The George T. Hunter Lecture Series (Hunter Lecture Series) celebrates its fifth year with the announcement of the speakers for 2012-2013: education historian and former Assistant Secretary of Education, Diane Ravitch; Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and columnist for the New York Times, Thomas Friedman; urban farming activist and MacArthur “Genius” award winner, Will Allen; and host and producer of the radio show This American Life, Ira Glass.
“The 2012-2013 speakers are a great representation of the Hunter Lecture Series’ focus on bringing the nation’s foremost thinkers and leaders to Chattanooga in the areas of education, community development, arts and culture, and environmental issues,” says Corinne Allen, executive director of the Benwood Foundation. “We put careful consideration into each speaker. We endeavor to pursue those who we hope will generate meaningful dialogue around big ideas and how they apply to community issues within Chattanooga.”
Over the past four years, speakers have included two Pulitzer Prize Winners, two Peabody Award Winners, two MacArthur Genius Fellows, four listed on the TIME 100 Most Influential People, and have collectively authored 12 best-selling books. Past speakers have included Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Brooks, Malcolm Gladwell, Mayor Cory Booker, Michelle Rhee and Michael Pollan.
“The Hunter Lecture Series provides an excellent learning opportunity for UTC students and faculty - as well as our community,” says UTC Chancellor Roger Brown. “The series puts us in the same room with nationally renowned speakers to learn what they have to say first hand and ask questions. It helps to create an awareness for us all on larger scale issues and is truly an enlightening experience.”
The process to book a speaker takes around 18 months and ideas for speakers come from recommendations from the Hunter Lecture Series attendees, current events and trending topics. The series provides a unique opportunity to have access to and learn from nationally renowned leaders - and are free and open to the public.
The Hunter Lecture Series is made possible by The Benwood Foundation in partnership with UTC.
2012-2013 Lineup and Bios
Education: Diane Ravitch
Sept. 18, 7 p.m. Roland Hayes Auditorium UTC Campus
Education historian and Former Assistant Secretary of Education. Author of the bestselling book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, Diane Ravitch now repudiates positions that she once staunchly advocated. Drawing on over forty years of research and experience, Ravitch is a critic of today's most popular ideas for restructuring schools, including privatization, standardized testing, punitive accountability, and charter schools. For a full biography, visit: http://www.dianeravitch.com/vita.html.
Community Development: Thomas Friedman
Nov. 13, 7 p.m. Tivoli Theatre
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and columnist for the New York Times. Thomas Friedman has written extensively on foreign affairs, including globalization, the Middle East, and environmental issues. He is the author of six books, including the bestsellers Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution and That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World it Invented and How We Can Come Back. For a full biography, visit: http://www.thomaslfriedman.com/about-the-author.
Environment: Will Allen
Feb. 26, 7 p.m. Roland Hayes Auditorium UTC Campus
Urban Farming Activist and MacArthur “Genius” award winner. Will Allen is the founder of Growing Power, a 2-acre urban farm in Milwaukee that produces thousands of pounds of healthy food each year for the surrounding low-income neighborhoods. The internships and workshops hosted by Growing Power engage young adults, often minorities and immigrants, in producing healthy foods for their communities. His new book, The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People and Communities, outlines how local food systems can strengthen the health and economy of communities across the nation. For a full biography, visit: http://www.growingpower.org/assets/presskit.pdf.
Arts & Culture: Ira Glass
April 7, 4 p.m. Tivoli Theatre
Host and Producer of the radio show, This American Life. Over the last 17 years, This American Life has become a public radio institution that is now heard weekly by nearly two million listeners. The show has been pioneering in its journalistic approach to old-fashioned storytelling. For a full biography, visit: http://barclayagency.com/glass.html.
For more information on the Hunter Lecture Series, visit www.benwood.org.