Announcing Our 2024 – 2025 Season

The audience at Saturday night’s Richmond Forum program with Jan Crawford and Kimberley Strassel got their first look at the speakers who will take the stage at America’s largest nonprofit speaker series during the 2024 – 2025 season.

The Richmond Forum’s 39th season will kick off in November with a captivating presentation by writer, producer, and comedian Baratunde Thurston. The future is coming fast. New technologies like artificial intelligence offer inspiration and the promise of removing burdensome tasks from our daily lives. However, their rapid and seemingly unchecked development prompts concerns about consent, control, and compensation, and industrialized creativity threatens to flood the zone with nonsensical content. As we barrel toward a more digitally integrated future, what will it mean to be human? Thurston will explore whether our obsession with these technologies has us wandering too far from our essential human nature and challenge us to shape a future where we balance commercial and humanitarian interests.

For its January 2025 program, The Richmond Forum will present NASA astrophysicist Dr. Amber Straughn. The launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in 2021 was one of the most remarkable engineering feats in human history. Three years in and a million miles away, the telescope is revolutionizing our understanding of the cosmos, which may leave humankind with more insight into our origins and our place in the universe. Straughn is no stranger to the expanse, having worked on the JWST project science team at Goddard Space Flight Center since long before its launch. Accompanied by stunning JWST-captured images, she will take us on a journey back into the cosmic dark ages, revealing the nature of exoplanets and galaxy formation of the early universe.

Mike Krzyzewski, better known as “Coach K,” will address The Richmond Forum in February, ahead of the kick-off of the NCAA March Madness tournament. Coach K is widely regarded as one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time. He led the Duke University Blue Devils to 13 Final Fours – the most of any coach in the game – and five national titles, and he brought home three Olympic gold medals with the United States national team. From his childhood in Chicago to his legendary 42-year career as Duke’s head coach, Krzyzewski will reflect on all he has learned about leadership. His tactics to identify excellent talent, turn weakness into strength, and lead with passion, will reveal the game plan to drive any team to success, whether on or off the court.

In March, The Forum will welcome author and researcher Richard Reeves to Richmond. Over the past 50 years, we have made tremendous strides, socially and politically, to level the playing field for women and girls, but data indicates that the gender imbalance we fought hard to overcome may now be skewed in a different direction. Through critical investigation, Reeves has discovered that many boys and men are losing ground in the classroom, the workplace, and the family. With rigorous analysis and profound empathy, Reeves will explore the economic and social factors that are contributing to this systemic struggle, unveil the challenges and paradoxes inherent to navigating masculinity in the modern age, and offer a vision for a future where all can flourish.

The Forum will close out the 2024 – 2025 season with an unforgettable evening with Martha Stewart. For more than four decades, Stewart has helped make everyday living a little easier, more beautiful, and more inspiring. From crafting the recipe for your favorite frittata to pioneering an eponymous lifestyle empire, her influence has touched millions of homes across America. Whether running a multi-million-dollar company or gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated at the age of 81, Stewart stands as a testament to the power of reinvention. In conversation with award-winning broadcast journalist and producer Soledad O’Brien, Stewart will share stories and lessons learned from every era of her life, from her early ambitions to her triumphs over adversity. No chapter will be left unexplored.

“The 2024 – 2025 lineup is a slate of fascinating figures and topics for our time that we are proud to bring to Richmond,” Heather Crislip, executive director of The Richmond Forum, said. “The ideas, discoveries, and stories coming to the Forum stage next season will ask us challenging questions and leave us in awe.”

Those interested in attending these programs can do so by purchasing a flexible online subscription, on sale now for $130. Online subscribers are able to stream all five 2024 – 2025 season programs from anywhere in the world and can upgrade to in-person seats in the Altria Theater on a program-by-program basis. There is no waitlist or lottery. Anyone interested in becoming a season subscriber should visit for details.

Current subscribers have until May 19, 2024, to renew their subscriptions for next season.

110 South 15th Street
Suite B
Richmond, VA 23219

Office: (804) 330-3993
Office Hours: 9am – 5pm
Program Day: 10am – noon

Presenting powerful voices so Richmond can learn. Empowering local voices so Richmond can lead.

The Richmond Forum and its partners are proud to support the Richmond Forum Speech & Debate Initiative, a community initiative to bring speech & debate programs to all of our region’s public schools.

The Richmond Forum is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization.

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