Influential line-up of speakers coming to Coventry for Peace Forum

An acclaimed author on race and a former US federal judge will be among those addressing Coventry’s RISING Global Peace Forum in November.

Pictured: Professor Mike Hardy at the RISING Global Peace Forum.

Coventry’s RISING Global Peace Forum is attracting a fascinating line-up of speakers for this year’s theme of Culture of Peace.

An acclaimed author on race and identity in Britain and a former US federal judge who presided New York’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy will be among those addressing the internationally-recognised event.

For the first time, the event will be live-streamed online reaching a global audience, with only UK-based speakers and around 50 delegates expected to be in physical attendance at Coventry Cathedral.

The 2020 Forum will highlight the combining roles of Coventry as the UK’s City of Culture in 2021, with its status as the UK’s only City of Peace and Reconciliation.

Judge Shira Scheindlin, who famously ruled that New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy violated the constitutional rights of minorities in the city, will open the three-day forum with a speech on human rights.

Writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsch, whose best-selling book Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging revealed uncomfortable truths about race and identity in Britain, will give a talk on cultural expression.

They will be joined by author, journalist and political commentator Will Self, whose speech will focus on cultural leadership, with others to be announced in the coming months.

Professor Sir David King, former Government Chief Scientific Adviser and Special Representative for Climate Change, will deliver the Lord Mayor’s Peace Lecture on the environment and COVID-19.

The forum is now in its fifth year and is a partnership between Coventry University, Coventry Cathedral and Coventry City Council.

The event is set to be held at Coventry Cathedral between 11-13 November.

Professor Mike Hardy, chair of RISING, said: “The speakers already confirmed for this year will continue our rich tradition of drawing influential commentators to our city.

“The coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have brought questions about our citizenship to the fore, and RISING participants will explore the culture of peace as an integrated approach to preventing violence and conflict around the world.”

For more information about the free-to-attend event and prior registration, visit