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GCPE Lecture Series: Forging a New Social Contract

February 22 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment
Spring 2019 Lecture Series: From Inequality to a Just Future

“Forging a New Social Contract”

Cathy Albisa of the National Economic Social Rights Initiative leads a panel discussing a framework for new federal initiatives to help develop a just future. She will be joined by representatives of the Climate Justice Alliance and others working on the frontlines.

RSVP to Taylor at tkabeary@pratt.edu. Free and open to the public.

Cathy Albisa is a constitutional and human rights lawyer working in partnership with community organizers in the use of human rights standards to strengthen advocacy in the United States. She co-founded NESRI in order to build legitimacy for human rights in general, and economic and social rights in particular, in the United States.Rodney McKenzie, Jr., V.P. for Campaigns and Partnerships, Dēmos, is an experienced community organizer, movement leader and out person of faith who brings to Dēmos over fifteen years of experience fighting for grassroots political power in marginalized communities.Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of UPROSE, is an internationally recognized Puerto Rican attorney and environmental and climate justice leader of African and Indigenous ancestry. Colorlines, a national daily news site, focused on the perspective of people of color, selected Elizabeth Yeampierre as one of their 20X20 honorees on the 20th anniversary of Colorlines.


The nation is at a crossroads. Political conditions in Washington and Albany have shifted yet again. This moment in our history feels as fraught as ever, with the potential for long-term progressive change tantalizingly close, yet still facing significant obstacles: hate, xenophobia, and a spate of “isms.” What visions have emerged to solidify progress and secure an equitable, just, and sustainable planet?

The Spring 2019 Lecture Series “From Inequality to a Just Future,” will examine the history of inequality and injustice in the United States to reveal how we can best organize and plan to redress those inequities. Together with thought leaders, activists, and advocates, we will discuss and debate: How has structural inequality manifested itself in the United States? What are some strategies to dismantle systemic racism? How are progressive movements responding to the changes in Washington and Albany and in our communities? What are the social, economic, environmental, and climate justice strategies for transformation in the near future and over the long-term?

The GCPE lecture series is moderated and curated by Eddie Bautista, Executive Director, NYCEJA and Ronald Shiffman, Professor Emeritus, Pratt Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment.

The series is sponsored by the Pratt Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.