The World We Want is the World We Need!

Friday May 20th, 2011 7:00 PM

This event will take place at the Riverside Church
490 Riverside Drive (Between 120-122 Streets)
Co-Sponsors: Mission and Social Justice Ministry of Riverside Church, Brecht Forum, Critical Resistance, Bluestockings Books, Counterpublic Collective, NYC Indypendent, and The National Lawyers Guild, NYC Chapter
Conversations Uptown:  The World We Want is the World We Need
Angela Y. Davis, Ruth Gilmore & Vijay Prashad
Moderated by Laura Flanders
Performance by The Mahina Movement

Some 40 years after uprisings at Attica and her own arrest, Angela Davis comes to Riverside Church in Harlem to build bridges around issues of austerity, prisons and global resistance. She will be joined in conversation by leading intellectual activists Ruthie Gilmore and Vijay Prashad.


Angela Davis is an American political activist, scholar, and author. Davis was most politically active during the late 1960s through the 1970s and was associated with the Communist Party USA, the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Panther Party. Prisoner rights have been among her continuing interests; she is the founder of "Critical Resistance", an organization working to abolish the prison-industrial complex. She is presently a retired professor with the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz and is the former director of the university's Feminist Studies department. Her research interests are in feminism, African American studies, critical theory, Marxism, popular music and social consciousness, and the philosophy and history of punishment and prisons. Her membership in the Communist Party led to Ronald Reagan's request in 1969 to have her barred from teaching at any university in the State of California. She was tried and acquitted of suspected involvement in the Soledad brothers' August 1970 abduction and murder of Judge Harold Haley in Marin County, California. She was twice a candidate for Vice President on the Communist Party USA ticket during the 1980s. In the early 1990s she moved from party communism to other forms of political commitment, and she has identified herself as a democratic socialist.

Ruth Wilson Gilmore, a professor of geography in the doctoral program in earth and environmental sciences, is known as an activist as well as an intellectual and is currently president of the American Studies Association (ASA). She examined how political and economic forces produced California’s prison boom in Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (University of California Press, 2007), which was recognized by ASA with its Lora Romero First Book Award. Gilmore’s wide-ranging research interests also include race and gender, labor and social movements, uneven development, and the African diaspora. She comes to the Graduate Center from the University of Southern California, where she taught courses in race and ethnicity, economic geography, and political geography, was the founding chair of the department of American studies and ethnicity, and won the USC-Mellon Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring. She also works regularly with community groups and grassroots organizations and is known for the broad accessibility of her research. She holds a Ph.D. in economic geography and social theory from Rutgers University.


Vijay Prashad is the author of eleven books, most recently, The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World (The New Press, paperback 2008), which was chosen as the best nonfiction book of 2008 by the Asian American Writers' Workshop and which won the 2009 Muzaffar Ahmad Book Prize.His forthcoming books include: The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (Verso and LeftWord, 2012). [co-edited with Qalandar Memon and Madiha Tahir] Dispatches from Pakistan (LeftWord, 2011). Prashad writes regularly in the media: as a columnist for Frontline magazine (Chennai, India), a contributing editor for Himal South Asia (Kathmandu, Nepal) and a contributing editor for Naked Punch Asia (Lahore, Pakistan). His web dispatches can be read at Counterpunch (, at ZNET ( and at Pragoti (


Former Air America Radio host, Laura Flanders is the host and founder of GRITtv, a nationally syndicated daily talk show for people who want to do more than talk. She is the author of the New York Times best-seller, BUSHWOMEN: Tales of a Cynical Species (Verso, 2004) and Blue GRIT: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians (The Penguin Press, 2007,) and she is the editor of the new collection: At the Tea Party: the Wing nuts, Whack jobs and Whitey-whiteness of the New Republican Right…and Why we Should Take it Seriously (OR books Nov, 2010.) Flanders writes for The Huffington Post and and is a regular contributor on MSNBC. She has appeared on shows from “Real Time with Bill Maher” and “The Tavis Smiley Show,” to “Larry King Live” and Bill O’Reilly’s “Factor.” On Twitter, she’s @GRITlaura. For more information, go to