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Some past presenters from our Virtual Speaker Series
have allowed us to record their presentations.
Those recordings are available to the public here.


Stay Connected and Informed —
Join Northwest Neighbors Village’s Virtual Speaker Series

Northwest DC is home to numerous dynamic, informed individuals.  Several have offered to share their expertise and insights in a series of talks. Plan to join us for one or all of these discussions, which are designed to engage and inform you. NNV’s Speaker Series is being offered free of charge to the community.

Postcards from the Border:  Poems and Watercolor Meditations
Tuesday, April 20, 11 a.m.
Speaker: Author, Poet, and Artist Nancy Arbuthnot

Nancy will do a reading and slide presentation of Postcards from the Border, highlighting some of her reflections on the border wall and her experiences in 2019 in the border towns of Douglas, AZ and Agua Prieta, Mexico. 

An artist, poet, and memoir-writer, Nancy has published several books, including Wild Washington: Animal Sculpture A to Z;  An American Artist in WWII: Jason Schoener at Eniwetok Atoll; and her latest, Postcards from the Border: Poems and Watercolor Meditations. She is retired from the U.S. Naval Academy, where she taught literature and writing for almost thirty years. She currently conducts art and poetry workshops at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop in DC.

The Golden Era at the Washington Post
Thursday, April 22, 1 p.m.
Speaker: Bob Levey, Retired Washington Post Columnist

“Bob Levey’s Washington” appeared daily in the Washington Post for more than 23 years.  He worked at the Post for more than 36 years and he still produces special assignments for the newspaper.  As he says, he was lucky to have been part of the paper during the tenures of the great Ben Bradlee, the equally great Katharine Graham, the famous Woodward and Bernstein, and many others. Bob’s new novel, Larry Felder, Candidate, is heavily drawn on his time at The Post. The book, his third, centers around a famous Washington newspaper columnist who abandons journalism to run for Congress in the Maryland suburbs. The character Larry runs into all sorts of heavy weather, involving love, corruption and those nasty newspaper reporters. But the good guys win in the end.  Bob will regale us with his tales about the Post and his new book.

Bob’s book is available for order at:

Centurion Justice for The Innocent & Imprisoned
Tuesday, April 27, 11 a.m.
Speaker: Paul Casteleiro, Legal Director, Centurion

The science of DNA has been of immense help in freeing the innocent from prison. However, despite the numbers of exonerations achieved utilizing DNA evidence, most claims of innocence do not have a scientific element available that would be probative of innocence. There are countless numbers of innocent men and women in prison whose cases require a complete field investigation and expert post-conviction legal assistance to help them obtain their rightful freedom. That’s where Centurion steps in. Centurion is a secular, national non-profit organization dedicated to the vindication of the wrongly convicted. Since 1983, Centurion has freed 63 men and women who were serving life or death sentences for crimes they did not commit. That’s over 1,200 years of life lost. They take on the hard cases, the ones others leave behind. Centurion re-investigates the crime, uncovering lost evidence, finding new evidence, convincing a coerced witness to come forward with the truth, overturning false confessions, and sometimes even finding the real criminal.  Paul will share updates about Centurion’s ongoing fight for justice for the wrongfully incarcerated.

Ocean Plastic Pollution:  Source to Solution
Thursday, April 29, 2 p.m.
Speaker: Nick Mallos, Senior Director, Trash Free Seas® Program Ocean Conservancy

Plastics now pollute all dimensions of our ocean from the sea surface to the seafloor, on remote beaches and in Arctic sea ice. An estimated 11 million tonnes of plastic waste flows into the ocean every year that includes lost plastic bags, bottles and other single use plastics as well as fishing gear, that are not only unsightly, but also dangerous to the environment and economy. Unabated, the situation will worsen exponentially, causing widespread ecological and economic damage and disruption. Given that global consumer demand for plastics is growing, and with it, investments in plastic production, Nick will discuss urgently needed global action and commitment to change. Ocean Conservancy has been driving systemic solutions against marine debris for 35 years, and is committed to science-based interventions that reduce, manage and clean-up plastic pollution in order to stabilize ocean health.

