Speaker Series

Influential Voices is a speakers series sponsored by the Cultural & Natural History Collections. It is our way to highlight the work of thought leaders, cultural influencers, humanitarians, and those who work for social justice. We are the original University of La Verne museum, established in the same year as the University–1891. We are supported entirely by donations, and appreciate any amount, should our dear reader wish to donate: https://thespot.laverne.edu/cnhc.


Cultural & Natural History Collections, University of La Verne welcomes our third Influential Voices guest speaker, screenwriter Linda Yvette Chavez, in a conversation about creativity, mental health, navigating life through college, finding your voice, and building community through stories in this hybrid event. Special thank you to La Verne Community Television for producing this video.


Inspirational interview and conversation with Pico Iyer who talks about Envisioning a Future in the Post-Pandemic World. Pico is the voice we need in our world today–he describes himself as “a global village on two legs,” and he has seen it all. His is a voice of reason for those of us who are re-entering society after a year of fear. Pico Iyer’s books have been translated into more than 20 languages. Both his 2008 meditation on the XIVth Dalai Lama, The Open Road, and his TED Book, The Art of Stillness, were best sellers across the US. Between 2012 and 2019, Pico delivered multiple talks for TED, his latest being the opening talk for TEDSummit in 2019. An essayist for TIME since 1986, Pico is a constant contributor the New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Harper’s, Granta and more than 200 other newspapers and magazines worldwide, and he has published introductions to 70 other works.

​The Conversation with Pico Iyer was recorded on April 18, 2021. It was a beautiful day in southern California. For Pico, who was dialing in from Japan, the week was just starting; he spoke to us in the early morning hours of April 19, 2021. All participants joined us on Zoom, a wonderful option for our global community.


Motivational and inspirational interview with Le Ly Hayslip who speaks about peace and reconciliation. She is a true voice of influence, humanitarian, and memoirist. As a Vietnamese American, Le Ly grew up in wartime Vietnam and came to the U.S. as a refugee. She has devoted her life to assisting refugees both here and in Southeast Asia, sponsored an orphanage and schools near her home village in Vietnam, and supported other communities throughout Southeast Asia following natural disasters. Le Ly founded the East Meets West Foundation and the Global Village Foundation. Her books became the source and inspiration for Oliver Stone’s 1993 film, Heaven and Earth.

The Dialogue with Le Ly Hayslip was recorded on November 8, 2020. It was a rainy day in southern California, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. All participants dialed in on Zoom.