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Stay Connected and Informed —
Join Northwest Neighbors Village’s Virtual Speaker Series

Northwest DC is home to numerous dynamic, informed individuals.  Several have offered to share their expertise and insights in a series of talks. Plan to join us for one or all of these discussions, which are designed to engage and inform you. NNV’s Speaker Series is being offered free of charge to the community.

Click on the title of the program in which you are interested to register. Once registered, you will receive an email with the link to attend the day before the program.

Click for the Virtual Speakers Series Archive.

If you or someone you know would like be a speaker in the future, please email Judie Fien-Helfman at

Thursday, June 4, 1 pm
From Budget Surplus to Budget Crisis:  The Financial Health of DC after COVID-19
Speaker: Shelley Tomkin - political activist, former Chair, Ward 3 Democrats, and Professor of Political Science at Trinity University (ret), will discuss the financial health of the DC budget as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday, June 11, 3 pm
Book Talk: From Hope to Horror: Diplomacy and the Making of the Rwanda Genocide
Speaker: Joyce Leader - Author, Ambassador to Guinea and previously Deputy Chief of Mission (deputy Ambassador) in Rwanda
A three-way ethnic and regional struggle to control transitions to democracy and peace was underway in Rwanda in the early 1990s. This jockeying for power dominated Joyce Leader's time at the United States embassy there as the ambassador’s deputy in the years preceding the genocide of 1994. How did this struggle, which began on a high note of hope for positive change, escalate to mass atrocities and genocide? What prompted the slaughter of an estimated 800,000 to one million Rwandans in 100 days? Why did diplomacy fail to prevent this total break-down? What might be done in future to avoid a similar outcome elsewhere?
You can buy the book at Politics & Prose,  Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.


Thursday, June 18, 1 pm
The Importance of Grandparents
Speaker: Alison Gopnik -
Professor of Psychology, University of California at Berkley, and recognized expert in children’s development and learning (not to mention sister of NNV volunteer Morgan Gopnik!)

A discussion of the importance of grandparents in children’s cognitive development.  

Tuesday, June 23, 1 pm
The journey: The Camino de Santiago
Speaker: Kathleen M. McGuinness - The journey: The Camino de Santiago, known in English as the Way of St. James, is a network of pilgrims' ways or pilgrimages leading paths, to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried. Many follow its routes as a form of spiritual growth and to earn the coveted “Compostela”!
The Speaker, Kathleen M. McGuinness, a 60 something, 3rd generation Washingtonian, who made a decision while recuperating from 4 fractured vertebra in her back (a rodeo in Montana-don’t ask).   A former runner, now told to be a walker, needed a goal to look forward too. One year from her fall, she started out on a 500+ mile foot journey. Inspired by the movie “The Way”.  Mostly alone for over 500 miles, with no reservations, she regained her footing in life… and started an encore career in health care advocacy on her return.




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