Sitting in that hotel armchair, I realized that my deadly disease was giving me newfound power at the very moment it was depriving me of so much strength. My voice was growing softer, but I was being heard by more people than ever before. My legs were disintegrating, but more and more people were following in my footsteps. Precisely because my days were numbered, people drew inspiration from my decision to spend them in resistance. Precisely because I faced such obstacles, my comrades were moved by my message that struggle is never futile.
In this talk, the paralyzed political activist Ady Barkan will explore the existential questions that he has faced in the wake of his terminal diagnosis with ALS, and that the American people have faced under the Trump administration: What kind of life will our children have, and what kind of world will they inherit? Which injustices must we accept and which ones demand our resistance? How should we spend our precious time on this earth, and how should we die?
A reception will follow. Copies of Eyes to the Wind will be available for purchase and there will be a free book giveaway to the first 20 students to attend with ID.
Ady Barkan is an organizer at the Center for Popular Democracy and the founder of the Be A Hero campaign. He is the author of Eyes to the Wind: A Memoir of Love and Death, Hope and Resistance.
Sponsored by the IHC’s Critical Mass series, the Department of English, and the Harry Girvetz Memorial Endowment