Breakout Session Descriptions

BREAKOUT SESSIONS I: 13:30 - 16:00 

1. City Tour: "Inequality and Occupy Wall Street" (Financial District)

  • Michael Pellagatti (Occupy activist and educator)

This walking tour in the Financial District focuses on the Occupy Wall Street protests and encampments in Zuccotti Park that began in late 2011. Activists decried the global financial system that benefitted the wealthy and left little for the 99%. Michael Pellagatti, an Occupy activist who participated in the Zuccotti Park protests, lends his personal experience and deep knowledge of the movement to the tour. Check out of the tour in The New York Times. 

2. Site Visit: "Reflections on 9/11 and the Memorial" (Financial District) 

  • Joe Delaney (Director, Deloitte)

This site visit to the 9/11 Memorial will be led by Joe Delaney, a corporate leader who was present at both the World Trade Center terrorist attacks in February 1993 and September 2001. A proud New Yorker, Delaney will share his personal reflections on the attacks and efforts to rebuild Lower Manhattan, as well as their impact on firms like Deloitte and the city's people.

3. City Tour: "Stonewall and the LGBT Rights Movement in New York City" (Greenwich Village)

  • Rick Landman (New York Law School) 

This walking tour of Greenwich Village will explore the LGBT rights movement from the personal perspective of Mr. Landman, who came out in 1965 and has been active in the LGBT Rights Movement in New York since the 1970s. Landman will focus on activism after the Second World War and leading up to the 1969 Stonewall Riots. The tour will also examine the legal battles to end anti-sodomy and cross dressing laws – decades before Marriage Equality and Don't Ask-Don't Tell.

4. City Tour: "Rising Sea Levels in New York – Climate Change and Resiliency Planning"

  • Richard Reiss (Founder, City Atlas) with Phil Khan, Angie Koo and Marlyn Martínez

Climate change, rising sea levels and aging infrastructure present frightening challenges for New York and other coastal cities. Richard Reiss, a researcher who focuses on the urban future of New York, will lead a tour about resiliency planning in the city, with a particular emphasis on waterways and lessons learned after Hurricane Sandy. Reiss is the co-founder of both Artist As Citizen and City Atlas, a new collaboration with the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities. 

5. City Tour: "Rhetoric and Restriction: The History of Immigration in New York" (Lower East Side)

  • Anna Duensing (Yale University, Tenement Museum)

This walking tour will be led by Humanity in Action Senior Fellow and former-educator at the Tenement Museum, Anna Duensing. Participants will explore the streets of the Lower East Side, learning about the anti-immigrant rhetoric and restrictions that Eastern Europeans, Italians, Irish and Asians faced in housing, employment and education during the period from 1860–1960. 

6. Workshop: "How To Make the Ask – Fundraising and Development with Humanity in Action Board Members"

  • Marnie Imhoff (Vice President for Development, The Rockefeller University)
  • Brian Stout (Senior Strategy Consultant, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) 

How do you make "the ask"? How do you approach wealthy funders to support your human rights initiative? In this workshop, two Humanity in Action Board Members and fundraising pros share practical insights on development and fundraising for nonprofits. The session will be particularly helpful for Senior Fellows volunteering on Humanity in Action's 20th Anniversary Capital Campaign.

7. "Drug Policy and The War on Drugs: Race, Class and the Politics of Mass-Criminalization" 

  • Kassandra Frederique (State Director, Drug Policy Alliance in New York)

Militarized policing, mandatory minimums and mass-incarceration – each a feature of the failed War on Drugs and each in need of urgent redressment. Kassandra Frederique, New York State Director at the Drug Policy Alliance, will discuss these issues against the broader backdrop of racism, economic inequality, the ongoing opioid epidemic, and the 2016 election. Having co-authored Blueprint for a Public Health and Safety Approach to Drug Policy and served as technical advisor to Mayor Svante Myrick’s “The Ithaca Plan,” Frederique will share her insights from the field, offering potential alternatives to America's failed drug policy.  

