Environmental advocate Van Jones, a former Obama administration advisor, will join acclaimed performance artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph at the University of Chicago’s International House for a conversation about the environment, race, social ecology and collective responsibility. The event, “At Your Own Risk: What Is To Be Done?” will take place on Tuesday, April 10 at 7 p.m. in Assembly Hall.
The event will begin with a keynote address from Jones, titled “Rebuild the Dream,” which Bamuthi will follow with a performance-based response. Cathy Cohen, the David and Mary Winton Green Professor in Political Science and the College, will join Jones and Bamuthi for an onstage conversation after the performance.
"We're really excited to have Van Jones and Marc Bamuthi Joseph share creative ways to address issues related to the environment, job creation and social justice, which we hope would have particular resonance with this generation of students," says Amy Chan, director of the University Community Service Center, one of the event’s sponsors.
Jones is the author of the forthcoming Rebuild the Dream, an account of his path to the White House (where he served as green jobs advisor), and a discussion of his hopes for America’s future. An influential social entrepreneur, Jones is the founder of three nonprofits: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change and Green for All. He was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and held a joint appointment at Princeton University as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School.
Bamuthi, a spoken-word and dance artist, is a 2010 recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship, a program that honors outstanding artists in all media. His evening-length works include Word Becomes Flesh, Scourge, De/Cipher, and No Man’s Land. He is the artistic director of a spoken-word theater company, the Living Word Project, and an acclaimed essayist and educator who has lectured at more than 200 colleges and universities nationwide.
The event is co-sponsored by Chicago-based nonprofit portoluz as part of its new series “WPA 2.0 a Brand New Deal”; the Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the MCA Stage presentation “red, black and GREEN: a blues” by Bamuthi and TheasterGates; and the University of Chicago (the College, University Community Service Center, Office of Civic Engagement, Human Rights Program, Office of Sustainability, International House Global Voices Program).
The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6 p.m., and reserved seating is guaranteed until 6:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to make reservations before April 2 at mcachicago.org. International House is located at 1414 E. 59th St.