2013), winner of the 2014 Lambda Literary Prize for Best Book in LGBT Studies.
  • Mr. Azim Khamisa came to campus to share his story of the profound powers of human reconciliation;  after experiencing devastating debilitation brought on by the murder of his son, Mr. Khamisa found healing for himself, first in friendship with the father of his son’s killer, and eventually In forgiveness of the young man who took his son’s life. Watch the video of the lecture.
  • Elin Stebbins Waldal, author of the award-winning book Tornado Warning: A Memoir Of Teen Dating Violence And Its Effect On A Woman’s Life. Her book Tornado Warning, a first-person account of intimate partner violence, has been recognized as: a Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient for 2011 in the Adult Book Category, The 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards Best Parenting Teens Book Winner, and a Finalist in the 2012 Eric Hoffer Book Awards.
  • Will Allen, founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc., spoke about the urban agricultural movement in North America and around the world. A former NBA player and Corporate Sales executive, Allen was voted among Time magazine’s l00 most Influential Leaders.
  • Dr. Matt Desmond, sociologist and author of Racial Domination, Racial Progress:  The Sociology of Race in America, spoke as part of a panel of scholars and community advocates on race and housing issues in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Sarah Buel, clinical professor of law at the University of Texas at Austin, presented "Achieving Justice for Battered Women Defendants."
  • Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, a national organization dedicated to working for a fair and effective criminal justice system by promoting sentencing law and practice reformations, and alternatives to incarceration.