Rick Steves, who has devoted his life to opening up the world to travelers with his practical tips and suburban-dad looks, will open the spring-summer season of the Westminster Town Hall Forum in Minneapolis.
His talk, "Travel as a Political Act," will address his belief that global travel expands our world view and shapes the way we look at the politics of the world. He'll speak at noon on Feb. 23.
Rachel Simmons, author of "Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls," will speak at noon on March 8. Simmons is co-founder of the Girls Leadership Institute and a consultant on bullying.
Parker Palmer, writer, activist and founder of the Center for Courage and Renewal, will speak at noon on April 19. Palmer is the author of nine books, including "Healing the Heart of Democracy." He graduated from Carleton College in Minnesota and his visit is co-sponsored by the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.
Joan Chittister, author of more than 40 books and founder of Benetvision, will speak at 7 p.m. July 12. Chittister is a member of the Benedictine Sisters and is the co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women.
The season winds up with Patrick McGrann, who will speak at noon May 3 in collaboration with Westminster's Palestinian Art Festival. McGrann, a Minnesota native, has worked in Sudan, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen and currently lives in Gaza, where he has taught at the Islamic University.
Westminster Town Hall forums are held at Westminster Presbyterian Church on the Nicollet Mall. The events are free.