Danielle Allen, an eminent classicist and ethicist,  advocates for intercultural conversations — of the very same kind that Not in Our Town holds once a month on first Mondays at the Princeton Public Library. She speaks at a Princeton Regional Chamber luncheon on Thursday, March 5, at 11:30 a.m. at the Princeton Forrestal Marriott.

Allen — who chairs the Pulitzer Prize committee, is currently at the Institute for Advanced Study but will soon move to Harvard — grew up in California in a mixed-race famiy. In an interview she explains how she hopes to bridge cultural divides as she directs an ethics center at Harvard. Here is a revealing quote:

I remember having a conversation with a white friend about affirmative action, where one of her comments explaining her position was, “But you’re not like the rest of them.” And little moments like that make you realize how hard it is, even in the context of—she was a friend—good will and friendship. Our preconceptions about race, about differences across ethnic lines and so forth, go so deep. They really do affect our lives across all dimensions. 

At the chamber luncheon (click here for details, click here for more information, her topic will be  What the Declaration of Independence Has to Teach Us About Human Flourishing.

NIOT offers a valuable chance to practice intercultural communication with the series of Continuing Conversations on Race. On Monday, March 2 at 7 p.m. it is on Black History Month — why does it matter.