Filmmaker, D.A., activist to speak at 3 assemblies

By Jack Davis

An Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated documentarian and a Native American candidate for Vice President of the United States will speak to upper school students in March.

Filmmaker Ken Burns will speak March 17 as part of the Brown Family Speaker Series, while activist Winona LaDuke will speak at the Women’s History Assembly March 16. The African-American History Assembly, which was to have been on Feb. 27, was tol feature San Francisco District of Attorney Kamala Harris, but she was forced to cancel because of the death of her mother. Her appearance will be rescheduled.

Burns, who has produced award-winning documentaries for more than 30 years and won seven Emmy Awards, produced and directed the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Brooklyn Bridge” in 1981. He was also nominated for the Academy Award in 1986 for his film “The Statue of Liberty.”

Burns was the director, producer, co-writer, chief cinematographer, music director and executive producer of the television series “The Civil War.”

Linda and Abbott Brown (Russell ’94, David ’96) created the speaker series in 2001 to bring prominent speakers to the campus. Past speakers have included the late historian Stephen Ambrose, violinist Midori and jazz great Herbie Hancock.

“As both a writer and a chronicler of history, I think Ken Burns stands in a class by himself,” said President Thomas C. Hudnut, who with the Browns, chose Burns to speak.