Promoting Understanding and Research about Ethics and Contemporary Ethical Dilemmas

Youtube archive of previous lectures here:

Leon S. Peters Ethics Lecture Series

Spring 2016

Printable flier here

Parking Code:  269607 


Stealing from the Poor: 
Nepal’s Earthquake and Development Ethics

Gyanesh Lama, Ph.D., 

Alice Peters Auditorium (UBC, Room 191) 
May 3, 5-6PM

In April of 2015, a massive earthquake hit Nepal, causing significant suffering.  Professor Gyanesh Lama has traveled to Nepal to support the relief and reconstruction effort.  This talk will provide updates from Nepal one year later, while considering ethical issues related to economic, social, and political development.  Issues to be considered include: targeting aid, graft and corruption, caste system and religious hierarchies. 

Originally from Nepal, Gyanesh Lama, Ph.D. is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work Education at California State University, Fresno.  His Ph.D. is from Washington University in St. Louis.


David Brooks, "The Road to Character"

May 10, 6:30 PM
Satellite Student Union

David Brooks is a New York Times columnist and an analyst for the PBS “NewsHour” and NPR’s “All Things Considered.” He also teaches a course at Yale University.  This talk will focus on his new book, The Road to Character.


If Not Race, Then What?
Bio-cultural Groups, Social Ontology, Political Philosophy

Lucius Outlaw, Ph.D.
March 11, 5-6PM
EE 191

Lucius Outlaw explores how best to characterize “bio-cultural groups”—social groupings that are self-reproducing biologically and partially self-sustaining through cultural practices.  If such groups should not be referred to as “races,” then what are they and how can they be described?

Dr. Lucius Outlaw is Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.  He is the author of On Race and Philosophy (Routledge 1996).


Islam, ISIS, and American Politics

A panel discussion focused on issues related to contemporary issues arising from discussion of ISIS and Islam in American politics, featuring:

Imam Seyed Ali Ghazvini
Sumaya Attia (student activist)
Professor Vincent Biondo
Supervisor Andreas Borgeas
Rabbi Rick Winer

Tuesday, February 2, 5-6:30 PM
McLane Hall 121

 Ethan Nadelmann speaking at Fresno State Oct 2015

Ethan Nadelmann Speaking on the War on Drugs
October 20, 2015

Constitution Day Sept 2015\

Constitution Day Panel

Juan ArambulaEsmeralda Z. SoriaRosendo Peña, Jr.Lorenzo RiosIsmail Ali 

Al Evans Speaks at Ethics Center at Fresno State

Professor Al Evans speaking on the
Hobby Lobby Case for an Ethics Center Lecture, Fall 2014

 Charles Haynes at Fresno State April 13 2013

Charles Haynes speaking at Fresno State, April 13, 2013

ICCF Award Night

Ethics Center Board Members with Congressman Jim Costa at the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno's "Spirit of Abraham" award night July 2012 (Fiala, Benninga, Costa, Avalos)

Andrew Fiala receiving Spirit of Abraham award at Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno July 2012 (with Imam Seyed Ali Ghazvini)

Fiala at ICCF


Past Speakers Include:

