This is a transcript of remarks delivered by David Krieger in advance of the 2013 Frank K. Kelly Lecture on Humanity’s Future.
Welcome to the 12th Annual Frank K. Kelly Lecture on Humanity’s Future. This lecture series has brought many great thinkers and visionaries to Santa Barbara and tonight is no exception.
The lecture series is a program of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to educate and advocate for peace and a world free of nuclear weapons, and to empower peace leaders. We have 60,000 members around the country and the world. If you are not already a member of the Foundation, we invite you to join us in becoming a force for peace that cannot be stopped. You can learn more about the Foundation at our information table outside or join us online at www.wagingpeace.org.
This lecture series is named for Frank Kelly, a man whose life spanned most of the 20th century. Frank was an outstanding science fiction writer as a teenager, a citizen-soldier during World War II, a newspaper reporter, a speechwriter for President Truman, Assistant to the Senate Majority Leader, vice president of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, and a founder and senior vice president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
Frank had a deep faith that humanity’s future would be bright. He believed that everyone deserves a seat at humanity’s table and that everyone’s voice matters. This lecture series honors Frank’s commitment to creating a more decent, peaceful and participatory future for humanity.
Our lecturer tonight is Dennis Kucinich, a visionary leader in Congress for the past 16 years. He has been a principled, passionate and persevering leader for peace and disarmament in an institution often characterized by its lack of thoughtful deliberations and its mob-like enthusiasm for military solutions to conflict. He has stood and struggled for peace as a beacon of hope during dark days of war, days that continue still. He is the author of legislation to create a United States Department of Peace, with Assistant Secretaries of Peace represented in every other major department of the US government.
I know that Dennis believes in the “power of now,” that it is what we do now that makes all the difference for our common future. He writes, “War is never inevitable. Peace is inevitable if we desire to call it forward…. But if we call peace forward from the unseen we must name it, we must give it structure, we must prepare for it a place to exist – a space to breathe, to be nurtured, to flower – so that it can be appreciated as an expression of that divine spark of creation.”
Dennis Kucinich may be for the moment out of the Congress of the United States – and that body seems to me to be far the less without him – but he is not out of public life. Tonight he speaks on “Restoring Hope for America’s Future through Developing a Culture of Peace.”