MORAGA -- Robert Reich, an economist, professor and secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton, will headline the annual January speaker series at Saint Mary's College.

Reich, a UC Berkeley professor and author of 13 books, will speak Jan. 25 on "Why the Economy Is Still So Bad, and Why Our Politics Is So Angry."

The series also features social commentator and satirist damali ayo, author of "How to Rent a Negro" and "Obamamistan;" Christian activist Shane Claiborne, author of "The Irresistible Revolution" and founding partner of The Simple Way, a faith community in inner city Philadelphia; and Nikki Silva, one of National Public Radio's Kitchen Sisters and a creator of the "Lost & Found Sound" segments on All Things Considered. With the theme of "New Histories: Reliving, Rethinking, Remaking," the monthlong series "invites reflection on today's news, political events and economic times through the prism of re-examined history," according to the college.

The lecture series is free and open to the public. They will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Soda Center, Saint Mary's College of California, 1928 St. Mary's Road in Moraga, on the following dates:

  • Jan. 5 -- damali ayo, "Creative Rethinking: Make Your History Now!"

    Ayo, an artist, author, yoga teacher and leadership facilitator, uses humor in her books, lectures and workshops as a means to find common ground in questions of race. Her work has been featured in more than 100 publications, including the Village Voice, Washington Post and Salon.com.

  • Jan. 12 -- The Kitchen Sisters, "Building Community Through Storytelling"

    Nikki Silva, one of the Kitchen Sisters, will share how she and collaborator Davia Nelson remember, record and rethink situations. The Kitchen Sisters are producers of the DuPont-Columbia Award-winning NPR series "Hidden Kitchens" and two Peabody Award-winning NPR productions, "Lost & Found Sound" and "The Sonic Memorial Project."

  • Jan. 18 -- Shane Claiborne, "Another World Is Possible"

    Claiborne focuses on how individuals and communities can live out their spirituality and asks his listeners to remake the world more justly. He has served alongside Mother Teresa in India and has spent time in Baghdad with the Iraq Peace Team.

    He has written several books, including "The Irresistible Revolution," and he is a founding partner of The Simple Way, a faith community in Philadelphia that helps create and connect radical faith communities around the world.

  • Jan. 25 -- Robert Reich, "Aftershock: Why the Economy Is Still So Bad and Why Our Politics Is So Angry"

    Reich, the Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, will address why it is so difficult for the nation to get out of the gravitational pull of the Great Recession and why American politics has become angrier and more polarized.

    In his view, the two are related. Reich's most recent book is the bestseller "Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future."