Endowed Lectures

These lectures were part of a number of events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Environmental Law Program.

Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture Series

January 21, 2020

Michelle J. DePass, president and CEO of Meyer Memorial Trust, delivered remarks inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous response to being called an agitator: “I’m agitating to knock the dirt out of our society—discrimination, Jim Crow, segregation, racism…agitating to clean up our democracy. That’s what all of us need to do—agitate for a better America, a freer America, a fairer America.” DePass shared her successes as an agitator for environmental justice—as well as a few of her challenges. She urged everyone to “use your law degree to right wrongs and be ready to take advantage of opportunities.”

Made possible by an endowment from Jacqueline Alexander JD ’07 and Lee Matthews BS ’71, JD ’73. Made possible by an endowment from Jacqueline Alexander JD ’07 and Lee Matthews BS ’71, JD ’73

James L. Huffman Lecture Series in Honor of the Western Resources Legal Center (WRLC)

February 17, 2020

Professor of Environmental Justice at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies Gerald Torres, a leading figure in critical race theory, environmental law, and federal Indian law, presented “Law Making: Formal and Informal Paths to Durable Change.” Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law Jim Huffman introduced Torres, reminiscing that during their long and amicable friendship, they had rarely agreed with one another but always enjoyed debate and civil discourse.

Made possible by an endowment established by lead donors Dan Harmon ’85, Kirk Johansen, Rick Sohn, and Steven Wildish ’85.

Justice Anthony Kennedy Lecture Series

March 4, 2020

Richard Lazarus, the Howard J. and Katherine W. Aibel Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, spoke about The Rule of Five: Making Climate History at the Supreme Court, his book regarding the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA. Lazarus related the gripping inside story of how an unlikely team of lawyers and climate activists overcame conservative opposition—and their own divisions—to win the most important environmental case ever brought before the Supreme Court.

The Justice Anthony Kennedy Lecture Series is designed to promote discussion of cutting-edge issues affecting the U.S. Supreme Court and the Constitution.