Upcoming Social Justice Talks & Events in NYC

By Alison Durkee

In the current political climate, it’s become more important than ever for marginalized voices to speak out and fight for their rightsand as one of the country’s most diverse cities, New York is one of the best places to learn about social justice. Learn more and celebrate minority voices at these upcoming talks and events.

On May 27, figure out how the current age of fighting against injustice can extend past the present moment at The Future of Justice, a talk with restorative justice advocate sujatha baliga and Chief Justice Emeritus of the Navajo Nation Robert Yazzie. Get a scientific perspective on social justice on June 4, as the Underground Science Festival offers a session on science for social change, a show that looks at social issues through a scientific lens. Many of these social issues, of course, have some tie to religion. On May 30, learn more about the country’s complicated history with faith at a talk exploring the history of civil religion in the U.S.

Pride will take place this June, and there will be plenty of ways to celebrate and learn more about the LGBTQ community throughout the city. Get a historical look at the LGBTQ community with a talk on the untold story of LGBTQ refugees at the Tenement Museum on June 6, or discover more about the history of the AIDS crisis and the future of the disease at a talk on May 31. For a more artistic look at the LGBTQ experience, head to the Queerly Contemporary Festival at New York City Center on June 9, which highlights LGBTQ voices working in dance and performance. The Brooklyn Museum will also offer its own night of queerness with its free Target First Saturday evening on June 2, which will celebrate Pride with LGBTQ poets, artists, and performers. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture will kick off Pride June 1 with a special celebration, featuring music, drinks, performances and extended hours for the library’s exhibitions.

Speaking of the Schomburg Center, one exhibition worth checking out this summer is Black Power!, which offers a look at the revolutionary social movement. Those looking to learn more about race this June can continue their historical look with a Caveat session on the racist history of math on June 6, or head to the Fraunces Tavern Museum on June 26 for a look at the origins of American abolitionism. (On May 30, Fraunces Tavern hosts the historical look Headwraps of African Women in America.) On June 6, a conversation at the Brooklyn Historical Society will consider the politics of New York’s criminal justice system, which is often biased against people of color. Writer and activist Darnell L. Moore will consider his own personal identity and experiences with race and sexuality on May 31, as Moore appears at BAM to launch his new memoir No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America.

The fight for women’s rights has become even more pervasive in recent months, between the ongoing #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct and the ramped-up fight for reproductive rights. The American Jewish Historical Society will consider Jewish women’s radical feminist fight in the 20th century at a talk on May 31. For a look at the ongoing debates about women’s health, meanwhile, head to Caveat on June 5 for a session of stories on abortion from both patients and doctors, or dig into the history of women’s health issues at a New York Academy of Medicine event on May 24.

As the #MeToo movement continues forward, this summer will also offer chances to hear from prominent female voices on female empowerment and sexual misconduct. Best-selling author Roxane Gay will appear at Books Are Magic on June 12 to present her new book Not That Bad, an anthology of first-person essays about sexual assault, harassment and rape. At the 92nd Street Y, hear from two of the leading voices of the #MeToo movement, actress Amber Tamblyn and New York Times journalist Jodi Kantor, as they appear in conversation on June 26. On June 12, the 92nd Street Y will also host a conversation with YoungGiftedandFat author Sharrell D. Luckett and The Body Project author Joan Jacobs Brumberg, which will delve into body politics, race, sexuality, and female empowerment.

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