Ware Lecture
Ware Lecture
General Assembly, GA Programs & Schedule

2020 Ware Lecturer

The 2020 Ware Lecturer will be Naomi Klein. 

Naomi Klein is the inaugural Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University, and an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and international and New York Times bestselling author of, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal (2019), The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes On the Disaster Capitalists (2018), No Is Not Enough: Resisting the New Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need (2017), This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (2014), The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) and No Logo (2000).

In 2016 she was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize, for, “exposing the structural causes and responsibility for the climate crisis, for inspiring us to stand up locally, nationally and internationally to demand a new agenda for sharing the planet that respects human rights and equality, and for reminding us of the power of authentic democracy to achieve transformative change and justice.”

She is co-organizer of Canada’s Leap Manifesto, a blueprint for a rapid and justice-based transition off fossil fuels endorsed by over 200 organizations, tens of thousands of individuals, which inspired similar climate justice initiatives around the world. She is now a co-founder and advisory board chair of The Leap, a climate justice organization developed from the Manifesto that exists to inject new urgency and bold ideas into confronting the intersecting crises of our time: climate change, racism and inequality. In 2015, she was invited to speak at the Vatican to help launch Pope Francis’s historic encyclical on ecology, Laudato si’.​

She is a regular media commentator in print, radio and television around the world, appearing on such shows as Fareed Zakaria’s GPS on CNN, BBC Newsnight and HARDTalk, Democracy Now, The Rachel Maddow Show, The Colbert Report, The Tavis Smiley Show, Charlie Rose and HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher

She has been interviewed and profiled in hundreds of magazines and newspapers and podcasts including a major profile in The New Yorker magazine where she was called “the most visible and influential figure on the American left—what Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky were thirty years ago.”  She has been ranked as one of the world’s top 100 public intellectuals in Prospect magazine, as one of the 100 People Who Are Changing America in Rolling Stone and was named as one of Ms. Magazine’s Women of the Year.

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History of the Ware Lecture

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) President, in consultation with the General Assembly Planning Committee, invites a distinguished guest each year to address the General Assembly as the Ware Lecturer.

In 1920, Harriet E. Ware of Milton, MA, bequeathed $5,000 to the American Unitarian Association (AUA) for its unrestricted use. Two years later, on the evening of May 24, 1922, the first Ware Lecture was given by the Rev. Frederick W. Norwood, pastor of the City Temple in London, England. The lecture had been "established in honor of the distinguished services of three generations of the Ware family to the cause of Pure Christianity."

The lecture has been given every year at the former May Meetings of the AUA and since 1961 at the General Assembly. No lecture was scheduled for 1945 due to World War II, although Morris S. Lazaron delivered an address on May 23, 1945 at All Souls Church in Washington, DC, which is referred to as a Ware lecture. There was no lecture in 1950 when the Unitarians celebrated their 125th anniversary.

The Harvard Square Library maintains a history of the Ware Lecture, including illustrated biographical notes.

Previous Ware Lecturers

Previous Ware Lecturers have included the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Kurt Vonnegut, and poet Mary Oliver.

About the Author

For more information contact generalassembly@uua.org.

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