Premier Events presented by Peninsula Arts & Letters

Credit: Nina Subin


Premier Event: Bryan Stevenson

Thursday, November 6, 7:30 p.m.

Just Mercy

Tickets are available at Kepler's and online at Brown Paper Tickets

Student tickets now available! 


Peninsula Arts & Letters is very excited to host Bryan Stevenson, winner of the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant, who has won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued five times before the Supreme Court, and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color.

Just Mercy is a true account of an idealistic young lawyer's coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.

A 1985 graduate of Harvard, with both a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government and a J.D. from the School of Law, Bryan Stevenson joined the clinical faculty at New York University School of Law in 1998.

Stevenson has been representing capital defendants and death row prisoners in the deep south since 1985 when he was a staff attorney with the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta. Since 1989, he has been Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a private, nonprofit law organization he founded that focuses on social justice and human rights in the context of criminal justice reform in the United States.

Click HERE to listen to his TED talks.



Premier Event: Francis Fukuyama

Tuesday, November 11, 7:30 p.m.

Political Order and Political Decay

Tickets are available at Kepler's and online at Brown Paper Tickets

Student tickets now available!


Political Order and Political Decay is the completion of the most important work of political thought in at least a generation. Compared to such seminal thinkers as Jean-Jacques Rosseau, John Locke, John Rawls, and Amartya Sen, Fukuyama boldly reckons with the future of democracy in the face of entrenched political paralysis in the West.

Fukuyama argues that economic growth produces middle classes that in turn demand accountable institutions,  the kind that make democracies healthy. But powerful elites can end up controlling those very levers of democracy, leading to the political paralysis evident in some Western societies. 

Join the conversation today by submitting your questions for Fukuyama through Google Moderator. The site will be active through November 11th -- you'll be able to view other questions and vote up/down for the questions you want to see asked during the live event. You can check back in at any time.

Broken into sections on "The State", "Foreign Institution", "Democracy", and "Political Decay", Fukuyama gives an account of how state, law, and democracy developed over the last two centuries; how they interacted with one another and with the other economic and social dimensions of development; and, finally, how they have shown signs of decay in the United States and in other developed democracies.  Political Order and Political Decay has been called the companion volume to Fukuyama's The Origins of Political Order. Fukuyama writes with intelligence, eloquence, and erudition, making for an enjoyable read and a painless study.

Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He was a researcher at the RAND Corporation and served as the deputy director for the State Department's policy planning staff.




Premier Event: Tim Shriver

Wednesday, December 3, 7:30 p.m.

Fully Alive: Discovering What Matters Most

Tickets are available at Kepler's and online at Brown Paper Tickets

Remember when you believed you could actually change the world? Perhaps you imagined, as Timothy Shriver did, that the world could be changed “into a place of love and mystery and eternity.” The son of Eunice Kennedy and Sargent Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics, and nephew of John, Robert and Ted Kennedy, Timothy was born to families who have spent their lives advocating for people on the margins, inspired largely by Tim’s aunt Rosemary who was born with intellectual disabilities. Join us for an evening with Tim as he reveals how his meetings with world icons and cultural leaders such as Nelson Mandela, and through his own work with the Special Olympics, he changed his life from one focused on power, to a life of humility and vulnerability.

Tim Shriver’s new book, Fully Alive: Discovering What Matters Most, is at once a memoir and a roadmap for a life that is radically different and inspiring. This new life is inspired by the time he has dedicated to people with intellectual disabilities as chairman of the Special Olympics and co-founder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the leading research organization in the United States in the field of social and emotional learning. Is disability to be feared or welcomed, pitied or purged? Shriver argues that we all have different abilities and challenges we should embrace. Here we see how those who appear powerless have turned this seeming shortcoming into a power of their own, and we learn that we are all totally vulnerable and valuable at the same time. 

Support the Special Olympics by buying a Premier Ticket; Tim is donating all of his proceeds from the book to the organization.