25th Season of The Witte Lectures

2022 Witte is back with in person lectures! The Witte Lecture Series remains steadfast in providing timely, relevant, and vibrant contemporary speakers. Enter the intimate world of trees, delve into the complexities and challenges of race, understand the polarization of our society, and the impact of generational shift in power on American lives. Join us for a dynamic and informative conversations at the library!

Ezra Klein
Why We're Polarized


American Varieties: Reflecting on Democracy
Friday, January 28, 7:00pm
Saturday, January 29, 2:00pm

Ezra Klein is a columnist at New York Times, Podcast host, The Ezra Klein Show and author of Why We’re Polarized. Using his trademark depth of policy knowledge and academic research, Klein gives audiences a systematic look at why American politics is so polarized, and what that polarization has done to electoral institutions, policymaking, and the media. As a Southern California native, Klein will reflect on how our local politics and challenges impact the rest of the country. Klein was the founder and editor-in-chief of Vox, the explanatory news platform. He was also a creator and executive producer of the Netflix show, “Explained.” He is also a columnist for Bloomberg News and MSNBC. In 2012, GQ named him to their 50 Most Powerful People in Washington list.

Buy Tickets
Eddie Glaude
Begin Again


Race and Democracy: America is Always Changing, But America Never Changes
Friday, February 11, 7:00pm
Saturday, February 12, 2:00pm

Dr. Eddie Glaude, Jr. is a New York Times Bestselling author & Chair of Princeton’s Department of African American Studies. He is also a political commentator and passionate educator who examines the complex dynamics of the American experience. He is known both for his inspiring oratory and ability to convene conversations that engage fellow citizens from all backgrounds. His book Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for our Own, addresses the difficulties of race, the challenges we face as a democracy, and will bring our nation’s complexities, vulnerabilities, and hope into full view. He frequently appears in the media, as a columnist for TIME Magazine, is an MSNBC contributor and regularly appears on Meet the Press on Sundays.

Buy Tickets
Suzanne Simard
Finding The Mother Tree


Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest
Friday, March 18, 7:00pm
Saturday, March 19, 2:00pm

Dr. Suzanne Simard is Professor of Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia, a groundbreaking researcher on trees, and author of the best-selling book Finding the Mother Tree. With climate change, drought, forest fires and development, the topic of our fragile ecosystem is especially relevant. Dr. Simard writes about the intimate world of trees, exploring the ways in which trees learn and adapt their behaviors, remember the past, demonstrate agency over the future, and cooperate, with a sophistication typically ascribed to humans. She has published over 170 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals. She is also co-author of the book Climate Change and Variability. www.suzannesimard.com

Buy Tickets
Charlotte Alter
The Ones We've Been Waiting For


Turnover: How Generational Change Will Transform American Life
Friday, April 8, 7:00pm
Saturday, April 9, 2:00pm

Charlotte Alter, author and senior correspondent at TIME, will discuss how the looming generational shift in power from Boomers to Millennials and Gen Z will transform every issue that dominates American life, from climate change to racial injustice, to economic inequality and how the tensions around these issues are thinly veiled generational conflicts. She will bring her insight from her book, The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America, and her extensive experience covering political campaigns, and more. Alter’s work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. www.charlottealter.com

Buy Tickets


Held in Friends Room at Central Library, 1000 Avocado Avenue, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Free parking on the ground level and in the parking structure
Limited Seating

Friday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm || Doors open at 6:30pm
Lecture, Book Sale & Signing, Light Supper with Wine
General $65 || NBPLF Member $60

Saturday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm || Doors open at 1:30pm
Lecture, Book Sale & Signing, Refreshments
General $45 || NBPLF Member $40

Masks are required for unvaccinated individuals and recommended for all attendees for indoor events

Newport Beach Public Library Foundation follows the State of California guidelines for indoor gatherings, and we are staying informed on all the latest requirements. We will email all attendees with the latest information one week before the event.


Tickets on sale November 10, 2021 || Box office closes at 2pm on the day of the event
Opportunity to buy a signed copy of the speakers’ publications at the event


Contact Director of Programs Kunga Wangmo-Upshaw kupshaw@nbplf.foundation or 949-717-3818.

2021 Sponsors

The Foundation would like to recognize below the funding Sponsors and Partners that supported the Witte Lectures during the pandemic closure when the speakers had to be presented virtually.

The Witte Family

John Rallis and Mary Lynn Bergman-Rallis

Karen and Bruce Clark
Dr. James B. Pick and Rosalyn M. Laudati
Barbara and Greg MacGillivray
Manouch and Sophie Moshayedi
Janet and Walkie Ray
Barbara Roberts
Samuel and Tammy Tang

Pamela and Don Gilmour
Janet S. Hadley
Kelly and Randy Heyler
Jennifer Nickerson
Diane and Dave Steffy
Tom and Marilyn Sutton

Kelly and Bill Campbell
Elizabeth and Tom Edwards
Chris and Malin Fletcher
Eleanor and Allen Jaffy
Bill and Carolyn Klein
Marilyn and Francis Krahe
Tricia Nichols
Ellen Shockro and Jack Shaw
Russell Hafer Family Trust
Jill Johnson-Tucker and Larry Tucker
Jene Witte
Miles Yourman

Hi-Time Cellars
Laguna Beach Books
Newport Beach Public Library
City of Newport Beach
Firebrand Media LLC

2022 Witte Committee
Karen H. Clark
Lisa Edwards
Barbara Glabman (Library Trustee Liaison)
John Gunnin
Janet S. Hadley, Chair
Diane Hafer
Signe Keller
Marilyn Krahe
Gordon McAlpine
Latika Sethi
Ellen Shockro
Jene Witte
Lizanne Witte
Miles Yourman