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Highlights from the LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture

On September 24, 2019, award-winning author Adam Gopnik delivered the 17th LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture. Each year, the LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture reminds us of the importance of democracy in an egalitarian society open to complexity. Gopnik connected this common theme back to what he refers to as “humanist liberalism,” liberal democracy that stands on the idea that we must take the human practice of co-existence into pluralism. Unfortunately, this form of liberalism, which values ethics and human empathy above all else, is disappearing across the globe.

So, how do we move forward? We need to refuse the normalization of the things that shouldn’t be normal; we need to take to the streets and to the ballots; and we also need social trust and social cohesion. Above all else, we need sympathetic imagination to ensure that liberal humanism survives.

The evening also featured performances by the Hidden River Singers and Nai Children’s Choir, as well as Gopnik in conversation with John Ralston Saul.

Below is a selection of photos from the 17th LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture.