Constitution Cafe: Constitution & Mass Incarceration, June 24

Presented in partnership with ACLU Connecticut

Join your neighbors and local experts in a series of community dialogues around daily issues that intersect with The Constitution.

This project creates rigorous constitutional discussions outside of the lecture hall and allows us to explore how this document impacts our daily lives. Each Constitution Cafe brings together guests with academic expertise on the constitution and lived expertise on New Haven.

Please enjoy this online iteration of artist Linda Pollack’s project, My Daily Constitution.

Linda Pollack

Artist and Moderator

Linda Pollack studied economics at Penn State University, and art at the Vrije Akademie in The Hague and the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, the Netherlands. She spent a decade in the lowlands, eventually combining her art practice with cultural policy development while working for the European Cultural Foundation in Amsterdam. At the ECF she set up APEXchanges, a groundbreaking arts mobility fund that addressed post-cold war Europe's east / west cultural and economic divide. She also developed initiatives that promoted reconciliation and civil society in war-torn Yugoslavia, with Haris Pasovic and his Sarajevo Festival Ensemble, and Macedonian rock stars "Leb i Sol", among others. In 1996, Linda returned to the United States to pursue her MFA in New Genres at UCLA, and received her MFA from the visual arts department of UCSD. On the evening of 9/11/2001, as the Director of the Freedom to Write Committee of PEN USA, Linda was set to produce the world premier of the English translation of "Tesri Dastak" ("The Third Knock"), the debut play of renowned Pakistani playwright Shahid Nadeem, of the Ajoka Theatre in Lahore Pakistan. Nadeem, living in Los Angeles as a visiting Feuchtvanger Fellow, had written this first work about poverty and the cycle of violence which followed the 1945 partition of India and Pakistan. Faced with the horror of that day, the first impulse of the cast and the production team was to cancel the event. In the days that followed, after much deliberation and soul searching, the cast (which included acclaimed actors Shashir Kurup, Bernard White, Kal Penn, and Lina Patel, among others) made the decision to go forward with the play. A week later, an unforgettable evening of theater and discussion took place at 18th Street's Highways Performance Space. The evening reinforced Linda's conviction in exchange, art and dialogue as an antidote to fear, a way to come to terms with the complexity of the tragedy, a way to give articulation to the ineffable. In 2002, Linda created My Daily Constitution, a public work that creates new, fluid spaces where communities can come together to discuss the challenges and possibilities of our shared civic life. With MDC, Pollack proposes to go beyond the visible symbols of patriotism, beyond flags flapping on cars, and invites people to explore the less visible— yet no less important— world of civic ideals and community engagement. She has held MDC in Los Angeles, NYC, Seattle, Cincinnati, and most recently, in Indianapolis. Pollack has been awarded numerous grants, including a residency at Schloss Solitude of Stuttgart Germany, the the 18th Street Arts Center of Santa Monica California. She has exhibited and presented her work in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States.

Babz Rawls Ivy

Editor-in-Chief of the Inner-City News. The Inner-City News is a 30 year old award winning weekly print publication published by Penfield Communication, Inc. in New Haven CT.

A nationally recognized popular blogger and social media influencer. Currently managing several blogs on various social media platforms. Popular podcaster and frequently sought after guest for local and national radio, television and podcasts appearances.

Morning radio personality and producer of LoveBabz LoveTALK show, Monday-Friday 9:00 am and Co-host of Criminal Justice Insider with Jeff Grant radio show and podcast. every 1st & 3rd Friday. CJI highlights and showcases matters and issues about the criminal justice system. Both shows air on 103.5 WNHH-LP FM Hyper-local community radio under the New Haven Independent news outlet.

Political Pundit, New Haven Independent Roundtable. Contributing Panel member of local influencers discussing local political moves of the day.

B.S. in Marketing from Barber-Scotia College, a Historically Black College in Concord, NC.

A National Urban Fellow with a Masters in Public Administration, Baruch, City University New York. A certified Spiritual Director, The Mercy Center, School Of Spirituality & Practicum.

Eric Rey