Common-Holder ADC 2018 picture
“The American Dream is about every individual who aspires to achieve more in life... Understanding our national ethos of democracy and equality has never been more urgent.” Roosevelt University President Ali Malekzadeh

Roosevelt University will host the 3rd annual American Dream Reconsidered Conference on September 10-14, 2018 at the University’s Loop campus in Chicago, IL. Tickets are free for Roosevelt University faculty, staff and students.

“The American Dream is about every individual who aspires to achieve more in life,” states Roosevelt University President Ali Malekzadeh. “Understanding our national ethos of democracy and equality has never been more urgent.” Malekzadeh, a native of Iran, founded the American Dream Reconsidered Conference in 2016 to answer his simple, but profound, question: “What does the American Dream mean today?”

Panelists and lecturers from a variety of field will participate in the weeklong conference; they will seek to engage the Roosevelt community and the public alike in meaningful discourse about this simple but incredibly pertinent and relevant question, especially given the challenging nature of our current political climate and ethos as a nation. Topics have included immigration, health care policy, equality, politics and more. Roosevelt University has previously proudly welcomed distinguished guests such as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2017), among many others.

This year, the University welcomes The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr., 82nd Attorney General of the United States (2009-2015); Partner, Covington & Burling LLP. Holder made history as the first African American to be appointed Attorney General of the United States, and previously served as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia and Deputy Attorney General. Holder brings a deeply unique and informed perspective on current issues facing Americans, stemming from his time as head of the United States Department of Justice.

Holder invites students, faculty and the community to join him for his panel “The Struggle for Voting Rights” on September 12, 2018, where he will discuss the pressing issue of voting rights in the United States. With his unique insights from the front lines of this fight, and his recent work on the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, Holder will share his appraisal of the past and his vision for the future with our community.

Roosevelt University also warmly welcomes award-winning musician and actor Common, who, in addition to his multitude of incredible songwriting and film credits, also created The Common Ground Foundation. Founded over a decade ago, The Common Ground Foundation, based in Chicago, focuses on reaching high school students through programs that teach myriad professional and personal skills and development. Common will bring his perspective and experience to his panel, “Activism and Dissent in an Age of Polarization” on Thursday, September 13 at 7 p.m.

Additional lecturers and guests include:

  • Jamelle Bouie, Slate’s chief political correspondent and a political analyst for CBS News
  • Lawrence D. Brown, PhD, professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health
  • Guian McKee, associate professor in presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs
  • Rebecca Traister, writer-at-large for New York magazine and the author of the New York Times’ best-seller All the Single Ladies.

To review a complete list of panels, including date and times, To submit general registration for the conference, please click here.

A limited number of press tickets are available to The Struggle for Voting Rights: A Conversation with Attorney General Eric Holder and Activism and Dissent in an Age of Polarization: A Discussion with Common. Please submit your requests to Lily Oberman by Thursday, August 30, via email at:

About Roosevelt University Roosevelt University, a private institution founded in 1945 on the principles of inclusion and social justice, has more than 4,500 students in five colleges. With campuses in the Chicago Loop and northwest suburban Schaumburg, Roosevelt offers 70 undergraduate and 40 graduate programs across five colleges and online, including arts and sciences, business, performing arts, education and pharmacy. Roosevelt has been ranked the fourth most racially diverse private university in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report – Best Colleges Rankings. For more information, visit 

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