Rebecca Rankin Reading Room (Rm. 111)
In conjunction with the exhibit Unlikely Historians: Materials collected by NYPD surveillance teams, 1960-1975, the Municipal Archives invites you to join in a lively conversation with Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, The New York Civil Liberties Union’s Arthur Eisenberg, and activist leader Leslie Cagan, about their roles in shaping, supporting, and reporting on activist movements.
Leslie Cagan has worked in peace and justice movements for more than 50 years. From the Vietnam war to racism at home, nuclear disarmament to lesbian/gay liberation, fighting sexism to working against U.S. military intervention, from support of Palestinian rights to police brutality to normalizing relations with Cuba, she’s been a central organizer in many struggles. She is currently the coordinator of the Peoples Climate Movement NY and serves on the national PCM leadership body.
Leslie was the National Coordinator of United for Peace and Justice, a coalition that grew to 1,400-member groups. Her coalition-building and organizing skills have mobilized hundreds of thousands of people in many of the nation’s largest demonstrations and hundreds of other events, including the million-person Nuclear Disarmament demonstration in NYC on June 12, 1982; the historic lesbian/gay rights march on Washington in October, 1987; and the largest mobilizations against the Iraq War from 2003 to 2007. She was the co-coordinator of the Sept. 21, 2014 People’s Climate March, which brought 400,000 people into the streets demanding action on the global climate crisis.
She has worked on progressive electoral campaigns, including serving as the Field Director in the 1988 Dinkins NY Mayoral race. Her writings appear in 10 anthologies and in scores of print and online outlets. Leslie has done more workshops, conference presentations, and speeches at rallies than she can count.
Arthur Eisenberg is the Legal Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. Over a career at the NYCLU that has spanned more than 40 years, he has litigated extensively around issues of free speech, voting rights, race discrimination and education. He has been involved in more than 20 cases that were presented to the United States Supreme Court, representing either direct litigants or amici curiae. The cases included those involving the questions of whether Wisconsin engaged in unconstitutional, political gerrymandering when it drew its legislative district lines. (Gill v. Whitford (2017)); whether the Defense of Marriage Act was constitutional (United States v. Windsor (2013)); whether a state violated the fundamental right to vote when it denied voters the right to cast write-in ballots (Burdick v. Takushi (1992)); whether a school board violated the First Amendment in removing ten books from its high school library (Island Trees Union Free School District v. Pico (1982)).
Eisenberg is the co-author, with Burt Neuborne, of the Rights of Candidates and Voters (2nd ed. 1980). He published an essay on issues of faith and conscience, in the book, Engaging Cultural Differences (2002), on military tribunals in It’s a Free Country (2002); on school reform and the State Constitution in A Quality Education for Every Child (2009); and on free speech and Occupy Wall Street in Beyond Zuccotti Park (2012). He has also published law review articles on a range of topics including essays on Lani Guinier (Review Essay: The Millian Thoughts of Lani Guinier, New York University Review of Law and Social Change (1995)); on Robert Bork (Repaid In The Coin Of A Controversialist: The Bork Nomination Process, University of Cincinnati Law Review (1990)); on campaign finance reform (Civic Discourse, Campaign Finance Reform, and the Virtues of Moderation, Cardozo Studies in Law and Literature (2000)); and on censorship of the arts (The Brooklyn Museum Controversy and the Issue of Government-Funded Expression, Brooklyn Law Review (2000)).
Eisenberg earned his BA degree from The Johns Hopkins University and his J.D. from Cornell Law School. He has taught courses in Constitutional Litigation, Civil Rights Law and Constitutional Law at Cardozo Law School and the University of Minnesota Law School and is currently teaching at Cardozo Law School.
Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 1,400 public television and radio stations worldwide.
The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard honored Goodman with the 2014 I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence Lifetime Achievement Award. She is also the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize' for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.” She is the first co-recipient of the Park Center for Independent Media’s Izzy Award, named for the great muckraking journalist I.F. Stone, and was later selected for induction into the Park Center’s I.F. Stone Hall of Fame. The Independent of London called Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! “an inspiration.”
Goodman has co-authored six New York Times bestsellers. Her latest one, Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America looks back over the past two decades of Democracy Now! and the powerful movements and charismatic leaders who are re-shaping our world.
Goodman has received the American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Award; the Paley Center for Media’s She’s Made It Award; and the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship. Her reporting on East Timor and Nigeria has won numerous awards, including the George Polk Award, Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting, and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award. Time Magazine named Democracy Now! its “Pick of the Podcasts,” along with NBC’s Meet the Press. PULSE named Goodman one of the 20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009.
She has also received awards from the Associated Press, United Press International, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Project Censored. Goodman received the first ever Communication for Peace Award from the World Association for Christian Communication. She was also honored by the National Council of Teachers of English with the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language.
The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard honored Goodman with the 2014 I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence Lifetime Achievement Award....