BREAKOUT SESSIONS II: 16:30 - 18:15  

1. Panel: "Rethinking Poverty and Opportunity in the United States"

  • Darrick Hamilton (Associate Professor of Economics and Urban Policy, The New School)
  • Clara Chow (Director of Strategy, Jackson Hewitt; Humanity in Action Senior Fellow)
  • Jesse Myerson (Journalist, Jacobin and Rolling Stone)
  • Moderator: Robert Friedman (Senior Editor, Bloomberg News; Humanity in Action American             Planning Board Member)

The middle class has dominated the economic conversation in the 2016 election. But what do the candidates have to say about poverty in America? In this session, we explore the too-often invisible issue of poverty. Darrick Hamilton is a preeminent scholar of racial disparities in income and capital. Clara Chow develops innovative financial services for poor Americans at one of the country's largest tax firms. Jesse Myerson is a journalist and self-described communist who advocates for major welfare changes in the United States. Robert Friedman, the moderator, has covered U.S. and global financial news for Bloomberg News, Fortune, Life and the Wall Street Journal.  

2. “Behind the Scene 2016: Campaigning with Hillary for America, the NAACP and MoveOn.org”

  • Danielle Goonan (Senior Manager II, Grant Portfolios, Walmart Foundation; Organizer, Hillary For America; Humanity in Action Senior Fellow)
  • Devon Crawford (NAACP-Humanity in Action Fellow; Humanity in Action Senior Fellow)
  • Justin Krebs (Campaign Director, MoveOn.org; Founder, Living Liberally; Board Member, Humanity in Action) 

In this off-the-record session, two Humanity in Action Senior Fellows share insider perspectives on the election. Danielle Goonan is a member of Hillary Clinton's Education Policy Working Group and is a local organizer with Hillary For America in Arkansas. Devon Crawford is the 2016 NAACP-Humanity in Action Fellow and has been conducting policy research and advocacy at the NAACP's Baltimore headquarters. Devon has been deployed across the country with the NAACP's voter outreach initiatives and will offer particular insight on the role of racial justice organizations and the millennial vote in local, state and national elections.  

3. "The Future of the Party: Reflections from a Former GOP Insider"

  • Jimmy LaSalvia (Co-founder and former Executive Director of GOProud)

In 2009, Jimmy LaSalvia founded GOProud to represent the conservative LGBT community. He worked with figures like Ann Coulter, Donald J. Trump, Gary Johnson and Peter Thiel and campaigned to advance socially liberal policies within the Republican Party, especially on LGBT rights. By 2014, he was frustrated and disenchanted by the lack of progress and the level of political obstruction he faced. Ultimately, he left the party, writing No Hope: Why I Left the GOP. In this session, LaSalvia will discuss the future of the Republican Party and what the Trump candidacy means for the future of conservative politics in America. 

4. “Donald J. Trump and U.S. Presidential History”

  • Ron Chernow (Pulitzer Prize-winning historian; Humanity in Action Board Member)

One of the country's most celebrated presidential biographers, the historian behind the Broadway sensation, Hamiltonand the recent recipient of the National Humanities Medal from President Obama, Ron Chernow, will join to discuss the candidacy of Donald Trump within the context of U.S. presidential history. 

5. "Undocumented Migration and the Humanitarian Crisis on the US Mexico Border"

  • Chelsea Halstead (Deputy Director, Colibrí Center for Human Rights; Humanity in Action                     Senior Fellow)

Much of the immigration debate has centered on policy measures to keep immigrants from entering the United States and “taking our jobs”. But what about those who attempt to make this perilous journey every year, sometimes at the cost of their lives? Chelsea Halstead offers a human rights perspective on the crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border. As head of the Colibrí Center for Human Rights’ Family Advocacy program, she works directly with families, forensic scientists and humanitarians to help uncover the fate of missing loved ones and shed light on the human rights abuses that stem from enforcement-only approaches to migration and deterrence-based border security. 

6. Talk: "Gun Violence and Reform in America’s Cities"

  • Isaac Bloom (National Organizing Director, Everytown for Gun Safety) 

Joining from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's initiative on gun control, Everytown for Gun Safety, Isaac Bloom will discuss his extensive work with the organization, particularly as it relates to policy advocacy, electorate mobilization and public education. Additionally, Bloom will share his insider's take on successful strategies and best practices for gun-violence and gun-harm reduction at both the state and municipal levels.