Speaker Date Topic
DARK for Dethroning Jun 23, 2017
DARK for Independence Day Jun 30, 2017
Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati Jul 07, 2017
Executing the School District's Mission
Executing the School District's Mission

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati

Dr. Ben Drati has served as superintendent for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District since January 2017. Dr. Drati oversees the 16-school, preschool -12th grade district serving 11,000 students in the beach communities of Santa Monica and Malibu.

Dr. Drati previously served as assistant superintendent of secondary education in the Santa Barbara Unified School District from 2012 until joining SMMUSD early this year.

Dr. Drati began his career in education as a chemistry teacher and football coach in Fresno in 1997, and subsequently served as assistant principal, learning director, deputy principal and principal in central California school districts.

Dr. Drati is committed to involving all stakeholders in Excellence through Equity as the guiding principal of the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) for SMMUSD. Developing partnerships and relationships with businesses, agencies, law enforcement and community organizations to build a strong community and improve the learning environment for all students is very important to him.

Dr. Drati is married with two sons in high school and a daughter now in the workforce, and is in the process of relocating his family to the community.

Laura Talamante, Ph.D. Jul 14, 2017
Bastille Day!
Bastille Day!

Bastille Day: Its Historic Significance in a Local, National, and Global Context

Laura Talamante is an Associate Professor of History at California State University, Dominguez Hills. At CSU Dominguez Hills, she teaches courses in European and Women’s History. Dr. Talamante also guides student research in French and global revolutionary history, focusing on issues of human rights and social justice. She serves students and the campus as a Faculty Advising Fellow, co-advisor of Phi Alpha Theta: National History Honor Society, and as the current Vice Chair of the CSU Dominguez Hills Academic Senate. Dr. Talamante has been elected to serve as the Chair of the Academic Senate in 2017-2018.

Dr. Talamante earned her Ph.D. in History at UCLA, where her, “Les Citoyennes Marseillaises: Women and Political Change during the French Revolution,” won the Mary Wollstonecraft Dissertation Award from the UCLA Center for the Study of Women. She has published on women and citizenship development in eighteenth-century France, in both English and French-language journals. Her most recent article, “Political divisions, gender and politics: the case of revolutionary Marseille” was published by French History (Oxford University Press) in March 2017. Dr. Talamante is also the co-author of  “Transgresser au féminin : Rose Michel Reynoir, une féministe avant la lettre,” with Dr. Christophe Regina (Université de Toulouse), forthcoming in Transgresser, une voie pour les femmes? Genre, récits et usages de la transgression (Presses Universitaires de Provence). She has also published on innovative teaching pedagogy, using comparative global perspectives in journals such as The History Teacher.

Dr. Talamante has received numerous honors and awards, including French residential fellowships from the Brown Foundation for the Dora Maar House in Ménerbes and from the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France. Dr. Talamante has also worked collaboratively to bring educational history and cultural events to her campus. To this end, she has won two French American Cultural Exchange Tournée Festival of French Films grants and a National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture grant, among others.

District Governor Visit Jul 21, 2017
Rotary District 5280

We look forward to having our 2017-18 Rotary District 5280 District Governor, Cozette Vergari, at our meeting on this day! We'll get a "State of the District" account from the DG, and celebrate new members with Inductions!

SM Mayor Ted Winterer Jul 28, 2017
State of the City
State of the City
Hanna Song Aug 04, 2017
Social Change in North Korea: Current Trends and Future Prospects
Social Change in North Korea: Current Trends and Future Prospects


North Korea is often portrayed as a stuck-in-time Stalinist state, impervious to global trends and 21st Century modernity. At the level of international relations, this is justified; there has been very little progress over the last twenty years. Internally, however, multiple trends are changing the system and degrading the government's sources of power in irreversible ways. Drawing on insights from recent defectors and other sources, we will examine the significance of six long-term changes in North Korean society and discuss what this may mean for the future of the country. 

