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A collection of lectures from respected academics, writers, public radio personalities and activists.

A collection of lectures from respected academics, writers, public radio personalities and activists.
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Seattle, WA


A collection of lectures from respected academics, writers, public radio personalities and activists.






4518 University Way NE, Suite 310 Seattle WA 98105 206-543-2710


‘We will be heard!’ Voices from Seattle Women’s March 2.0

Tens of thousands of people participated in the second annual Seattle Women’s March. The day started with a rally of fiery speeches to warm up participants on a chilly, rainy morning.


Carmen Maria Machado's ‘The Husband Stitch’

There have been so many momentous days recently. Today, for instance, women around the U.S. and the world (and their allies) are participating in the second annual Women’s March. Yesterday, Congress shut down the government due to differences over border security and immigration.


Sure, things are stressful. But how’s the Constitution?

The political climate in the United States is marked by ultra-partisanship. So it’s a good time to ask, how’s the Constitution holding up? A recent event brought together two people with a depth of political and jurisprudent experience to explore that question.


Ijeoma Oluo: MLK and ‘an anger born from love’

This year will mark the 50 th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Today, the United States celebrates the birth of the great non-violence activist and civil rights leader. The federal holiday was signed into law in 1983 by President Reagan, but it wasn’t until the year 2000 that all 50 states officially observed the holiday.


Dr. Strangelove 2.0 or: How Daniel Ellsberg learned to start worrying and hate the bomb

The acronym MAD stands for mutual assured destruction. The concept has been a cornerstone of U.S. military security policy since soon after the creation of nuclear weapons. The theory: What sane super-power leader would start a nuclear war knowing Armageddon would be the result? To this day, that either helps you sleep at night, or the opposite.


Maria Hinojosa on due process, 'crimigration' and detention camps in the U.S.

Maria Hinojosa and her team at Latino USA have been reporting on how Latinos and Hispanics experience and impact the United States since 1992. That ethnic group accounted for more than half of the total U.S. population growth from 2000 to 2014. The Pew Research Center predicts they will make up 24 percent of the population here by 2065.


Tom Hanks has two Best Actor Oscars, and it turns out he’s a writer, too

And now for something maybe completely unexpected. Tom Hanks wrote a book. The prolific actor credits writer and filmmaker Nora Ephron with encouraging his writing years ago on the set of “Sleepless in Seattle.” He later wrote a piece about a friend in the film business and ran it by Ephron, asking “Is this a thing?” She said yes, with some qualifications, and Hanks took her advice to heart.


Listen to these Native poets read their work

As we begin another new year in these United States of America, it’s an opportune time to listen in to the creative voices of descendants of the original inhabitants of these lands.


Khizr Khan on love, loss and the Constitution

Khizr Khan is an American citizen of Pakistani descent. He is perhaps most famous for the fact that he carries a copy of the U.S. Constitution in his breast pocket and for a speech he gave at the Democratic National Convention in 2016.


The da Vinci lesson: What really matters is being creative

Looking back at a year that was tumultuous in so many ways, this talk by author Walter Isaacson stands out as something that has almost nothing to do with our modern day trials and tribulations.


Keep Christmas weird in Seattle: Listen to 'A Rogue's Christmas'

For the past eleven years the crew of Town Hall Seattle’s "Short Stories Live" series has presented a celebration of storytelling they call "A Rogue’s Christmas." Curator Jean Sherrard chooses seasonally-appropriate readings. It’s always a festive, thought-provoking and slightly devious gathering — just the thing to keep Christmas weird in Seattle.


Hillary Clinton: ‘I still find hope everywhere’

There’s a rap against Hillary Rodham Clinton: that she’s cold, robotic. That was certainly not the persona she presented on her visit to Seattle this week. If Clinton were a robot, she’d be the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em variety, with a healthy dash of reflective and forward-thinking feminist, doting grandmother and super-sharp political analyst. Clinton was on the road with her new book, “What Happened.” The work is a reflection on her failed run for president, and how she is recovering from the...


Prepare to be charmed by Isabel Allende, even in the midst of winter

Writer Isabel Allende has cast a spell on her readers since at least 1982, when she published her first major work “The House of the Spirts.” Her fiction, noted for elements of magic realism, has struck a deep chord. She has sold nearly 70 million books.


What these Seattleites did in the first year of Trump (besides help write a book)

What’s a progressive citizenry to do? It’s been over a year since President Donald Trump was elected. Liberal Seattleites reacted to that event (they call it “the incident” here) in various ways. The individuals you’ll hear in these talks switched careers, took a road trip to conservative Oregon, reflected on the balance between parenting and activism, sought ways to confront family divisions, and took up boxing.


Color blind or color silent? Dr. Beverly Tatum on the continuing problem of talking about race

In 1997 Dr. Beverly Tatum published her acclaimed book "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race.” The work explores an enduring American reluctance to acknowledge the realities of racial identity development and racism. For the last twenty years, it has served as a catalyst in efforts to address those realities.


In which Dan Savage tries to get Esther Perel high and they talk about infidelity

It’s the holiday season, so oh what fun it is to offer you this moment in time when renowned sex advice columnist Dan Savage met renowned sex therapist Esther Perel for an extremely frank discussion of marriage and infidelity.


In awe of nature, people and place: Ampersand gets the great Northwest under your skin

Once a year Ampersand magazine hosts an evening of storytelling, poetry and performance that reflects upon the unique nature of life in the Northwest. The magazine comes under the umbrella of Forterra, an organization committed to making our lives here sustainable.


Lawrence O’Donnell reflects on echoes of a historically tragic year

Author and political commentator Lawrence O’Donnell was a teenager in 1968. He recalls the time in some detail. He was coming of age as someone drawn to politics and directly affected by the Vietnam War.


Thanksgiving for every wrong move. 'Pie & Whiskey' writers get saucy in Seattle

It’s Thanksgiving week, and among the many things one might be thankful for, pie and whiskey could be high on your list. A group of writers led by Kate Lebo and Sam Ligon certainly thought so. They thought so much of that duo that they created the anthology “ Pie & Whiskey: Writers under the Influence of Butter & Booze.”


‘Civic Saturday’ inspires a renewed appreciation of the rights and duties of citizenship

Do we teach Civics anymore? Technically, yes, in the public school systems of all 50 states. We often call it Government. But are these courses fulfilling the spirit of our country’s founding when it comes to civic responsibility? Thomas Jefferson had something like this in mind: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”


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