Welcome to The Norfolk Forum Web Site
Founded in 1933, the Norfolk Forum is the oldest publicly-subscribed speakers' forum in the country. Each year in Norfolk's Chrysler Hall, the Forum presents four, thought-provoking public figures that in different ways help shape American thought and opinion. After each presentation, speakers engage the audience in a question and answer session.
We are pleased to announce that the 2014-15 series will feature Steve Wozniak, Charles Krauthammer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Sanjay Gupta. They will address topics as diverse as world affairs, public policy, education, and popular culture.
To purchase tickets, please visit the Tickets section of this website. All buyers of tickets will be included as Season Ticket holders for priority consideration of season ticket sales for the following year.
We hope that you choose to join us at this season of the Norfolk Forum. We look forward to another very exciting series. As we proudly claim, it's the best ticket in town.
Charles V. McPhillips
Programs Begin at 7:30pm in Chrysler Hall, Norfolk.
Apple Inc. Founder, Silicon Valley Icon and Philanthropist
October 14, 2014 – Start time 7:30 p.m.
A Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for more than thirty years, Steve Wozniak has helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products the Apple I and II and influenced the popular Macintosh. In 1976, Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer Inc. with Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. The following year, he introduced his Apple II personal computer, featuring a central processing unit, a keyboard, color graphics, and a floppy disk drive. The Apple II was integral in launching the personal computer industry.
In 1981, he went back to UC Berkeley and finished his degree in electrical engineering/computer science. For his achievements at Apple, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States in 1985, the highest honor bestowed on America’s leading innovators.
In 2000, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame and was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology, The Economy and Employment for single-handedly designing the first personal computer and for then redirecting his lifelong passion for mathematics and electronics toward lighting the fires of excitement for education in grade school students and their teachers.
Through the years, Wozniak has been involved in various business and philanthropic ventures, focusing primarily on computer capabilities in schools and stressing hands-on learning and encouraging creativity for students. Making significant investments of both his time and resources in education, he adopted the Los Gatos School District, providing students and teachers with hands-on teaching and donations of state-of-the-art technology equipment. He founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and was the founding sponsor of the Tech Museum, Silicon Valley Ballet and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.
Wozniak currently serves as Chief Scientist for Fusion-io and is a published author with the release of his New York Times best-selling autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon, in September 2006 by Norton Publishing. His television appearances include reality shows Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and The Big Bang Theory.
Charles Krauthammer, M.D.
Pulitzer Prize Winning Author and Commentator
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 – Start time 7:30 p.m.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and named by Financial Times as the most influential commentator in America, Charles Krauthammer has been honored from every part of the political spectrum for his bold, lucid and original writing -- from the famously liberal People for the American Way (which presented him their First Amendment Award) to the staunchly conservative Bradley Foundation (which awarded him their first $250,000 Bradley Prize).
Since 1985, Krauthammer has written a syndicated column for The Washington Post, for which he won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. It is published weekly in more than 250 newspapers worldwide.
Krauthammer is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and The New Republic, and a weekly panelist on Inside Washington. He is also a contributor to FOX News, appearing nightly on FOX's evening news program, Special Report with Bret Baier. For three decades, his influential writings have helped frame the very shape of American foreign policy. He coined and developed The Reagan Doctrine (Time, April 1985), defined the structure of the post-Cold War world in The Unipolar Moment (Foreign Affairs, Winter 1990/1991), and outlined the principles of post-9/11 American foreign policy in his much-debated Irving Kristol Lecture, Democratic Realism (AEI Press, March 2004).
The Daily Telegraph calls him “unquestionably the pre-eminent conservative columnist in a country where columnists still carry enormous heft.” National Review featured him on its cover as “Obama's critic-in-chief.” Der Spiegel calls him “the leading voice of America's conservative intellectuals.” New York Times columnist David Brooks says that today “he's the most important conservative columnist.” Politico calls him “leader of the opposition ... a coherent, sophisticated and implacable critic of the new president.”
Born in New York City and raised in Montreal, Krauthammer was educated at McGill University (B.A. 1970), Oxford University (Commonwealth Scholar in Politics) and Harvard (M.D. 1975). While serving as a resident and then chief resident in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, he published scientific papers, including the discovery of a form of bipolar disease, that continue to be cited in the psychiatric literature. In 1978, he quit medical practice, came to Washington to help direct planning in psychiatric research in the Carter administration, and began contributing articles to The New Republic. In 1980, he served as a speechwriter to Vice President Walter Mondale. He joined The New Republic as a writer and editor in 1981. His New Republic writings won the 1984 National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism, the highest award in magazine journalism. From 2001 to 2006, he served on the President's Council on Bioethics. He is president of The Krauthammer Foundation and chairman of Pro Musica Hebraica, an organization dedicated to the recovery and performance of lost classical Jewish music. He is also a member of the Chess Journalists of America.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Women's Rights and Atheist Activist, Writer and Politician
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 – Start time 7:30 p.m.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1969. The daughter of a political opponent of the Somali dictatorship, Ayaan Hirsi Ali grew up in exile, moving from Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia then Kenya.
