For the Public Good Conference

Ana Amuchástegui, Lee Anne Bell, Elizabeth Bernstein, Sealing Cheng, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Gail Cooper, Nico Fonseca, Kerwin Kaye, Mark Padilla, Mario Pecheny, and more
Mar 28, 2014 | 9:30am
Event Oval
The Diana Center
Co-Sponsors: For the Public Good

Ta-Nehisi Coates



Register online. Special pre-conference panel on Thursday, March 27: Gender, Justice, and Activisms in New York City.

Education. Healthcare. Policing. The environment. The primary facets of public life are often segmented into separate issues. While powerful social movements have developed around each of these topics, many structural forces cut across such tidy (and false) boundaries and create ripples far beyond any one agency, nonprofit, or area of study. Crafting a society built on shared dreams and responsibilities that truly addresses injustice and incorporates diverse perspectives demands a wider lens. This day-long conference, the culmination of two multi-year multidisciplinary projects—For the Public Good and Gender, Justice, and Neoliberalism—brings together writers, activists, and scholars to reflect on approaches to reshaping our social infrastructure to support us all.

Keynote address by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Event is free and open to the public. Registration is requested. Venue is wheelchair accessible.


Thursday, March 27

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Gender, Justice, and Activisms in New York City: A Special Pre-Conference Panel

Kate D’Adamo, Reina Gossett, Amber Hollibaugh, Tiloma Jayasinghe, Sydnie Mosley, and Penelope Saunders
In Fall 2013, Janet Jakobsen and Elizabeth Bernstein, organizers of the Gender, Justice, and Neoliberalisms research group, led a seminar on “Activisms” that matched students with groups that are doing gender and sexuality based activism in New York City. As a preface to the For the Public Good conference, speakers from these organizations—the Sex Workers Organizing Project, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Queers for Economic Justice, Sakhi for South Asian Women, and Sydnie L. Mosley Dances—discuss the effects of economic conditions on their work, the intricacies and impact of their labor, and their experiences providing students with a form of applied education that could benefit grassroots campaigns.

Friday, March 28
Event Oval, The Diana Center

9:30 – 10:00 AM
Breakfast and Opening Registration

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Exploring the Public Good in New York City

Gail Cooper (moderator), John Blasco, Nico Fonseca, Ede Fox, Robert Hawkins, Amanda Geller
In 2013, Bill de Blasio’s successful mayoral campaign was built on the idea that New Yorkers are tired of growing inequality and seek a city that supports and nourishes all its inhabitants. In 2014, community leaders and scholars of social issues gather to discuss what the agenda of such a city might look like. With over 21% of New Yorkers living below the federal poverty line, and many more grappling with a lack of affordable housing, police brutality, systemic racial profiling and homophobia, limited educational opportunities, and a robust school to prison pipeline, how can New York’s diverse population come together to develop an infrastructure based once and for all on the public good?

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Black Boy Interrupted: American Plunder And The Incomplete Life Of Jordan Davis
Keynote Lecture by Atlantic National Correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates

Lunch will be provided.

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
New York City in the World

Elizabeth Bernstein (moderator), Ana Amuchástegui, Sealing Cheng, Louis Graham, Kerwin Kaye, Mark Padilla, Mario Pecheny
By foregrounding the operations of gender and sexuality that are contained within seemingly discrete social phenomena, including homelessness and addiction, healthcare and poverty, gentrification and policing, we can enhance our capacity to understand and to address them. Comprising scholars from diverse academic backgrounds and regions, this panel illuminates the connections between global political economy and the politics of gender and sexuality—connecting contemporary social problems in New York City to social changes occurring elsewhere, from bankruptcy in Detroit to the latest cycles of boom and bust in Buenos Aires. By so doing, we hope to come to a better understanding of the social dynamics that create inequality and insecurity, as well as the possibilities that exist for creating social change.

4:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Coffee Break

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Ecstatic Corona Performance

Patricia T. Clough, Elizabeth Garcia, Yeong Ran Kim, Omar Montana, Mac Morris, Elijah Wong
Ecstatic Corona is a visual, sound multimedia installation using a remix of field recordings and electronic sounds, spoken words and dance to bring Corona, Queens, to others as an icon of those places created by various forces to bear more violence, more hatred and perhaps more love than other places do, a place where annihilation threatens but where survival is magnificent for all the effort and resilience it takes to survive. We have found Corona; we still are looking for Corona. We ask our audience to join us in seeking their CORONA too.

More from this event:

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