Moment or Movement

Tuesday, April 3, 2018, 6:30 - 8:30pm

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In recent years our country has experienced a new period of increased civic engagement and sustained social action. From Black Lives Matter, to #MeToo, to the Resistors and Dreamers, millions of Americans are taking to the streets and calling for massive social change and accountability at a level not seen for 50 years. And yet, despite the deep importance and intersection of these campaigns for social change, questions have begun to arise concerning the longevity of this new wave of social action.

Are we experiencing a moment in our nation's history or the beginning of a movement? Building on the lessons learned from the civil rights movement, we seek to answer how we as a community can ensure this moment of increased social awareness and action continues to evolve into a long-term, sustained, social movement. April 4th of this year marks the 50th anniversary of the passing of Martin Luther King Jr. We can think of no better time to convene this conversation than at this significant time.

The program is co-presented by FPWA, an anti-poverty, policy, and advocacy nonprofit with a membership network of 170 human service and faith-based organizations. Speakers include:

  • Rev. Dr. James Alexander Forbes, Jr., distinguished Senior Minister Emeritus of The Riverside Church, which is an interdenominational, interracial, and international church built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1927
  • Jennifer Jones Austin, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of FPWA
  • Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union
  • Khalil Muhammad, Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School

The event is free and open to the public. General public should reserve a space here. Please note first come, first seated; an RSVP does not guarantee admission as we generally overbook to ensure a full house.

Located in The Great Hall, in the Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.