Mission Statement

The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues

The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues, founded in 1994 with a generous gift from Trustee Henry Clarke, brings the unique strengths of an interdisciplinary liberal arts perspective to the critical examination of pressing contemporary issues. The Clarke Forum believes that critical reflection and the informed exchange of divergent ideas across academic disciplines improves knowledge and understanding.

The Clarke Forum connects the students and faculty of Dickinson College and members of the broader community with scholars, practicing professionals, and activists through the use of lectures, seminars, and conferences. By encouraging engagement with these visitors in ways that allow for dialogue and critical reflection, the Clarke Forum helps prepare students to become knowledgeable, productive, and intellectually active citizens and leaders. The Clarke Forum also provides a space where faculty can come together to discuss ideas and solutions to social problems from many perspectives. With programs that are free and open to the public, the Clarke Forum is a vital part of the community, continually enhancing public awareness and understanding of critical contemporary issues.

Students are involved in all aspects of the Clarke Forum: researching, designing, planning, producing, and publicizing programs. Much of the Forum’s day-to-day program implementation is in the hands of its student project managers, who gain valuable work experience and useful skills at the Forum.