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Thompson Forum focuses on environment with best-selling authors, activists
The E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln has announced its 2020-21 series, “Regeneration: Leadership and Hope for a Changing Planet.” In its 32nd season, the forum will welcome four acclaimed speakers — Mary Pipher, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and Ann Bancroft — and host a new youth panel.
Through discussion of environmental concerns, history, grassroots activism and polar exploration, this year’s speakers and the youth panel will focus on how people can and should thoughtfully respond to current issues, from COVID-19 to climate change to political polarization.
All events except for the youth panel will be at the Lied Center for Performing Arts. The panel will be at the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts.
- Sept. 2, 7 p.m.: Mary Pipher, “Trauma and Recovery: A New Story of Interconnection and Action” — Pipher is an author, activist and clinical psychologist. She has written 10 books, including the No. 1 New York Times bestseller “Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls” and most recently “Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing as We Age.” In 2013, she published “The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture” about environmental activism in Nebraska.
- Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m.: Doris Kearns Goodwin, “Leadership in Turbulent Times” — Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker and Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times-bestselling author. Her 2018 book, “Leadership in Turbulent Times,” provides an accessible roadmap to leadership amid her five decades of historical expertise. This event is the 25th annual Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities, presented by Humanities Nebraska.
Nov. 4, 7 p.m. Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, “Roots of Revolution” — Martinez is a powerful voice in the global youth-led environmental movement. Since age 6, he has spoken around the world, from the Rio+20 United Nations Summit to the General Assembly at the U.N. A musician and activist, he is also known as a fashion model, philanthropist and cross-cultural icon.
Feb. 23, 2021, 7 p.m.: Youth panel: “Naming the Beast: Climate Change and Our Youth Taking Action” — This Cooper Conversation features a panel of youth activists who seek to inspire the broader community with discussion focused on solutions and action regarding environmental issues that threaten their future. Student artwork will be showcased at the event.
- March 31, 2021, 7 p.m.: Ann Bancroft, “No Horizon is So Far” — Bancroft is one of the world’s pre-eminent polar explorers and an internationally recognized educator who is dedicated to inspiring women and girls around the world. Through her various roles as explorer, educator, speaker and philanthropist, she shares stories related to outdoor adventure to inspire a global audience to pursue their individual dreams.
A limited number of free tickets are available from the Lied Center. To order tickets, click here, call 402-472-4747 or visit the Lied Center box office, 301 N. 12th St. Forums are general-admission events; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the 2020 events will feature socially distanced seating. In addition, all patrons, volunteers and staff will be required to wear face coverings while inside the Lied Center. Decisions on the final two events will be made later. For more information on the Lied’s ticketing policies and health and safety measures, click here.
Events will be streamed on the E.N. Thompson Forum website, and links will be available to a Mozilla Hubs virtual reality platform that will house speaker information and the livestreams. The Goodwin event will stream by registration only. All other livestreams will be available on NET, LNKTV City and LNKTV Education. The Sept. 2 event will be broadcast on ALLO channel 23 and Charter Spectrum 1303. Channel information for the season will be updated on the forum website. Events other than the Sept. 22 date will also be accessible on campus channel 4 and KRNU radio 90.3 FM. All talks are interpreted for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.
A pre-forum talk related to the speaker’s topic by a local expert will be available in video format on the Thompson Forum website and the Mozilla Hubs site one week before each forum.
The E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues is a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, Lied Center and the university. It was established in 1988 with the purpose of bringing a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the university and people of Nebraska to promote understanding and encourage discussion.