Upcoming Williams events at the Club

All our events require prior registration.  For details on how to do this for these following events, please visit our registration page via this link.

This African-American Life with Hugh Price–September 19

Hugh Price’s recently published autobiography, This African-American Life, provides an exceptional insight into the past 60 years of race relations.  During this informative evening Mr. Price will relate a story that begins with the segregated Washington, DC community he grew up in, and continues on to fraternity life & being one of four black students on Amherst’s campus in the late ‘50‘s/early 60‘s; to the Civil Rights movements of the ’60’s; through a challenging period of difficult relations between the Black and Jewish communities; to the emergence of Black Lives Matter. 

Hugh Price, Amherst ’63, served as interlocutor this past February at our well-received and well-attended event, “The Making–and Unmaking–of a Racist”, which was a revealing conversation with Williams History Prof & alum, Charles Dew ’58, about his book.. Price’s bio reflects an extraordinary range of professional experience: from urban organizer to civil rights attorney; from NY Times Editorial Board member to the Rockefeller Foundation and to the Presidency of the National Urban League, not to mention six years teaching at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs.

Joining Hugh Price in the program this evening will be Norm Jones, Amherst College’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion officer, who will serve as interlocutor, stimulating & extending what promises to be a fascinating conversation.

Measures of Brilliance: A Jazz Tribute to an American Icon–November 3

The Club continues its Friday Night Jazz series with an exclusive evening featuring two veteran jazz musicians and faculty members from Williams College’s Music Department – Avery Sharpe and Kris Allen. Sharpe and Allen will give a special performance featuring compositions and arrangements inspired by the life and work of George Washington Carver. This session will use America’s most original art form – interwoven with anecdotes – to celebrate one of America’s great icons.

Avery Sharpe has played electric and acoustic bass with jazz legends such as Wynton Marsalis, Pat Metheny and McCoy Tyner, playing in Tyner’s sextet and trio from 1980 through 2002. He has also played as a sideman with Archie Shepp, Yusef Lateef, Dizzy Gillespie, and Cab Callaway. Currently, Sharpe is an Artist Associate at Williams College where he coaches jazz combos and the gospel choir.

Kris Allen, alto saxophonist, has enjoyed a long career as a sought-after sideman, working in the groups of Illinois Jacquet, Gerald Wilson, Andy Gonzales, Jimmy Greene, Helen Sung, Winard Harper, and Andy Laverne, among others. Allen is a founding member of the collaborative Jazz Samaritan Alliance and the Hartford Legacy Big Band, and as a composer has been honored with numerous awards and commissions. A dedicated educator, Allen is currently the Lyell B. Clay Artist-In-Residence in Jazz at Williams College.

When Former Enemies Become Friends: How Deo Niyizonkiza established a model community health NGO in Burundi – November 29

The true story of Deo Niyizonkiza, Dr. Cathryn Christensen, & Village Health Works (“VHW”)

Join us for a first-hand exploration of the compelling story of Deo Niyizonkiza, the subject of Tracy Kidder’s book, Strength in What Remains, which was hailed in a NY Times book review: “Kidder’s rendering of what Deo endured and survived [in Burundi] just before he boarded the plane for New York is one of the most powerful passages of modern nonfiction.”

We are proud to present Village Health Works Founder and CEO Deogratias Niyizonkiza, Williams College Honorary Doctor of Laws ’13, who will relate the remarkable formation of VHW, which Niyizonkiza began by mobilizing community members in his village of Kigutu, Burundi. With no money but with a big vision that turned former enemies into collaborators and friends, community members started making bricks, building a road, and laying the foundation of the first medical facility. A year later, VHW opened a health center, whose building process had already helped a community heal from the trauma of war. With close to 200 full time and over 200 half time employees based in Burundi, and a small staff in the United States, VHW conducted 30,000 patient consultations last year and continues to expand its services and infrastructure.

This exceptional story will be told first-hand, as Deo Niyizonkiza, VHW’s Clinical Programs Director Dr. Cathryn Christensen, Williams ’01, and moderator Robert Jackall, the Willmott Family Professor of Sociology & Public Affairs at Williams College engage in a fascinating conversation about the power of hope and vision to bring real change to developing parts of our world.