CIF 2015-2016: Grit and Resilience

Never give up. It is a phrase we hear often throughout our lives. Both mantra and motivator, the phrase embodies the spirit of resilience. Resilience can be found throughout our community, from the students who work hard to earn their degrees to the volunteers who lend a hand where it is needed most.

The 2015-2016 Frances Willson Thompson Critical Issue Forum honors those who persevere, employing grit and gumption, to make things happen. The experts who will come to the University of Michigan-Flint for this year long speaker series will examine the characteristics of grit and the notion of resilience through the prisms of socio-economic status, character, education, and ethics.

We hope you will join us for this year-long annual event.

2015-2016 Critical Issues Forum Speakers

Jeff Hobbs

Jeff Hobbs

October 28, 2015

Jeff Hobbs is the author of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League, a New York Times bestseller. In The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, Hobbs documents the life of his roommate and best friend from college. In this book Hobbs is telling a story about America through the intimate portrait of a single individual. It is a story about this country’s challenges in the realms of education, identity, and race. 

Angela Duckworth, Ph.D.

Angela Duckworth, Ph.D.

November 18, 2015

In her landmark research, psychologist Angela Duckworth, Ph.D. reveals the importance of character to success in life. Her pioneering work on grit and self-control is in high demand among educators, athletes, and business leaders alike—anyone interested in learning what makes a top performer and what any of us can do to cultivate character in ourselves and those around us.

John Quiñones

John Quiñones

March 23, 2016

John Quiñones is the Emmy award-winning co-anchor of ABC newsmagazine Primetime and has been with the network nearly 30 years. He is the sole anchor of the Primetime series What Would You Do?, one of the highest rated newsmagazine franchises in recent years. During his tenure, he has reported extensively for ABC News, predominantly serving as a correspondent for Primetime and 20/20.

Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi

April 4, 2016

In the New York Times bestseller The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap, Matt Taibbi takes readers on a galvanizing journey through both sides of our new system of justice—the untouchably wealthy and the criminalized poor. As he narrates these incredible stories, he draws out and analyzes their common source, and unveils what we need to do to stand up against the troubling trend of the Divide. In his talks, Taibbi paints an alarming portrait of contemporary American life—where our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty—and provides a way forward against this urgent crisis.