“A Right to Families”: Read Rowling’s Full Lumos Gala Speech

Earlier this week, J.K. Rowling gave a speech before a special gala performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in support of her charity, Lumos. In the moving address, Rowling praised the play, saying,

I really couldn’t be prouder of what you’re about to see, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, every time I watch it.

She continued by touching on one of the major themes of the play, saying that it is

primarily about family: about what it means to us, even when it’s imperfect, which it has to be, because we are all of us imperfect. The original seven Harry Potter books told a story about love, the absence of it and the need for it. Through the work I’ve been privileged to do with Lumos over the past decade, I’ve come to have a new understanding of why those of us with imperfect families have far better chances of surviving this difficult world than those who don’t.

Rowling then gave statistics on the plight of the eight million children currently institutionalized around the world, including the fact that 80% of them have at least one living parent. Many of these children are in institutions and not with their families due to poverty. These children have been proven to be at greater risk for prostitution, suicide, and criminal activity later in life.

As she finished her speech, Rowling reiterated,

Children need, deserve, and have a right to families. Thank you, from everyone at  Lumos, for helping us achieve our ambition of bringing  eight million children back  into the light. It is, to paraphrase Albus Dumbledore, not easy, but it is right.

You can read the entire speech and learn more about Lumos here.

In addition, Rowling posed for a photo with the cast, all of whom were dressed in special-edition Lumos T-shirts. You can purchase a T-shirt in support of Lumos as well at this link, but only until October 3!