Invited Speakers 

  • Mark Arax, Journalist
  • Hilal Elver, UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Food 
  • Ethan Nadelmann, Drug Policy Alliance
  • Robert C. Jones, California State University, Chico
  • Juan Arambula, CA Assemblyman
  • Esmeralda Z. Soria, Fresno City Council
  • Rosendo Peña, Jr., Justice, California Fifth Distrit Court of Appeals
  • Lorenzo Rios, Clovis Veteran's Memorial
  • John Minkler, Educator
  • Lisa Fruchtman, Filmmaker 
  • Rory Carroll, The Guardian
  • Irfan Ali, Interfaith Alliance of Central California,
  • Hamid Mavani, Claremont Graduate University.
  • George DeMartino, University of Denver
  • Eduardo Briceño, CEO of Mindset Works
  • Cheyney Ryan, University of Oregon and Oxford University
  • Abby Ginzburg, Filmmaker
  • Sarah Tyson, University of Colorado, Denver
  • Simran Kaur, Sikh Coalition
  • Angela Davis, UCLA
  • Phil Zuckerman, Pitzer College
  • Randy Archibold, New York Times
  • Steve Johnson, Markulla Center for Ethics at Santa Clara University
  • Jeffrey P. Fry, Ball State University
  • John Tehranian, Southwestern Law School
  • Doug Noll, San Joaquin School of Law
  • Debra Nankivell, Fresno Business Council
  • Gihan Abou Zeid, Egyptian Journalist
  • Justin Atkinson, San Joaquin School of Law
  • Jessica Smith-Bobadilla,San Joaquin School of Law
  • J. Jeremy Wisnewski, Hartwick College
  • Alejandro Santana,University of Portland
  • Charles Haynes, First Amendment Center
  • Marcia Beauchamp, Tony Blair Faith Foundation
  • John Minkler, Academy for Civic and Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Debora Brown, Madera County Teacher of the Year
  • Lori Grace, Hoover High School
  • Will Kymlicka, Queen's University
  • Sue Donaldson, Author/playwright
  • Trudy Conway, Mount St. Mary's University
  • James Sterba, Notre Dame University
  • Darren Sherkat, University of Southern Illinois
  • Letitia Meynell, Dalhousie University
  • Robert Bellah, UC Berkeley
  • Diane Moore, Harvard University
  • Amir Hussain, Loyola Marymount University
  • Ruben Martinez, Loyola Marymount University
  • Jedd Medefind, Christian Alliance for Orphans
  • Carlos Sanchez, San Jose State University
  • John Zerzan, Anarchist Author/Activist
  • Les Kimber , Founding Editor, California Advocate
  • Juan Esparza Loera Editor, Vida en el Valle
  • Betsy Lumbye , Executive Editor, Fresno Bee
  • Faith Sidlow , Channel 24 News, MCJ Facult
  • Thomas Knowles, Former Special Agent FBI
  • Kamal Abu-Shamsieh, Director of the Islamic Cultural
    Center of Fresno
  • Marvin W. Berkowitz, University of Missouri, St. Louis
  • Bruce Grelle, California State University, Chico
  • Shelley Wilcox, San Francisco State University
  • Lloyd Steffen, Lehigh University
  • Rob Caughlan, Environmental Activist
  • Betsy Rosenberg, Environmental Journalist
  • Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist
  • Nel Noddings, Stanford University
  • Ovadia Ezra, Tel Aviv University
  • Jacquelyn Kegley, California State University, Bakersfield
  • John Lachs, Vanderbilt University
  • Ted Peters, Graduate Theological Union
  • David K. Chan, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point
  • Jose-Antonio Orosco, Oregon State University
  • Robert Metcalf, University of Colorado, Denver
  • Edie Jessup, Community Activist

Fresno State Faculty Speakers

  • Jacques Benninga, Bonner Center for Character Education in the Kremen School of Education
  • Kat Biacindo, Kremen School of Education
  • Bhupinder Singh, College of Health and Human Services
  • Kara Zografos, College of Health and Human Services
  • Otto Benavides, Kremen School of Education
  • Libbi Miller, Kremen School of Education
  • Al Evans, College of Social Sciences
  • Matthew Jendian, College of Social Sciences
  • Daniel Cady, College of Social Sciences
  • Bruce Thornton, College of Arts and Humanities
  • Twotrees (Matthew Haar Farris), College of Arts and Humanities
  • Lorin Lachs, College of Science and Mathematics
  • Yishaiya Abosch, College of Social Sciences
  • Michael Becker, College of Social Sciences
  • Lori Clune, College of Social Sciences
  • Karen Bell, College of Arts and Humanities
  • Jacques Benninga, Kremen School of Education
  • Vincent Biondo, College of Arts and Humanities
  • Jason Bush, College of Science and Mathematics
  • Andrew Jones, College of Social Sciences
  • Ida Jones, Craig School of Business
  • Maddhu Katti, College of Science and Mathematics
  • Barbara LaBossiere, College of Arts and Humanities
  • Robert Maldonado, College of Arts and Humanities
  • Bernadette Muscat, College of Social Sciences
  • Leonard Olson, College of Arts and Humanities
  • Jim Prince, College of Science and Mathematics
  • David Schecter, College of Social Sciences
  • Malik Simba, College of Social Sciences
  • Peter Vanderwater, College of Science and Mathematic
  • Steven Walker, College of Social Sciences

Ethics Lectures made possible by the generous support of the Leon S. Peters Foundation

Contact Information

Dr. Andrew Fiala, Ethics Center Director

Dr. Andrew Fiala
Ethics Center Director

email | website

Or contact the Department of Philosophy for assistance.