LYNNWOOD, Wash. — Three speakers — Andrew Lam, Dan Savage, and Spencer West — have been announced for the fall series of Edmonds Community College’s Brown Bag Lecture series, sponsored by the college’s Center for Student Engagement & Leadership. All lectures, free and open to the public, will be held at the Black Box Theatre on campus, 20000 68th Ave. W.
Spencer West | Tuesday, Oct. 15 | 12:30 p.m.
Inspirational and charismatic, West speaks candidly about the struggles he overcame after losing his legs at age of 5 due to a genetic disorder. He speaks about overcoming stereotyping and bullying, finding meaning and happiness in a material world, and never losing the hope or courage needed to surmount personal obstacles.
In 2011, with Kenya experiencing its worst drought in 60 years, West decided to give back — by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. His extraordinary feat attracted worldwide media attention, including reports from "60 Minutes," People Magazine, and the BBC. With the world watching, West successfully reached the summit, raising more than $500,000 to bring sustainable clean water projects to communities affected by the drought.
West's life journey can be seen in the documentary "Redefine Possible: The Story of Spencer West." He also shared his story in his memoir, "Standing Tall: My Journey." In May 2013, he completed a 186-mile water walk from Edmonton to Calgary to raise money for the Free The Children's Water Initiative, a year-long campaign to provide 100,000 people around the world with permanent sources of clean water.
Dan Savage | Tuesday, Oct. 29 | 12:30 p.m.
Savage, who also spoke at Edmonds CC in October 2009, is a Seattle-based author, media pundit, journalist, and editorial director for the alternative weekly newspaper The Stranger. He is the author of "Savage Love," a widely syndicated sex advice column, and stars in the MTV series "Savage U," which follows Savage and his producer as they travel to college campuses across the country, taking students' questions and offering advice on relationships, responsibility, sex, love, and life.
Savage's most recent books are "How to Be a Person: The Stranger's Guide to College, Sex, Intoxicants, Tacos, and Life Itself" and "American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics."
In 2010, Savage and his husband, Terry Miller, created the It Gets Better campaign to help prevent suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young people. Savage has also written and directed plays.
Andrew Lam | Thursday, Nov. 21 | 12:30 p.m.
Lam, a Vietnamese-American journalist and writer, is the web editor of New America Media, blogs for Huffington Post, and is a regular contributor to NPR's "All Things Considered."
Lam, who left Vietnam with his family during the fall of Saigon in 1975, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2005, Lam published "Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora," a collection of essays about the problem of identity as a Vietnamese man living in the U.S. Lam received the PEN Open Book Award in 2006 for the collection.
His second book, "East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres," centers on how Asian immigration changed the west. "Birds of Paradise Lost," his third book, is a collection of short stories about Vietnamese newcomers struggling to remake their lives in the San Francisco Bay after a long, painful exodus from Vietnam.