Class Day Lecture: Karenna Gore Speaks to GSD Graduates at Class Day 2024

Commencement Class Day poster in lime green with white font

When: May/22,/2024


03:30PM – 05:00PM

Live Stream and Captioning
A live stream for this event will be available on this page at the scheduled start time. Live English closed captioning is available by clicking the “CC” icon at the bottom of the player window. If the live stream player is unavailable in your region, a secondary stream is available here.

In addition, live captioning and automated translations are available at this link. The following language translations are available: Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Persian, Thai, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Korean.

The Harvard Graduate School of Design’s 2024 Class Day Awards Ceremony and Address will take place from 3:30 pm–5:00 pm on Wednesday, May 22, in the Gund Hall Backyard.

Headshot of Karenna GoreThe GSD has named Karenna Gore as its 2024 Class Day speaker.

Karenna Gore is the founder and executive director of the Center for Earth Ethics and visiting professor of practice of earth ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Karenna formed CEE in 2015 to address the moral and spiritual dimensions of the climate crisis. Working at the intersection of faith, ethics, and ecology, she guides the Center’s public programs, educational initiatives, and movement-building. She also is an ex officio faculty member of Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

Her previous experience includes serving as director of Union Forum at Union Theological Seminary, a platform for theological scholarship to engage with civic discourse and social change. She also worked at the legal center of Sanctuary for Families, which serves victims of domestic violence and trafficking, was director of community affairs for the Association to Benefit Children, which provides early childhood education and other services for New York City families living in poverty, and was an associate with the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Karenna is the author of Lighting the Way: Nine Women Who Changed Modern America (2006), and has written for numerous publications, including Slate, Spain’s El País and the New York Times. She serves on the boards of the Association to Benefit Children,  the Sweetwater Cultural Center, an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to promoting the education, health and welfare of Indigenous Peoples and to preserve their cultures and ceremonial practiced locally, regionally, and around the Western Hemisphere, and Riverkeeper, an organization that protects and restores the Hudson River and safeguards drinking water. She is also an expert in the United Nations’ Harmony with Nature Knowledge Network, an online platform of practitioners, academics, and researchers.

A graduate of Harvard College, Karenna earned her law degree from Columbia Law School and a master’s in social ethics from Union Theological Seminary.

Please visit the GSD’s Commencement page for more information about Class Day and Commencement week activities. You may also wish to view the university-wide Commencement site.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].