The humanities are a window into the deepest aspects of the human condition, those things that persist across time and cultures. They familiarize us with the language of emotion and motivation, and the areas of human life that defy quantification. And, despite the claim that studying the humanities is impractical, they develop habits of shrewd observation, thoughtful understanding, and clear expression that are invaluable in every walk of personal and professional life. 

In this age of reality TV, inch-deep internet analysis, and glib sound bites, we applaud Humanities Washington for supporting these timeless lessons.

Bruce Shepard
President, Western Washington University
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Gloria Burgess

"It Takes a Village: Sparks of Light"

It Takes a Village: Sparks of Light

Gloria BurgessMost of us want to make a positive difference in our world. But sometimes we lose heart, unsure how much of an impact one person can really make. Writer and educator Gloria Burgess will lead an interactive group conversation on the power one person’s actions can have. She will anchor the presentation with individual examples of everyday citizens who’ve been affected by the generosity of other members of their communities. Burgess will share her family’s life-changing encounter with one of the “villagers” in her hometown – Nobel laureate William Faulkner. Burgess will invite the audience to join her in the conversation by recalling some of the “villagers” who have made a difference in their lives. And she’ll discuss how we might act – individually and collectively – to make a difference with what we have and where we are, every single day.


About Gloria Burgess

As a writer, educator and community builder, Gloria Burgess gathers stories about kindness, generosity, helping others and belonging – the very essence of what we mean by “it takes a village.” Burgess has more than 30 years of experience as a public speaker, facilitator and educator. She has facilitated conversations for extremely diverse audiences, including corporations, healthcare providers, philanthropic organizations, church and youth groups and rural communities and villages on four continents. Burgess has worked with crowds of a variety of sizes, from intimate groups of 4 to 10 to groups of more than 1000.

Burgess currently lives in Edmonds.

For more information on how to book a speaker, please contact Zaki Abdelhamid at (206) 682-1770 x102 or by email.


2012-14 Speakers Bureau: Gloria Burgess from Humanities Washington on Vimeo.

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