The Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Lecture

Climate Refugees: An Unrecognized Challenge at Home and Abroad
February 28, 2017

Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Lecture

The 2017 Wallenberg Lecture will be given by Dr. Maria Cristina Garcia on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 7 p.m. in Wallenberg Auditorium, Nobel Hall of Science. During the lecture, "Climate Refugees: An Unrecognized Challenge at Home and Abroad," García will discuss challenges that lie ahead, both for the people who will be displaced by environmental changes, and the countries that will be forced to give them refuge.

According to the International Organization for Migration and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, climate-driven migration could reach as high as 150 million by 2050. This will have major policy implications for the United States—and the international community— affecting immigration polices, humanitarian aid and economic development programs, health policies, human rights, and foreign relations. Though journalists and aid workers frequently call these displaced persons "refugees,” they are not legally recognized as such by most countries, and therefore not entitled to resettlement or humanitarian assistance. 

María Cristina García, PhD,is the Howard A. Newman Professor of American Studies in the Department of History and professor in Latino Studies Program at Cornell University.

This event is free and open to the public. The Wallenberg Auditorium is located in the Nobel Hall of Science which is south and west of Christ Chapel. For more information, contact the Office of Marketing and Communication at 507-933-7520 or



In 1982, Gustavus Adolphus College awarded Raoul Wallenberg an honorary degree in absentia which was accepted on his behalf by his sister Nina. In 1983, Gustavus established an annual lecture to commemorate the heroic service of Raoul Wallenberg in his fearless support of persecuted Jews during the Second World War. Wallenberg saved thousands of Jewish people by issuing “protecting passports,” which instantly made the bearers Swedish citizens. In January 1945, Wallenberg was arrested by the Soviet authorities and vanished. He is now presumed dead.

More information on Raoul Wallenberg and past Gustavus presenters.