The Benwood Foundation, in partnership with The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies, and CreateHere, has announced that the 2009 George T. Hunter Lecture Series will kick off on January 13th with world-renowned historian and author, Doris Kearns Goodwin. Goodwin, an expert on presidential politics, is the author of several books including the Pulitzer Prize-winning No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The American Homefront During World War II. Her most recent book is entitled Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, which won the Lincoln Prize and the Book Prize for American History. Speaking just one week prior to the presidential inauguration, Goodwin’s lecture will focus on leadership lessons learned from Abraham Lincoln.
“We hope to build on the success of last year’s lecture series by continuing to encourage a public dialogue on issues that affect our community and our nation,” said Corinne Allen, Executive Director of the Benwood Foundation. “We plan to create more opportunities for the speakers to engage with the community. We hope that the George T. Hunter Lecture Series will continue to promote civic engagement and education for all Chattanoogans.”
Named after the Benwood Foundation’s founder, the lecture series will bring four of the nation’s leading experts to Chattanooga to speak on leadership, education, environmental justice and community development. Last year’s speakers included former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright and Pulitzer Prize winner Frank McCourt.
“UTC is proud to continue its partnership with the Benwood Foundation, in order to bring some of the nation’s most respected thinkers to our city and our campus,” said UTC Chancellor Roger Brown. “By bringing together community leaders, residents, practitioners and scholars, we hope that the George T. Hunter Lecture Series can serve an important role in our collective, community learning process.”
Speakers in the 2009 George T. Hunter Lecture Series will also include:
- John Merrow, March 3, 2009: Mr. Merrow is the Education Correspondent for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. He is the author of Choosing Excellence and has been a frequent contributor to NPR and national op-ed pages on education issues. Merrow will speak about his observations regarding the progress of public education in the United States.
- Van Jones, September 15, 2009: Jones is the founder and president of Green For All, a nonprofit based in Oakland, California, dedicated to building an inclusive, green economy. Jones will be speaking on the power of new “green collar jobs” to address both social inequality and environmental destruction.
- David Brooks, November 17, 2009: Brooks is a columnist for The New York Times and author of two social commentaries including the best-seller Bobos in Paradise. Brooks will speak on community development.
The lectures will begin at 7 p.m. in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall located inside the Fine Arts Center on the UTC campus. All lectures are free and open to the public. Seating is limited and is on a first-come first-serve basis. More information on the George T. Hunter Lecture Series is available at www.benwood.org.
Detailed biographies of the speakers follow:
Doris Kearns Goodwin: Doris Kearns Goodwin, world-renowned historian, is the author of several books and has written for leading national publications. She is a commentator for NBC, and a consultant and on-air person for PBS documentaries on Lyndon B. Johnson, the Kennedy Family, Franklin Roosevelt, and Ken Burns’ The History of Baseball. Her book, No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The American Home Front During World War II, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in April 1995.
Her most recent work, entitled Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, published in October 2005 won the 2006 Lincoln Prize for an outstanding work about the president and/or the Civil War.
John Merrow: Now education correspondent for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, John Merrow began his career as an education reporter with National Public Radio in 1974, when he created ‘Options in Education.’
A frequent contributor to the op-ed pages of many newspapers, including USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Education Week, Merrow is the author of “Choosing Excellence” (Scarecrow, 2001) and co-editor of “Declining by Degrees” (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2005).
Merrow is a former junior high and high school teacher, and is the founder of Learning Matters, the non-profit organization he founded in 1995, and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching at Stanford.
Van Jones: Van Jones is founding president of Green For All (www.greenforall.org) and a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress. Green For All is a U.S. organization that promotes green-collar jobs and opportunities for the disadvantaged. Its mission is to build an inclusive, green economy – strong enough to resolve the ecological crisis and lift millions of people out of poverty.
A 1993 Yale Law graduate, Van is the author of Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems. He is a tireless advocate, committed to creating “green pathways out of poverty” and greatly expanding the coalition fighting global warming.
David Brooks: David Brooks is a columnist for The New York Times and author. He is a keen observer of the American way of life and a savvy analyst of present-day politics and foreign affairs. He holds several prestigious positions as a commentator: bi-weekly Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, regular analyst on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and NPR’s All Things Considered. He is the author of two books of what he calls “comic sociology” – Bobos in Paradise and On Paradise Drive.