Published on April 13, 2016 by Katie Stewart  
Parker J Palmer speaking

Samford University’s Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education presented Parker J. Palmer, popular author of Courage to Teach, April 12 for the sixth annual Tom and Marla Corts Distinguished Author Series

Palmer discussed themes found in his latest book, Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit. His lecture examined the political rhetoric that has emerged in the United States and how society needs to respond with active civic involvement to better hold leaders accountable. 

The lecture highlighted the importance of the human story when having conversations with others about politics. Parker states when people place importance on the human story over ideology, dialogue begins to form.

From start to finish, Parker explored the concept of democracy through realism and hope rooted in his own experience and in American history. He ended with closing remarks and a question: “Is American democracy dead or alive? It’s in our hands.”

The Tom and Marla Corts Distinguished Author Series was launched in 2011 to highlight reading and literacy, and to provide endowment support for Samford’s Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education. The series honors the late Thomas Corts, who served as Samford’s 17th president for 23 years, and his wife, Marla, a former high school English teacher and nurse.

Katie Stewart is marketing and communication coordinator for Samford University’s Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.