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Social Justice Academy, Spring 2022: The “New” New York

“We must remember that the conditions and the very existence of social movements enable participants to imagine something different, to realize that things need not always be this way. It is that imagination, that effort to see the future in the present, that I shall call ‘poetry’ or ‘poetic knowledge.’”

- Robin D.G. Kelley, Freedom Dreams

The Department of Politics and Human Rights launches the Spring 2022 Social Justice Academy: The New New York. This second interdisciplinary, semester-length, and college-wide academy features thought leaders and hands-on workshops illuminating theories and methods of collective action.

About the Academy

As New York City approaches the third spring of the pandemic, we look to ideas and action that transcend the contradictions of the present. From Robin D.G. Kelley’s (2002) Freedom Dreams and Erik Olin Wright’s (2010) Envisioning Real Utopias  to N.K. Jemisin’s (2020) speculative fiction The City We Became and Arundhati Roy’s (2020) critical essay “The Pandemic is a Portal,” we are prompted to reimagine, embody, and transform our city’s futures. Drawing across these and other works, this year’s academy asks: What are we for? How do we become, and win, the city we need? What do we want for our bodies in the reimagined city? How do we want the new city to embrace our identities, our emotions? Inspired by New Yorkers who demonstrate by example what it will take to create a life-affirming, inclusive, and just city, this year’s academy is by extension an invitation to the MMC community to “be the change you wish to see” in the reemerging New York City.

Academy Curriculum

Courses connected with the academy fulfill requirements, including those of general education, majors, and minors. The “New” New York Academy is part of the broader Spring 2022 PHR Event Series and courses therein will variously host speakers and events that are open to the wider community.

The academy commences with the college-wide photography competition PICTURE THE CITY, inviting students to enter photographic work that reveals and proposes the “new” New York City. Juried prizes for the winning student photographs will be announced in May 2022 along with a digital exhibit and library gallery exhibit in Fall 2022. View call for entries and instructions here.

Three key conversations frame the academy engagement around the interrelated themes of reimagining, embodying, and transforming the city. Adjacent to these key conversations, connected courses and all interested students are welcome to participate in a series of workshops and field visits focused on creative action. See the entire academy events listing here. Register for individual​events on the sidebar of this page. Registration also available through MMC Engage.

Return here for news and announcements, including the launch of the academy’s digital portfolio and public exhibition.

Library Resources

View academy library resources here.

for more information, contact:

Assistant Professor Marnie Brady, Ph.D., Department of Politics & Human Rights