New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will be in conversation with Creative Director of Theater of War, Bryan Doerries, and Publisher and Artistic Director of the Rail, Phong H. Bui. We’ll conclude with a poetry reading from Nada Gordon.
In this talk
Jumaane D. Williams has served as the New York City Public Advocate since 2019. Jumaane is a first-generation Brooklynite of Grenadian heritage. He graduated from the public school system, overcoming the difficulties of Tourette’s and ADHD to earn a Master’s Degree from Brooklyn College. He began his career as a community organizer at the Greater Flatbush Beacon School and later served as the Executive Director of NYS Tenants & Neighbors. There, he fought for truly affordable, income-targeted housing across New York City and State. In the NYC Council, Jumaane championed landmark legislation that fundamentally transformed policing in NYC. Jumaane sponsored the Community Safety Act, reforming the City’s Police Department by ending the abuse of Stop, Question & Frisk in communities of color and creating the NYPD’s Office of Inspector General to investigate unlawful & unethical behavior. Jumaane has led the fight for better policing and safer streets, affordable housing, and transparency and accountability in City government.
Bryan Doerries is a writer, director, and translator, who currently serves as Artistic Director of Theater of War Productions. A self-described evangelist for ancient stories and their relevance to our lives today, Doerries uses age-old approaches to help individuals and communities heal from trauma and loss. During his tenure at Theater of War Productions, the company has presented diverse projects across the United States and internationally. The company uses dramatic readings of seminal plays and community conversations to confront topics such as combat-related psychological injury, end-of-life care, police and community relations, prison reform, gun violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, the refugee crisis, and addiction. Doerries’ books include The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today, The Odyssey of Sergeant Jack Brennan, and a collection of his translations of ancient Greek Tragedies entitled All That You’ve Seen Here is God. Among his awards, he has received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Kenyon College, and in March 2017, he was named Public Artist in Residence (PAIR) for the City of New York, a joint appointment with the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services and Department of Cultural Affairs.
Phong Bui is an artist, writer, independent curator, Publisher and Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Rail, the River Rail, Rail Editions, and Rail Curatorial Projects. From 2007 to 2010 he served as Curatorial Advisor at MoMA PS1. His recent projects include Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale that Society Has the Capacity to Destroy, an ongoing curatorial project that was exhibited in 2019 as an official Collateral Event of the Venice Biennale and at Colby Museum in Waterville, Maine. He is a trustee of Studio in a School, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Anthology Film Archives, the Third Rail, the Miami Rail, Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, Second Shift Studio Space of Saint Paul, AICA (2007-2020), and is co-founder of the Monira Foundation, a non-profit which aims to curate ongoing exhibitions and public programming at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City and beyond. Forthcoming projects include the Detroit Rail, the first U.S. retrospective of Jonas Mekas, and Occupy Industry City: Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale that Society Has the Capacity to Destroy, Year 3.
The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poem, and
we’re fortunate to have
Nada Gordon is the author of Folly, V. Imp, foriegnn bodie, Swoon, Scented Rushes, and Vile Lilt, among others. She teaches the English language at Pratt Institute. Her work has been translated into Hebrew, Dutch, Japanese, Romanian, and Burmese.
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