News And Events

News And Events

John Lewis Shares Final Message to
Young Americans in New York Times Op-ed

The late Rep. John Lewis published a posthumous op-ed in the New York Times written shortly before his death requesting it be published on the day of his funeral. The civil rights icon delivered a final message to young Americans. It is a powerful message for everyone to read and reflect. Here is the entire text of Rep. Lewis' message:

While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.

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Join Our ESU Happy Hour:
Shakespeare, Scandals & Scoundrels
Guest Speaker: Acclaimed Author, Andrea Mays

ESU Members and Friends of ESU are cordially invited to our next ESU Happy Hour on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 3:00 pm Central Time. Happy Hour programs are live, online and free. You can register for this Happy Hour program at the link below. Our guest speaker is the acclaimed author, Andrea Mays.

Andrea is the author of "The Millionaire and the Bard: Henry Folger's Obsessive Hunt for Shakespeare's First Folio. Her extensive research for that award-winning book forms the basis of her Happy Hour topic that chronicles the story of Henry Folger's obsessive pursuit to acquire every copy of Shakespeare's First Folio.

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Join Us for ESU Happy Hour
Guest Speaker: Ron Whitehead, Outlaw Poet
Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Don't miss our  ESU Happy Hour on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 3:00 pm Central Time. Happy Hour programs are live, online and free. You can register for this Happy Hour program at the link below. Our guest speaker is Ron Whitehead.

Ron Whitehead, Outlaw Poet, will present "Write ON! a feast for your mind and heart. Ron has lived the extraordinary life of a writer, performer, traveler, and activist through his poetic world of unparalleled vision.

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Join Our Next Happy Hour:
Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know:
The Brontë Sisters

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Join us for our second ESU Happy Hour on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 3:00 pm Central Time. Happy Hour programs are free and you can register for this Happy Hour program at the link below. Our guest speaker is Marie Kervin.

Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855)  and her sisters Emily Brontë (1818-1848) and Anne Brontë (1820-1849) have charmed, inspired, and even shocked readers from the Victorian age to the present.  Raised in Haworth, Yorkshire, the three sisters produced such classics as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.  Influenced by British Romantic poets like Wordsworth, Scott, and Byron, the Brontës produced a cast of unforgettable characters such as the devoted governess, Jane Eyre, and the lovers, Heathcliff, Cathy, and Hareton. 

In her Happy Hour session, Marie Kervin will scrutinize the pearl of received wisdom that sisters Charlotte, Anne, & Emily were mild, decorous examples of Victorian womanhood. This lecture will explore the themes of domestic violence, opium addiction, extramarital affairs, alcoholism, necrophilia, sadism and coercive control apparent in the sisters' work. We will be debunking the myth.

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ESU's First Happy Hour:
Regency and Gothic Revival:
Architecture of the South
Guest Speaker: Robin B. Williams, PhD.

Join us for our first ESU Happy Hour on Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 3:00 pm Central Time. Happy Hour programs are free and you can register for this Happy Hour program at the link below. Our guest speaker is Robin B. Williams, PhD. He will explore the evolution and diversification of architectural styles during the Regency and early Victorian eras in England and their impact on the United States, particularly in the American South.

The early 19th century represented a period of change and possibilities for the English. An expanding empire, military success over Napoleon and growing industrialization marked the Regency era named after the Prince Regent, the future George IV.

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Welcome to ESU Happy Hour Programs

Welcome to ESU's Happy Hours! In this virtual world in which we are living, ESU is looking for ways to connect and reach out to one another and offer programming that is engaging, fun and informative on a wide variety of topics.

Many speakers will provide exciting participation opportunities with fun give away books and products at the end of each program. They may even suggest a unique cocktail for you to create and enjoy at home. After all, it's Happy Hour!

We are excited to bring these online programs to you free of charge using a live Zoom format. You can watch these Happy Hour programs on your desktop, laptop, tablet or even your mobile phone. All Happy Hour programs will be recorded so you can watch a program at a later time if you can't watch it live.

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A Message from the Chairman,
English-Speaking Union of the United States
Ambassador Paul Beresford-Hill, CBE

June 8, 2020

Dear Members and Friends of the ESU of the US,

When I was about five years of age my parents moved from Dublin to a part of south London called Lewisham. We lived in a small terraced house. My friends on the right were originally from Cyprus, and on the other side, the family was Trinidadian. We were the Irish Catholics in the middle and we were all immigrants. That's what formed our collective identity, and we knew, going to school together, playing in the street, going to the Saturday Films at the local cinema, that we could depend on each other when other children derided us because of our accent or our color. Racism and intolerance are nothing new to humanity, and neither is our collective will to overcome it and seek harmony and peace with each other.  

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June is Immigrant Heritage Month!

At this time of crisis and deep divisions in our society, we are reminded of the ESU core values of inclusion, equity and opportunity. 

Today, as always, we are committed to listening to the voices of all members of our community. We support and stand with immigrants and celebrate their contributions to our society. 

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All ESU Members and Friends of ESU are cordially invited to attend a British Tea celebrating HRH Queen Elizabeth II's 94th birthday AND The English-Speaking Union Kansas City Branch's 100th birthday. It will be one of our biggest social gatherings of the year.

The British tea will be held at Anna Marie's Teas in Liberty, Mo., in a stately 3-story, 5,000 square foot home built in 1913. The tea will include a variety of tea sandwiches, sweets, Brenda's signature scones, mock Devonshire cream, fine fruit butter or fruit jams and premium tea.  Our tea will include a special champagne toast to HRH Queen Elizabeth II's 94th  birthday and ESU's 100th birthday. We will again have our popular Trivia Quiz with a selection of fun prizes as well as some special door prizes.

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2020 National Winners Announced
In First Virtual Shakespeare Competition

The 2020 National Shakespeare Competition was unlike no other in its 37 years. After ESU Branches completed their own branch competitions and selected their first-place winners, the National Semi-Finals and Finals scheduled for April 27, 2020 in New York City had to be reconfigured from an in-person competition to a virtual competition due to COVID-19.

The ESU met this challenge and a virtual National Shakespeare Competition came together in record time. Many thanks to ESU's National Education Department headed by a remarkable team lead by Karen Karpowich, ESU's Executive Director; Betty Trevino Roth, Senior Manager, School and Teacher Programs; Annelise Nussbacher, Education Coordinator;  and Josh Keppel-González, Communications and IT Manager. Their teamwork, dedication and close coordination with 49 branches, 49 students, teachers, branch competition coordinators, judges and many sponsors made this 37th Annual National Shakespeare Competition a huge success.

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