Ideas 2020

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.


Constitution Cafe: The Importance of the Census, June 17

Join Gabriel "Jack" Chin, Edward L. Barrett Jr. Chair of Law, Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law, and Director of Clinical Legal Education, your neighbors, and local experts in a community dialogue about the importance of the census.

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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.

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

John Dankosky moderates this talk exploring the intersection of housing and democracy with Connecticut experts, including Karen DuBois Walton of the Elm City Communities/Housing Authority of the City of New Haven, Jacqueline Rabe Thomas of the Connecticut Mirror, and Alexis Highsmith Smith of New Haven Legal Aid.

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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, an essential work that asks who we are, how we become ourselves, and why we make art.

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Shaping Our Voices Into Movements, Action and Allyship

An Activist Songbook Discussion

Join the Activist Songbook team as fellow artists and activists discuss how we can raise our voices to become agents for social change and what People of the Global Majority (PGM) allyship looks like.

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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 Katy Rubin who reflect on their roles as mediators and responders.

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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, sociologist Jasmina Besirevic-Regan, and Nour Al Zouabi, a Syrian refugee, share their personal stories and professional perspectives on borders, migration, and democracy.

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