The New School presents a rare New York appearance by Dr. Grace Lee Boggs, who at 96 years of age has been on the forefront of some of the major social movements in the United States of the past century.
For her appearance at The New School, Boggs will engage in conversation with New School faculty member Bill Gaskins and New School student Melina Pelaez, taking the Martin Luther King speech “Where Do We Go from Here?” as a starting point. The unfinished business of the major 20th century movements illustrates many of the unmet challenges posed by King in this historic 1967 speech, including “the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism.” With the emergence of the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street movements, this event will shine a light on the potential of this historic moment.
Boggs, born to Chinese immigrant parents in 1915, is an activist, writer and speaker whose political involvement encompasses such important movements as Labor, Civil Rights, Black Power, Women’s Rights and Environmental Justice. In 1940 she received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Bryn Mawr College. In the 1940s and early 1950s, she worked with West Indian Marxist historian C.L.R. James. In 1953 she came to Detroit where she married James Boggs, African-American autoworker, labor and community activist, writer and strategist. Working together in grassroots groups and projects, they were partners for more than 40 years until James’ death in July 1993. Their 1974 book, Revolution and Evolution in the Twentieth Century was re-issued by Monthly Review Press with a new 50-page introduction in 2008. Her autobiography, Living for Change, published by University of Minnesota Press in 1998, is widely used in university classes on social movements and autobiography writing. Her most recent book is, The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the 21st Century (University of California Press, 2011).
This event is sponsored by the New School Social Justice Committee (SJC), which is composed of students, faculty, staff, and administrators from across the university. SJC initiates efforts and promotes institutional change through the work of students, alumni, faculty, staff, trustees, and community partners to address economic, social, and cultural inequities.
For more information, visit http://blogs.newschool.edu/social-justice.