Ideas

These interactive events and conversations bring together vital thinkers and doers to address and engage with national and international issues through the microcosm of the culturally rich, diverse, and complex communities of New Haven.

The Ideas Program is presented in partnership with Connecticut Humanities, a non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, with additional leadership support of The Whitney Center and media sponsor CT Public.

All programming is presented free of charge. Live-streamed content will be available on FacebookYou Tube and here on our homepage. Additionally, All Facebook Live events are also live captioned!

Workshop content will require Zoom registration; info and links will be posted below as available.


Wealth in Our Democracy: Anand Giridharadas in Conversation

A conversation about income inequality in the U.S. with Anand Giridharadas, author of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.

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The Role of Artists in Democracy

The 2012 Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco is joined by four-time Grammy Award winner Angélique Kidjo, Lakota playwright Larissa FastHorse, and Founder of Theatre of the Oppressed NYC and New Haven native Katy Rubin who reflect on their roles as mediators and responders.

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Songwriting as Radical Imagination: An Activist Songbook Discussion

Joined by Activist Songbook Composer Byron Au Yong and Lyricist Aaron Jafferis, a panel of artists/activists will discuss music and its role in activism and democracy.

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Stephanie Burt in Conversation

Part of the NEA Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest

Poet Stephanie Burt discusses her book Advice From The Lights (Graywolf Press, 2017), an essential work that asks who we are, how we become ourselves, and why we make art.

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Constitution Cafe: The Role of Government During Pandemic

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

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Democracy, Pandemic, and How We Move Forward

Former Connecticut Secretary of State Miles Rapoport moderates a conversation with political commentator and author Heather McGhee, political activist and CEO of Voto Latino María Teresa Kumar, and political scholar Archon Fung.

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Democracy, Refugees, and Asylum

Presented in partnership with IRIS-Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services

Historian Quan Tran and sociologist Jasmina Besirevic-Regan share their personal stories and professional perspectives on borders, migration, and democracy.

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Stories, Sovereignty, and Imagining Forward

A conversation with Native American artists and leaders who offer their perspective on issues of sovereignty, ancestry, and post-pandemic survival, organized in partnership with theater director Madeline Sayet.

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Constitution Cafe: The Future of Governing and Public Assembly

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

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Housing as a Human Right? Tackling Challenges of Affordability and Discrimination

Explore the intersection of housing and democracy with Connecticut experts including Karen DuBois Walton (Executive Director of the Elm City Communities/Housing Authority of the City of New Haven), Jacqueline Rabe Thomas (Reporter for the Connecticut Mirror), and Alexis Highsmith Smith (Executive Director of New Haven Legal Aid) on housing in Connecticut discuss the evolution of housing in our state.

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Who is Essential? Race, Culture, and Identity in American Democracy

Presented In partnership with The CT Mirror

John Dankosky invites Khalilah Brown-Dean, Political Science Professor at Quinnipiac University, and others to reflect on identity politics at this disorienting time when a new identity has emerged in our society: “essential.”

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Constitution Cafe: Federal Vs. States Rights

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

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Voter Rights Workshop

Presented in partnership with Civic Impact Lab, Mothers & Others for Justice, The Urban League of Southern Connecticut

Learn how structural racism shapes our voting system, imagine how a just and equitable alternative should work, and discuss how we as individuals and institutions can create a voting system rooted in shared liberation.

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Slavery & The American Story

Presented In partnership with The Narrative Project

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and creator of the landmark 1619 Project for The New York Times Magazine, Nikole Hannah-Jones, talks with the host of The Center For Investigative Reporting’s Reveal podcast, Al Letson, and New Haven local columnist, communications specialist and founder of The Narrative Project, Mercy Quaye. This talk will include a special performance by New Haven musician Paul Bryant Hudson.

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Constitution Cafe: Constitution & Mass Incarceration

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.

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On Being Good: A Conversation with The Good Place Philosophers

Philosophers Pamela Hieronymi and Todd May, who served as philosophy advisors on the acclaimed television comedy, The Good Place (NBC), explore the nature of goodness and its role in society, an especially poignant and visceral subject against the backdrop of the current public health crisis.

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