Hannah Song Bio

Hannah Song is President and CEO of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK).  She joined in 2006 as Deputy Director, managing day-to-day operations and coordinating overseas programs, including underground shelters and refugee resettlement efforts in the United States and in South Korea.  At the end of 2008, she became President/CEO, helping to re-launch the organization with a new mission focused on building international support for the North Korean people, providing direct assistance to North Korean refugees, and developing long-term, people-focused strategies to accelerate positive changes inside the country.  Hannah regularly speaks at international fora and to the media on North Korea-related issues.  Prior to joining LiNK, Hannah worked in advertising at OgilvyOne and Mindshare focusing on digital media and emerging technologies. She is a 2008 NetKAL fellow from the USC School of Social Work, and a 2016 Ashoka Korea Fellow.

Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) is an international NGO that assists North Korean refugees in China, helping them escape through a modern-day underground railroad to freedom.  The organization also utilizes multiple strategies to change the narrative on North Korea and works with North Korean defectors to pursue change and opening inside the country. For more information, please visit www.libertyinnorthkorea.org.



Ken Morris Aug 11, 2017
Human Rights & the Power of One
Human Rights & the Power of One

Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. Founder & President, Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives
Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. is descended from two of the most important names in American history: he is the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great grandson of Booker T. Washington. He is also the President of the public charity, Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, which uses education in schools across the U.S. to address and prevent contemporary forms of slavery or human trafficking.
Aside from his work in schools, Ken has been featured in the media on CNN, USA Today, PBS, NPR, The History Channel, and in the recent National Geographic documentary, Rise Up: The Legacy of Nat Turner.  His speaking engagements include: Columbia University, Morehouse College, Tuskegee University, Virginia Tech, Yale University and the United Nations. 
Ken received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of La Verne January, 2012. In June 2012, he received the National Park Services Network To Freedom Underground Railroad Frederick Douglass Legacy Award.  In January 2014, Ken was awarded the Women’s E-News 21 Leaders for the 21st Century Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism.  In April 2016, he received the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights’ Anne Frank Change the World Award. 
Ken strongly believes, as did Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, that knowledge is the pathway to freedom. 

Matthieu Clouvel Aug 18, 2017
Deputy Consul General of France
Sam Lagana Aug 25, 2017
Associate Vice Chancellor Pepperdine University

Sam Lagana is the Associate Vice Chancellor of Pepperdine University, and Rams Public Address Announcer!

DARK for Labor Day Sep 01, 2017
Prof. Gary Fouts of SMC Sep 08, 2017
Solar Eclipses
Marc Wanamaker Sep 15, 2017
History of Film Making in Santa Monica
Kaiser Permanente Sep 22, 2017
Affordable Care Act
Craft Talks Sep 29, 2017
2 New Members Tell Their Life Story

Come support two of our newest members as they each have 10 to 12 minutes to tell us their life story! It's always wonderful to learn more about our new friends!

David Tavers Oct 06, 2017
Current Trends in Tech Start Up Companies
Jackson Varady Oct 13, 2017
How to be Happy
How to be Happy

How to be Happy

The Art & Science of Turning Blahs Into Aahs

Originally from New York, Dr. Jackson Varady has made Santa Monica his home for the past 20 years.  In 2005 he and his wife, Dr. Pamela Varady, founded Dynamic Learning & Listening Center to provide therapies for individuals and families seeking to improve social, emotional, and cognitive functioning.  In addition to being a licensed clinical psychologist, he is a husband, father, son, brother, uncle, business owner and a friend.  It is through a keen awareness of the complexities of each of these roles and relationships, that allows him to easily connect with others and get straight to the heart of matters.  When appropriate he utilizes approaches and techniques including Solution Focused, Cognitive Behavioral, Positive Psychology, Psychodynamic, Mind-Body, as well as Interpersonal Neurobiology.

Senator Ben Allen Oct 20, 2017
Ms. Deirdre Fike Oct 27, 2017
Local FBI Director
DARK for Wine Fest Nov 03, 2017
Veterans Day! Nov 10, 2017
USC/UCLA Day! Nov 17, 2017
Joint Mtg. with Westwood Rotary
DARK for Thanksgiving Nov 24, 2017
Andrea Quintero Dec 01, 2017
Club Meeting & Elections Dec 08, 2017
State of the Club & Election of 2018-19 Officers & Directors
Holiday Luncheon Dec 15, 2017