Check out the Justice: Upcoming Social Justice Talks & Events in NYC

By Alison Durkee

Between the rise of such groups as #BlackLivesMatter and the Women’s March to the ongoing efforts of the current administration to target marginalized groups, fighting for social justice now feels more necessary than ever. Learn more about the inequalities facing some segments of the population and what can be done to effect change at these upcoming NYC social justice talks and events.

One of the biggest social justice movements to emerge in recent years is #BlackLivesMatter, and those hoping to learn more about the movement can head to an Uprising 13/13 Seminar Series panel discussion at Columbia University on November 9. Racial inequality as it relates to lives in cities, meanwhile, will be the focus of a November 2 discussion on Race, Displacement, and City Planning in New York City, as well as a discussion of racial inequality as it was discovered through asthma research in New York and New Orleans during the Civil Rights era on November 14. African-American New Yorkers hoping to combat these inequalities and move forward in society can take the first step by attending Blak Wall Street, a black business networking event taking place in Harlem on November 11.

As the recent spate of sexual harassment and assault allegations and the #MeToo movement makes clear, women are also often the victims of systemic inequality and abuse. These specific movements will be the focus of a free discussion with performance artists Adrienne Truscott and Karen Finley on “performance, politics, feminism, comedy, rape culture, and #metoo” at NYU Skirball on November 7. Several of the female journalists who broke the sexual harassment stories that have begun to have a profound effect on the visibility of sexual harassment will take the stage for a discussion on November 9. This year’s Festival Albertine will address the inequalities of women with several free talks. An Egalitarian Future, taking place on November 5, will point to gender equality and the welfare of women as a necessary step to solve many of the world’s problems, from the troubles facing democracies to global warming. On November 2, the talk Making the Invisible Visible will take on the problems caused by the widespread nature of technology and the inherent inequalities behind its rise, including how technology and the media shapes and distorts how society representsor under-representswomen.

How women can move forward in society and address the problems facing them is also an important conversation to have. Women in Staten Island can discuss the collective actions they can take at a neighborhood gathering on November 8, while a discussion on November 6 at the Brooklyn Historical Society will point to how women can begin to shape society by running for political office.

A particularly vulnerable section of the female population is black women and other women of color. The police violence faced by these women will be the focus of a conference at Barnard College on November 3 and 4. On November 13, the Public Theatre will put a spotlight on incarcerated populations and their potential to have better, more productive lives in a Public Forum discussion honoring the Fortune Society. Another often-forgotten segment of the population who deals with inequality are sex workers, and the health problems resulting from the discriminatory policing practices they face will be discussed during a talk on November 13.

Between the rise of neo-Nazis and the ongoing Islamophobia facing American Muslims, religious tolerance is also an important aspect of social justice. Learn more about the anti-Semitism currently taking hold in Europe and what can be done about it on November 6, or learn more about Islam in America and its contentious place in national politics at a discussion on November 13. The politics of religion and the influence that religion continues to wield over secular politics, meanwhile, will be the focus of a free talk at Festival Albertine on November 4.

Regardless of what kind of inequality is being faced, social justice and art have often been inextricably linked. Explore the intersection of activism and visual art at It Starts in the Streets on November 5, a panel discussion with such activists and artists as The Guerilla Girls and Staceyann Chin.

The American Theatre of Actors, meanwhile, will use the performing arts to explore gender identities, the LGBTQ community, and push for greater diversity with the new theatre production The White Dress (November 2-5).

Many of the groups in America facing injustice have one thing in common: being targeted by the current White House administration. Fight against the current administration by taking part in the Refuse Fascism protest, which will begin November 4 in Times Square. Whether you’re taking part in this protest or fighting for social justice through other means, be aware of your constitutional rights by taking part in the Olio seminar Know Your Rights? Know Your Rights!, which delves into the first, second, and fourth amendments (Tuesdays in November).


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