Nevertheless, She’s Persisted: The 3rd Annual Lillian Wald Symposium to be held March 19

By Henry Street Settlement

UPDATE: Registration is now closed. Click here to sign up for the wait list.

Above, clockwise from top left: participants Kathleen Chalfant, Nina Bernstein, Blanche Wiesen Cook, Damaris Reyes, Marjorie N. Feld, Clare Coss. See more info about the participants below or on the flyer here »

Please join us for The Third Annual Lillian Wald Symposium: Nevertheless She’s Persisted (Or the Most Important Woman You’ve Never Heard Of) will be held on Monday, March 19, 2018 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Settlement’s historic dining room at 267 Henry Street. The event is free, but an RSVP is required.

This special edition of the symposium is in honor of both Women’s History Month in March, and the Settlement’s 125th birthday in 2018, and brings together a panel of historians and activists to illuminate the life of Henry Street’s founder.

The evening will begin with Tony Award nominated actress Kathleen Chalfant, who will read from the play Lillian Wald at Home on Henry Street, written by Clare Coss.

Participants include:

Nina Bernstein (moderator), a reporter at The New York Times for 21 years, wrote on a wide range of social and legal issues, including award-winning coverage of child welfare, immigration detention, health care, and the fate of New York City’s unclaimed dead. She was part of a team that won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for coverage of the scandal that resulted in the resignation of Gov. Eliot Spitzer. She is the author of The Lost Children of Wilder: The Epic Struggle to Change Foster Care, a finalist for the National Book Award, and won the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism. She also wrote Magic by the Book, a fantasy novel for children, and is now writing a historical novel for young adults.

Kathleen Chalfant, the actor, has spoken widely about the role of artists in advocating for civil rights and social justice, and the theater as a platform for social change. She was nominated for the Tony Award as Best Actress in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. She earned the Outer Circle Critics, Drama Desk, Obie and Lucille Lortel awards for her performance in Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit, and an Obie for her performance in Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads. She performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film based on historian Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States; in the feature films Isn’t It Delicious and Kinsey, and on television in House of Cards, Law & Order, Rescue Me, The Guardian, and The Affair.

Blanche Wiesen Cook is Distinguished Professor of History at John Jay College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York.  Her publications include Eleanor Roosevelt: Vol I II III, Crystal Eastman on Women and Revolution, The Declassified Eisenhower: A Divided Legacy of Peace and Political Warfare, and the Garland Library of War and Peace. She was vice president for research of the American Historical Association, chaired the Freedom of Information and Access Committee of the Organization of American Historians, and is a board member of the Feminist Press and Science and Society.  She co-founded the Peace History Society and the Fund for Open Information and Accountability (FOIA, Inc.).  A peace and justice activist, she is a life member of the NAACP and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. 

Clare Coss is a playwright, librettist and activist. Her book Lillian D. Wald: Progressive Activist features her play Lillian Wald: At Home on Henry Street, (produced by Woodie King, Jr.’s New Federal Theatre) and a selection of Wald’s correspondence and speeches. Dr. Du Bois and Miss Ovington, her play on the intense and simmering relationship between W.E.B. Du Bois and Mary White Ovington has been produced in New York, Los Angeles and the W.E.B. DuBois Center. Her prize-winning play, Emmett, Down in My Heart, was produced in New York and Tucson.  The former poetry editor for Affilia, Journal of Women and Social Work, Coss is currently librettist for Emmett Till, the opera, inspired by her play.

Marjorie N. Feld is the author of Lillian Wald:  A Biography and Nations Divided:  American Jews and the Struggle Over Apartheid.  She is professor of history at Babson College in Massachusetts, and she serves on the academic boards of the Jewish Women’s Archive, Open Hillel, and Jewish Voice for Peace.

Damaris Reyes, Executive Director of GOLES, is a lifelong resident of the Lower East Side. She has used community organizing as a way to address affordable housing and other social justice issues both locally and nationally for nearly 20 years. She is the chair and co-founder of LES Ready, a recovery and disaster network. Reyes is a board member of the Center for Neighborhood Leadership, the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, the Southside United HDFC – Los Sures, and is also a member of Community Board 3. She has received the 2006 New York Women’s Foundation’s Neighborhood Leadership Award and the 2009 Jane Jacobs Medal from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Municipal Arts Society.

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