MCC’s Ballenger Lecture Series to feature John Quiñones

FLINT — John Quiñones, journalist, author, and creator and host of television’s What Would You Do? will be the featured speaker for the 2021 season of the Ballenger Eminent Persons Lecture Series at Mott Community College (MCC) April 1 at 7 p.m. via live stream. To access the presentation, go to

Quiñones and Stephanie Land, author of Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, were scheduled to speak in 2020, but their appearances were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Land will be rescheduled at a later date.

“We are thrilled we were able to reschedule John Quiñones for the Ballenger Eminent Persons Lecture Series this year,” said Lecture Series Chair, Dr. Dalton Connally, Program Coordinator for the Social Work Technician program in the Fine Arts & Social Sciences Division. “He brings to life the transformative power of education on socio-economic success in America through a compelling personal story.”

Quiñones will share his odds-defying journey, celebrating the life-changing power of education, championing the Latino American Dream, and providing thought-provoking insights into human nature and ethical behavior. A lifetime of “never taking no for an answer” took Quiñones from migrant farm work and poverty to more than 30 years at ABC News and the anchor desk at 20/20 and Primetime. Along the way, he broke through barriers, won the highest accolades, and became a role model for many.

The Ballenger Eminent Persons Lecture Series, named for benefactor William S. Ballenger, Sr., brings prominent individuals to the college to lecture on topics of social, cultural, economic, scientific and historical significance. It was created to enhance educational opportunities for MCC students as well as create a public discussion of issues facing the greater Flint community.

Since its inception in 1955, speakers have included national and international thought leaders and influencers such as rocket scientist Werner Von Braun, journalists Alistair Cooke and Peter Jennings, art critic Stanley Kaufman, talk show host Geraldo Rivera, writers Alex Haley and William Buckley, humorist Art Buchwald, Black activist Julian Bond, businessman Daymond John, musician and author Patti Smith, mental health advocate and actor Sean Astin, former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, actress and activist Jenifer Lewis, and journalist and author Sonia Nazario. — G.G.