Voices and Verities

Rob Pelinka

My commitment was always to THE EXCELLENCE OF THE NOW. It wasn’t, ‘I want to be the GM of the Lakers in 20 years, how do I get there?’ That’s a really low probability. But I think excellence in the now is a 100 percent possibility.”

Rob Pelinka, general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers and previously the agent representing Lakers great Kobe Bryant. Pelinka spoke to law students and practicing attorneys at the Fowler School of Law’s 2018 Entertainment and Sports Law Symposium.


Arianna Ngnomire ’19 with Angela Davis

Arianna Ngnomire ’19

“Angela Davis is one of my idols because she is a leader who recognizes her own contradictions in life. Instead of simply stating what is right or wrong, she challenges everyone to ask themselves why they think the way they do. She is highly misunderstood in this regard.

She inspires me to put myself on the line, but to do so in a way that will make lasting change. Sustainable activism was something she brought up in her speech. Many activists have a burnout phase, putting all of the pressure on themselves. Sustainable activism is not only doing things to bring awareness but inspiring others to help. It is ensuring organizations are put in place to keep the task going when the “leader” is no longer able to do so.

I see myself in Angela Davis. I see the possibilities that I can be, and I am encouraged to go above and beyond. It makes me hopeful that one day I’ll be able to inspire the next generation of activists.”

Arianna Ngnomire ’19, screen acting major, president of the Black Student Union 2017–18 and vice president of the Student Government Association 2018–19. Ngnomire reflects on meeting Davis when the social activist, writer and distinguished professor emerita at UC Santa Cruz spoke recently in Memorial Hall.

Rebecca Skloot

“When you consider the rise of science advocates on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and you look at the history of science, the public has never had more access to scientists. I think that presents so much possibility.”

Rebecca Skloot, Chapman presidential scholar, science writer and best-selling author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” speaking to students about a perceived erosion of public trust in science.




Justin Simien ’05

“You’re all storytellers. The lives we lead, the things we accept and don’t, the things we stand for and the things that we stand against. The culture we’ve created doesn’t have to be in charge of us. We can be in charge of it. Story by story, life by life.”

Justin Simien ’05, acclaimed filmmaker who wrote and directed the feature “Dear White People,” now also a Netflix series. Simien gave the keynote address during Chapman’s recent Baccalaureate ceremony.


Display image at top/Filmmaker Justin Simien ’05 gives the keynote talk at Chapman University’s 2018 Baccalaureate ceremony.

This story appeared in the spring 2018 issue of Chapman Magazine.


Add comment