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Martin Luther King III, Yale Law School professor among 2021–22 BYU forum speakers

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Forum speakers pictured from left to right: Martin Luther King III, Reverend Doctor Andrew Teal, William Barber II (top); Marilynne Robinson, James Fallows, Amy Chua (bottom).

Six times a year, BYU invites an expert in his or her field to deliver a forum address on campus. This academic year, the following distinguished speakers will address the campus community on a variety of topics relating to the theme of "Creating a Beloved Community."

Forum lectures are held on Tuesdays at 11:05 a.m. Information on the mode of delivery of each forum will be announced at a later date.

Here's the 2021–22 academic year forum schedule:

September 28, 2021
Martin Luther King III is a lawyer and an American human rights advocate. The oldest son and oldest living child of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, he served as the fourth president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference from 1997 to 2004. On April 4, 2008, the 40th anniversary of his father’s death, King and Al Sharpton led a march around Memphis, Tennessee. There, he visited the Lorraine Hotel for the first time since his father’s death and placed a wreath where his father stood before being shot. As he spoke to those who participated in the march, King called for them to continue his father’s fight and promoted the nonprofit organization Realizing the Dream, which he said sought to eliminate poverty. In 2005, he told Ebony magazine, “My father’s views were unequivocal, and I have found them to be invaluable to me as guidelines for prayerful consideration of current events and issues” (“What Would King Do Now?”).

October 26, 2021
Rev. Dr. Andrew Teal is a chaplain and Fellow at Pembroke College and lecturer in theology and religion within Oxford University. He is warden of the Community of the Sisters of the Love of God and a trustee of All Saints Sisters of the Poor, Helen and Douglas House children’s hospices, St John’s Home for vulnerable people and The Porch for homeless people, all in Oxford. He has published in the U.K. and Europe in English and Russian on patristic and modern theology. Among his recent publications is “Inspiring Service: Interfaith Remarks with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland at Oxford,” published in 2019 by the Religious Studies Center at BYU. Teal will join the BYU Maxwell Institute in fall 2021 as an affiliate faculty member.

November 30, 2021
William Barber II is a pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and a prominent figure in the current civil rights landscape. Barber is the president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival, bishop with The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries and visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary. He is also the author of four books: “We Are Called to Be a Movement,” “Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing,” “The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement Is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear” and “Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation.” Barber served as president of the North Carolina NAACP and currently sits on the National NAACP Board of Directors. Barber is regularly featured in media outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Nation magazine, among others.

January 25, 2022
Marilynne Robinson studied English at the University of Washington, where she received her Ph.D. in 1977. She has written multiple fiction and non-fiction works. Her first novel, “Housekeeping,” won the PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award for best first novel and was shortlisted for a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Her second novel, “Gilead” (2004), received a Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her third novel, “Home” (2008), received the U.K.’s Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction. In 2020 Robinson published “Jack,” the fourth novel in the Gilead sequence—“a beautiful, superbly crafted meditation on the redemption and transcendence that love affords.” Dr. Robinson was a professor of English and creative writing at the University of Iowa from 1991 to 2016. In 2012, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama.

February 15, 2022
James Fallows is an American writer and journalist. He has been a staff writer for The Atlantic since the late 1970s. He and his wife, Deborah Fallows, are the authors of the 2018 book “Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America,” which was a national best-seller and is the basis of an HBO documentary. His work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker and The American Prospect, among others. Fallows is a former editor of U.S. News & World Report. He has written several books and has won the National Magazine Award, American Book Award and a New York Emmy for a documentary series on China. He also worked for President Jimmy Carter as chief speechwriter.

March 29, 2022
Amy Chua is a professor of law (graduate of Harvard Law) and a writer who currently teaches at Yale Law School, where she is the John M. Duff Jr. Professor of Law; before starting at Yale in 2001, she had taught at Duke for seven years. Her expertise is in international business transactions, law and development, ethnic conflict and globalization and the law. Chua has written several books, including two studies of international affairs, a parenting memoir (“Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”), a book on ethnic-American culture and its correlation with socio-economic success within the United States and, most recently, a book about the role of tribal loyalties in American politics and its foreign policy (“Political Tribes”). This most recent book explores the often-underestimated power of group identity and affiliation through a review of historical events (such as the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War) and the current social and political climate. She is the daughter of ethnic Chinese parents who emigrated to the United States from the Philippines.

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