Wellesley Girl Special Performances

Thursday 1/20: Leading During A Time of Crisis with Chicago Deputy Mayor Samir Mayekar moderated by Rebecca Weinstein Bacon

Join us as Samir Mayekar, Chicago's Deputy Mayor for Neighborhood & Economic Development, shares his experiences leading the City of Chicago through the initial outbreak of Covid-19 and subsequent shut-down of the city. Hear about the leadership lessons learned from the pandemic and Samir's thoughts on Chicago's recovery in a post-Covid world. This talk-back will be moderated by noted Attorney Rebecca Weinstein Bacon and will include a short Q&A. 

Samir Mayekar is the Deputy Mayor for Neighborhood & Economic Development in the city of Chicago. Samir previously served in the Obama administration in the White House and at a federal infrastructure and finance agency. As co-founder and CEO of NanoGraf Corporation, a global manufacturer of advanced materials, Samir built a green energy company that continues to grow in Bronzeville. Samir has deep neighborhood roots in Chicago, having served as Board Chair for a community-engaged youth theatre in Albany Park and a GRAMMY-winning music ensemble serving the Back of the Yards. He holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and an M.B.A from the Kellogg School of Management. 

Rebecca Weinstein Bacon is a trial lawyer and partner at Bartlit Beck in the firm’s Chicago office. With nearly 20 years of legal practice at the firm, Ms. Bacon represents Fortune 500 companies in pharmaceutical products liability claims, antitrust cases, consumer class actions, and commercial disputes. She is an expert legal strategist with extensive trial experience. As an award-winning and nationally recognized attorney, Ms. Bacon is one of Crain’s Most Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago (2017), a Benchmark Litigation National and Local Litigation Star (2018), and one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018). She is a member of The Economic Club, The Chicago Network, and serves on the board of Project Exploration, a non-profit organization that works to ensure that communities traditionally overlooked by science have access to personalized experience with science and scientists. Rebecca is a graduate of Columbia University Law School where she was a Kent and Stone Scholar. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from UCLA with a bachelor’s in women’s studies and political science

Sunday 1/30: Civil Discourse and the Responsibility of Voice with Leila Brammer, Director of the Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse at the University of Chicago

How we talk about things matters! Leila Brammer, Director of the Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse at the University of Chicago leads a discussion on one of the most important educational, political and social issues of today: How to have a civil conversation in a democratic society and leaving room for someone else's viewpoint. 

Leila Brammer is the Director of the Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse at the University of Chicago. Rooted in the Chicago Principles of Freedom of Expression, the Parrhesia Program curricula, programming, and outreach seek to foster the capacity for vigorous, inclusive, and productive discourse in the classroom, campus, and civic life. Outreach efforts include workshops and seminars for college/university and high school faculty and students to explore and embed both the principles and practices of open discourse in curricula, campus life, and surrounding communities. Leila developed a civic engagement curriculum and public deliberation and dialogue program that received multiple national recognitions, including the American Association of Colleges and Universities Civic Learning in the Major by Design and the National Communication Association Rex Mix Department of Distinction Award. In her work in public deliberation and dialogue, she builds and facilitates frameworks in which community members come to understand problems from multiple perspectives and work together to develop evidence-based approaches to address challenging civic issues.