This event is in partnership with the Washington Literacy Center and All Above All
A world without prisons? Ridiculous. Schools that foster the genius of every child? Impossible. Work that doesn't strangle the life out of people? Naive. A society where everyone has food, shelter, love? In your dreams. Exactly. Ruha Benjamin, Princeton University professor, insists that imagination isn't a luxury. It is a vital resource and powerful tool for collective liberation.
Imagination: A Manifesto is her proclamation that we have the power to use our imaginations to challenge systems of oppression and to create a world in which everyone can thrive. But obstacles abound. We have inherited destructive ideas that trap us inside a dominant imagination. Consider how racism, sexism, and classism make hierarchies, exploitation, and violence seem natural and inevitable--but all emerged from the human imagination.
The most effective way to disrupt these deadly systems is to do so collectively. Benjamin highlights the educators, artists, activists, and many others who are refuting powerful narratives that justify the status quo, crafting new stories that reflect our interconnection, and offering creative approaches to seemingly intractable problems.
Imagination: A Manifesto offers visionary examples and tactics to push beyond the constraints of what we think, and are told, is possible. This book is for anyone who is ready to take to heart Toni Morrison's instruction: "Dream a little before you think."
Ruha Benjamin is a professor of African American studies and the founder of the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab at Princeton University. The author of the Stowe Prize-winning Viral Justice, as well as Race After Technology and People's Science, Benjamin lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
Benjamin will be in conversation with Panama Jackson, an award-winning writer, author, and Columnist for theGrio.com and host of the “Dear Culture” podcast on theGrio Black Podcast Network. Because he believes the children are our future, he is also an adjunct lecturer at Howard University. He is co-founder and former Senior Editor of the award-winning website, VerySmartBrothas.com, cited as "the blackest place on the internet" by the Washington Post. He graduated from Morehouse College with a degree in economics and holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland-College Park and really enjoys getting paid to be Black for a living.