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LLL Presents — Imagination: A Manifesto

Ruha Benjamin, African American Studies; Lorgia García Peña, Effron Center for the Study of America

Mon, 2/5 · 7:00 pm8:30 pm · Princeton Public Library

Labyrinth Books; Princeton Public Library; Not In Our Town Princeton

The award-winning author is joined in conversation by Lorgia García Peña to discuss Benjamin’s new, revelatory work, in which she calls on us to take imagination seriously as a site of struggle and a place of possibility for reshaping the future.

A world without prisons? Ridiculous. Schools that foster the genius of every child? Impossible. Work that doesn’t strangle the life out of people? Naive. A society where everyone has food, shelter, love? In your dreams. Exactly. Ruha Benjamin, Princeton University professor, insists that imagination isn’t a luxury. It is a vital resource and powerful tool for collective liberation.

Imagination: A Manifesto is her proclamation that we have the power to use our imaginations to challenge systems of oppression and to create a world in which everyone can thrive. But obstacles abound. The most effective way to disrupt destructive systems of class, race, and gender-based oppression is to do so collectively. Benjamin highlights the educators, artists, activists, and many others who are refuting powerful narratives that justify the status quo, crafting new stories that reflect our interconnection, and offering creative approaches to seemingly intractable problems.

Ruha Benjamin is an internationally recognized writer, speaker, and professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, where she is the founding director of the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab. She is the award-winning author of Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code, and Viral Justice, and editor of Captivating Technology, among many other publications. Lorgia García Peña is a writer, activist and scholar who specializes in Latinx Studies with a focus on Black Latinidades. Her work is concerned with the ways in which antiblackness and xenophobia intersect the Global North producing categories of exclusion that lead to violence and erasure. She is the author of Community as Rebellion.

This event is co-presented by Labyrinth, the Princeton Public Library, and Not In Our Town Princeton. It is co-sponsored by Princeton University’s African American Studies Department and the Humanities Council.

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