A Conversation on Freedom

Freedom Forums had its first New York City event in the grand rotunda at Federal Hall on November 26. An annual multi-disciplinary public engagement program with statewide regional partners, the theme of the event was Freedom: Personal, Civic and Artistic.

Alexis De Veaux, internationally renowned poet, activist and author was joined in conversation by poets Jericho Brown, associate professor of English and creative writing at Emory University; Tina Chang, the first woman Poet Laureate of Brooklyn; and Aja Monet, performer, educator and human rights advocate. Together with a diverse and participatory audience, they considered questions on the meaning of freedom as writers, individuals and as citizens in an increasingly divided America.

Borne from the legacy of old Federal Hall, the birthplace of American democracy, Freedom Forums uses literature as a prompt to explore issues within our democracy. The event at Federal Hall was bookended by public engagement programs in all four regions—New York City, the Adirondacks, Western New York and Long Island—held in collaboration with the Adirondack Center for Writing, Dialogue Arts Project, Herstory Writers Workshop, Just Buffalo Literary Center, Poets House, Poets in Unexpected Places, and Urban Word NYC. Learn more.

Photo courtesy of Nelson Cabán.