As a young child, she was subjected to female genital mutilation. As she grew up, she embraced Islam and strove to live as a devout Muslim. But she began to question aspects of her faith. One day, while listening to a sermon on the many ways women should be obedient to their husbands, she couldn't resist asking, "Must our husbands obey us too?"
In 1992, Ayaan was married off by her father to a distant cousin who lived in Canada. In order to escape this marriage, she fled to the Netherlands where she was given asylum, and in time citizenship. In her early years in Holland she worked in factories and as a maid. She quickly learned Dutch, however, and was able to study at the University of Leiden. Working as a translator for Somali immigrants, she saw at first hand the inconsistencies between liberal, Western society and tribal, Muslim cultures.
After earning her M.A. in political science, Ayaan worked as a researcher for the Wiardi Beckman Foundation in Amsterdam. She then served as an elected member of the Dutch parliament from 2003 to 2006. While in parliament, she focused on furthering the integration of non-Western immigrants into Dutch society, and on defending the rights of Muslim women. She campaigned to raise awareness of violence against women, including honor killings and female genital mutilation, practices that had followed the immigrants into Holland. In her three years in government, she found her voice as an advocate for an "enlightened Islam".
In 2004, Ayaan gained international attention following the murder of Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh had directed her short film Submission, a film about the oppression of women under Islam. The assassin, a radical Muslim, left a death threat for her pinned to Van Gogh's chest.
In 2006, Ayaan had to resign from parliament when the then Dutch minister for Immigration decided to revoke Ayaan's Dutch citizenship, arguing that Ayaan had misled the authorities at the time of her asylum application. However, the Dutch courts confirmed that Ayaan was indeed a legitimate Dutch citizen, leading to the fall of the government. Disillusioned with the Netherlands, she subsequently moved to the United States.
She is now a Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Ayaan is currently researching the relationship between the West and Islam. She has to live with round-the-clock security. Her willingness to speak out and her abandonment of the Muslim faith have made her a target for violence by Islamic extremists.
Sanjay Gupta, M.D.
Multiple Emmy-Award Winning Chief Medical Correspondent For CNN
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 – Start time 7:30 p.m.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the multiple Emmy-award winning chief medical correspondent for CNN. Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon, plays an integral role in CNN’s reporting on health and medical news for American Morning, Anderson Cooper 360°, CNN documentaries, and anchors the weekend medical affairs program Sanjay Gupta, MD. Gupta also contributes to CNN.com and CNNHealth.com. His medical training and public health policy experience distinguish his reporting on a range of medical and scientific topics including brain injury, disaster recovery, health care reform, fitness, military medicine, HIV/AIDS, and other areas.
In 2011, Gupta has reported from earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged Japan, adding clarity and context to the human impact and radiation concerns. In 2010, Gupta reported on the devastating earthquake in Haiti, for which he was awarded two Emmys. His distinctive reporting in 2010 included live coverage on the unprecedented flooding in Pakistan.
Based in Atlanta, Gupta joined CNN in the summer of 2001. He reported from New York following the attacks on the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001. In 2003, he embedded with the U.S. Navy’s “Devil Docs” medical unit, reporting from Iraq and Kuwait as the unit traveled to Baghdad. He provided live coverage of the first operation performed during the war, and performed life-saving brain surgery five times himself in a desert operating room.
Gupta contributed to the network’s 2010 Peabody Award-winning coverage of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2006, Gupta contributed to CNN's Peabody Award-winning coverage of Hurricane Katrina, revealing that official reports that Charity Hospital in New Orleans had been evacuated were incorrect. His “Charity Hospital” coverage for Anderson Cooper 360° resulted in his 2006 News & Documentary Emmy for Outstanding Feature Story. In 2004, Gupta was sent to Sri Lanka to cover the tsunami disaster that took more than 155,000 lives in Southeast Asia, contributing to the 2005 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award for CNN.
Gupta’s passion for inspiring Americans to lead healthier, more active lives led him to launch “Fit Nation,” CNN’s multi-platform anti-obesity initiative. In 2011, “Fit Nation” follows the progress of Gupta and six CNN viewers as they inspire each other while training for a triathlon.
In addition to his work for CNN, Gupta is a member of the staff and faculty at the Emory University School of Medicine. He is associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital and regularly performs surgery at Emory University and Grady hospitals. He holds memberships in the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves as a diplomat of the American Board of Neurosurgery, is a certified medical investigator, and is a board member of the Lance Armstrong LiveStrong Foundation.
TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE.
For other inquiries, please contact:
The Norfolk Forum
Post Office Box 11114
Norfolk, VA 23517
The Norfolk Forum reserves the right to substitute in the event any announced speaker does not appear.