We Gathered: 130 Years of Asian American Activism in New York City

Thursday, September 22, 2022, 7 - 8:30pm

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The Asian American Writers’ Workshop, the Strand Book Store, and The Cooper Union will convene a multidisciplinary celebration of over a century of Asian American activism in New York City. Gathering at The Cooper Union’s historic Great Hall – the site of the formation of the Chinese Equal Rights League one hundred and thirty years prior – we’ll be joined by writers, artists, organizers, and local politicians to discuss activism across the Asian diaspora in New York City. From unionizing to guerrilla art collectives, we’ll celebrate the vibrant and vital coalition who call New York home. 

Registration is required. Register here.

The program will feature an Indian classical dance performance by Leela New York, including a note on the role of movement in activism from Ria DasGupta. Following the dance performance, Wajahat Ali will moderate a conversation between author Gina Apostol, organizer Whitney Hu, and city council member Shekar Krishnan, who is a 2006 alumnus of Cooper's Albert Nerken School of Engineering, with others to be announced. 

Local activist organizations will join us in the lobby outside the Great Hall, to discuss their work, and ways for audience members to get involved beyond the event. Books will be available for sale via the Strand. 

This event will be free and open to the public: all attendees are required to show proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination and booster and must wear a CDC-recommended mask (disposable surgical, KN95, KF94, or N95) while indoors. Cloth masks alone are not permitted, but may be worn as a second layer over a disposable surgical mask.

This program is part of The Gardiner Foundation Great Hall Forum series.




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.