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Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Lineage of Activism in the Lilian Parker Wallace Lecture

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the eighth Lillian Parker Wallace lecturer and she, like the preceding seven, are all known for being activists for social change. The Lillian Parker Wallace Lecture (LPWL) was established by the class of 1971 in honor of Dr. Lillian Parker Wallace who served as a history professor at Meredith for 41 years. Since 1973, these lectures have inspired students and the Meredith community to become more effective leaders, thinkers and activists. So, what have the past LPW lecturers been passionate about and how have they strengthened the resolve of Meredith College students?

The first Lillian Parker Wallace lecturer was the Right Honorable Sir Harold Wilson, former Prime Minister of Great Britain about “The Transatlantic Connection from Winston Churchill to Today” in 1978. The next Lillian Parker Wallace Lecture featured former president Jimmy Carter on the topic of “America: A Champion of Peace?” The fourth LPW lecturer was Elie Wiesel in 2003 on “Against Indifference: The Urgency of Hope.” He was the first man to receive an honorary doctorate from Meredith. These lectures encourage students to utilize their applied knowledge and to question everything, even taboo topics.

Since then, three female Nobel Peace Prize recipients have been Lillian Parker Wallace lecturers: Shirin Ebadi (2006), Wangari Maathai (2009) and Jody Williams (2013). These women are engaged in direct activism: against armed conflict, and for sustainability and human rights.

In 1991, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O’Connor, delivered the third LPW lecture, titled “Women in the Constitution.” Now Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be added to the list of Lillian Parker Wallace Lecturers, and she, like O’Connor, gave her insight and experience about what it has been like to break these barriers for women and how her experience can help current students make strides in their future career paths.

Photo courtesy of Bemi Wayland

Pictured to the left is Anne Bryan, Class of 1971. She introduced the 2019 Lillian Parker Wallace lecture with a statement on its origins and goals as the lecture series welcomes RBG to its ranks.

By Kaylee Kalaf, Contributing Writer


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