An NPR Correspondent's Life Covering COVID-19
Tuesday, May 4, 11 a.m.
Speaker: NPR Science Correspondent Joe Palca

NPR Science Correspondent Joe Palca began covering the emergence of a new respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus in January 2020. Joe will sketch the arc of the pandemic from a journalist’s point of view. He will talk about how covering COVID was complicated by the Trump Administration’s uneven messaging, and the tension between science and politics that impacted coverage.

Joe Palca is a science correspondent for NPR. Since joining NPR in 1992, Palca has covered a range of science topics — everything from biomedical research to astronomy. He is currently focused on the eponymous series, "Joe's Big Idea." Stories in the series explore the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors. Palca is also the founder of NPR Scicommers – A science communication collective.


How the Kennedy Brothers Changed the World
Tuesday, May 11, 11 a.m.
Speaker: Author Lawrence J. Haas

The Kennedys in the World, a new book by Lawrence Haas, tells a new, rich, fascinating, and consequential story about Jack, Bobby, and Ted Kennedy. From an early age the brothers developed a deep understanding of the different peoples, cultures, and ideologies around the world; a keen appreciation for the challenges that such differences created for the United States; and a strong desire to reshape America’s response to them.

From their childhoods in the first half of the 20th century, the brothers were prodded by their parents to learn and care about the world – and told they could shape America’s role in it. For more than six decades after World War II, the brothers shaped broad issues of war and peace as well as the U.S. response to almost every major global challenge of their times: the Soviet Union and China, the Cold War and Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Chile, Nicaragua and El Salvador, Korea and Vietnam, South Africa and Northern Ireland, and Iraq (twice).

In their time, America was what it remains today – the world’s greatest power, with roles and responsibilities that stretch across the planet. Consequently, as the brothers remade America’s empire, they invariably changed the world.

Introducing the Capital Jewish Museum
Tuesday, May 18, 11 a.m. (Date changed from May 20th)
Speaker: Kara Blond, Executive Director

The Capital Jewish Museum is a new museum and cultural center under construction just blocks from the Capitol at 3rd and F Streets NW.  The Museum is being built around Washington’s first purpose-built 1876 synagogue, which was moved to the site as its centerpiece.  Executive Director Kara Blond will share with us plans for the Museum, news of its construction, its mission, and collection. The Museum will inspire audiences to connect across families and diverse communities, reflect on the relevance of history to today, and act on behalf of their values and the community. The museum will have an unconventional, experimental spirit — engaging visitors through immersive storytelling, dynamic programs, and hands-on interactive experiences that explore the city’s story through a Jewish lens. 

US-German Relations Under Angela Merkel and Joe Biden
Tuesday, May 25, 11 a.m.
Speaker: Der Spiegel Reporter René Pfister

After arriving in the U.S. as Washington Bureau Chief for Der Spiegel, René covered American politics and the 2020 election. Having covered Angela Merkel for 10 years while in Berlin, he now is focusing on U.S. German relations under the Merkel and Biden Administrations, with Merkel at the end of her Administration and Biden at the beginning of his.  René will share what it is like to be a foreign correspondent in Washington during these unsettling political times.

René Pfister was born in 1974 in Müllheim/Baden, Germany. He studied political science and journalism at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. In 2000, René moved to Berlin where he worked as a political reporter for the news agencies ddp and Reuters.  He started working as a correspondent for Der Spiegel’s Berlin bureau in 2004, becoming Deputy Bureau Chief in 2010, and Bureau Chief in 2015.  In 2019, he moved with his family to DC to work as Der Spiegel’s Washington Bureau Chief.  Der Spiegel is Europe’s largest news magazine with a weekly circulation of 800,000 copies. With its German and English website, Der Spiegel reaches an audience of 20 million readers.

Click on the title of the program in which you are interested to register. Once registered, you will receive an email with the link to attend the day before the program.

If you or someone you know would like to be a speaker in the future, please email

NNV programs are partially funded by: 

Northwest Neighbors Village   P.O. Box 39135   Washington, DC 20016
(202) 935-6060