EDISON — The Wardlaw-Hartridge School welcomed Princeton University professor Kwame Anthony Appiah to deliver the inaugural presentation of the Snowdon Global Lecture Series on October 18 in the Upper Snowdon library. The lecture series is being sponsored by Wardlaw Country Day School alumnus Ted Snowdon ’65.
After a brief introduction from Andrew Webster, Head of School, Dr. Appiah presented an engaging lecture to parents, faculty members and students. Dr. Appiah opened by sharing that he was the product of a mixed marriage and tied in his origins with the belief that “we should always remember we are all citizens of the world.”
Dr. Appiah was born in London to a Ghanaian father and a white mother. He was raised in Ghana, and educated in England, at Cambridge University, where he received a Ph.D. in philosophy. As a scholar of African and African-American studies, he established himself as an intellectual with a broad reach.
He made a connection with the audience, following a 45-minute lecture with a question and answer session that ran another 45 minutes. Parents asked insightful questions and Dr. Appiah took the opportunity to expand on his presentation with detailed replies.
Dr. Appiah, who has been named one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 public intellectuals, offered metaphors of global citizenship during his lecture and urged everyone to care for their fellow world citizens. He stressed the importance of having conversations, emphasizing the importance of sharing ideas and learning from people of different cultures and beliefs.
“You can take good ideas from all over the world,” Dr. Appiah said. “You should listen to other people because there is always something to learn and they should listen to you as well. Even if you disagree, expose yourself to things that aren’t entirely comfortable. We have much to learn from each other.”
Dr. Appiah’s lecture reflected the mission of The Wardlaw-Hartridge School, which strives to prepare its students to lead and succeed in a world of global interconnections. The school prides itself on cultivating responsible global citizens.
“Professor Appiah’s message resonated strongly with the mission and culture of our school,” Mr. Webster said. “At Wardlaw-Hartridge, we cultivate a sense of cosmopolitanism, by which I mean raising students who feel a strong sense of connection and engagement with the world, who embrace diversity and seek to understand multiple perspectives and cultural traditions, who develop comfort in working closely and communicating with a diverse set of people, and who demonstrate a sense of responsibility not just to one nation or tribe, but to all of the world.”
“Professor Appiah’s philosophy of cosmopolitanism reaffirms that our students require not only academic knowledge of international issues, but also a positive disposition toward understanding them,” added Mrs. Susan Ritter, the school’s Director of Global Learning. “In this way, the Wardlaw-Hartridge School’s vision for global learning is intended to create world citizens who may interact effectively across cultural boundaries.”