The Lantern Talks
Art. Advocacy. Conversation.

Latest Events

Presented by the
Lantern Talks Summer Series
 June Event: Thursday, June 24, 2021
Noon ET, 9 a.m. PT

The Lantern Talks

A series of online conversations that bridges art with advocacy in the fight for the rights of refugees. Join us for coffee and conversation.

Kavita Ramdas, director of the Women’s Rights Program at the Open Society Foundations, is a global advocate for gender equity and justice. Previously, she led the Ford Foundation’s operations in South Asia and was senior advisor to the Foundation's President. Under her leadership as president and CEO, the Global Fund for Women became the largest public foundation for women’s rights in the world. Kavita founded KNR Sisters, an independent consulting venture, and SEERS, the Social Entrepreneurs in Residence Program at Stanford University. She serves on the board of trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Kavita Ramdas

Isabel Allende is the author of 25 best-selling, critically acclaimed books, which have been translated into more than 42 languages. She devotes much of her time to human rights causes. Following the death of her daughter in 1996, she established a charitable foundation, which has awarded grants to more than 100 organizations worldwide on behalf of women and girls. Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014, and in 2018, she received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation. She has also received PEN Center USA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Raised in Chile, Isabel now lives in California.

Isabel Allende

Sarah Costa is the executive director of the Women’s Refugee Commission, a leading global organization advocating for the rights and protection of women, children, and youth displaced by conflict and crisis.

Sarah Costa

Summer Series - June Event

A conversation and reading with the legendary author, advocate, and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Isabel Allende and Sarah Costa, executive director of the Women's Refugee Commission. Special guest host is global women's rights advocate Kavita Ramdas.

Join us for a discussion about Ms. Allende's two latest books – “The Soul of a Woman” and “A Long Petal of the Sea” – and how the refugee experience is unique for women around the world.

Noon ET, 9 a.m. PT
Thursday, June 24, 2021

About The Lantern Talks

The Lantern Talks is series of online conversations that bridges art with advocacy in the fight for the rights of refugees. Building on the success of the Lantern Tour (and as we continue to have to put the tour on hold due to COVID-19), the Lantern Talks will continue to advance WRC’s art and advocacy model of engagement.

The primary goal of the Lantern Talks is to create an informative and entertaining format of art, advocacy, and discussion (online for this year) that will engage audiences with all aspects of refugee issues. The Lantern Talks will feature filmmakers, musicians, journalists, and more.


Previous Events

Music and Conversation - Feb 2021

Music and conversation with musician Thao Nguyen and Joan Timoney, Vice President of External Relations at the Women’s Refugee Commission. With special guest host Grammy Award-winning musician Steve Earle


Join us for a discussion about the current situation for refugee women and girls around the world and a musical performance by Thao Nguyen.

Steve Earle is one of the most acclaimed singer-songwriters of his generation, with multiple Grammy Awards to his name. His songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, and The Pretenders, among others. Steve has published a novel and collection of short stories; produced albums; and acted in films, television, and on the stage. He currently hosts a radio show for Sirius XM. In November 2020, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in January 2021 he released his 21st studio album, J.T., as a tribute to his late son Justin Townes Earle.

Steve Earle

Thao Nguyen, the proud daughter of Vietnamese refugees of war, is a songwriter, musician, and producer based in the Bay Area. She has been recording and touring for over 15 years, solo and with her indie rock band Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. Her music has been described by The New Yorker as "music that makes you move from your bones out...[it's] keenly intelligent and original." Thao was the subject of a PBS documentary “Nobody Dies,” which followed her on a trip to Vietnam with her mother. She is an advocate for many causes, including prison reform, refugee and immigrant rights, and LGBTQ+ equality.

Thao Nguyen

Joan Timoney is the WRC’s vice president, advocacy and external relations. Prior to joining the WRC, Joan was the Vice President for Programs at the Partnership for Public Service, and worked for a number of years on Capitol Hill. She was a Peace Corps Volunteer and later served as the Peace Corps’ Director of Congressional Relations, Director of the Crisis Corps program, and the Chief of Staff.

Joan Timoney

Special Guest Host
The Undocumented Lawyer Live Q&A - Jan 2021

The Undocumented Lawyer*: Lizbeth Mateo is an immigration attorney. She’s also undocumented. When a client takes sanctuary in a church, Lizbeth’s own experience guides their fight for justice.

*2020 Tribeca Film Festival Official Selection.

A lively discussion with panelists: Lizbeth Mateo, Chris Temple, Michelle Brané, and Special guest host, Trudie Styler.