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November 2019

Critical Mass Talk: Ady Barkan: Love and Death, Hope and Resistance
Ady Barkan

November 21, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

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…

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January 2020

Critical Mass Talk: Nations in Crisis, People in Crisis: Connecting Upheaval
Jared Diamond

January 15, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Corwin Pavilion, 494 UCEN Rd

Nations that successfully navigate crises do so by making selective changes to their identities and actions. When individuals experience crises—mid-life, financial, health, relationship—they may also adopt selective changes to overcome the situation. But some individuals, like some nations, are better at navigating upheaval than others. By drawing on the factors that counselors and psychotherapists have identified that affect the likelihood of overcoming personal crisis, Diamond will examine the extent to which crisis response on the individual scale helps us to understand the outcomes of recent and impending national and world crises. Jared Diamond is professor of Geography at UCLA and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Collapse, and other books. Copies of Diamond's books will be available for purchase and signing. Sponsored by the IHC’s Critical Mass series Image: Kinuko Y. Craft

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April 2020

Critical Mass Talk: Notes on the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration
Reuben Jonathan Miller

April 16, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

While more people are incarcerated in the United States than in any other nation in the history of the western world, the prison is but one (comparatively) small part of a vast carceral landscape. The 600,000 people released each year join nearly 5 million people already on probation or parole, 12 million who are processed through a county jail, 19 million U.S. adults estimated to have a felony conviction, and the staggering 79 million Americans with a criminal record. But the size of the U.S. carceral state is second in consequence to its reach. Incarcerated people are greeted by more than 48,000 laws, policies and administrative sanctions upon release that limit their participation in the labor and housing markets, in the culture and civic life of the city, and even within their families. They are subject to rules other people…

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May 2020

Critical Mass Talk: Struggling to Save America’s Cities in the Suburban Age: Urban Renewal Revisited
Lizabeth Cohen

May 7, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Urban Renewal of the 1950s through 1970s has acquired a very poor reputation, much of it deserved. But reducing it to an unchanging story of urban destruction misses some important legacies and genuinely progressive goals. Those include efforts to create more socially mixed communities, to involve suburbs—not just cities--in solving metropolitan inequality, and most importantly, to hold the federal government responsible for funding more affordable housing and other urban investments, rather than turn to the private sector. Cohen will revisit this history by following the long career of Edward J. Logue, who worked to revitalize New Haven in the 1950s, became the architect of the “New Boston” in the 1960s, and later led innovative organizations in New York at the state level and in the South Bronx. She will analyze the evolution in Logue’s thinking and actions, when and how…

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