Out of the Global City

An Uncommon Dialogue Series


Six dialogues looked at New York as a “global city” —an economic and sociological term that locates New York, and other cities like London and Tokyo, as geographic nodes where global finance is organized, concentrated, re-dispersed, and circulated.  Decisions made in these metropolitan centers impact the lives of billions of people across the world. As the recent economic upheaval illustrates, this is simultaneously a powerful and vulnerable reality. In New York, we bear witness to the ways in which the basic elements of our livelihood – from work, to housing, to education, to health care – are increasingly shaped by the needs of global finance that put profits before people.

Hosted in collaboration with The Nation Institute and CUNY’S Center for Place, Culture and Politics.

Lead Producer:
Ujju Aggarwal

January – June, 2009 : The Cooper Union, NYC


Dialogue One

Work and Labor

Guest Presenters:

David Harvey: Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics.
Ai-jen Poo & Lois NewlandDomestic Workers United
Esther Kaplan & Max Fraser,  The Nation Institute
William Cerf & Jeff MansfieldRestaurant Opportunities Center of New York
Victoriana Navarro & Jennifer ArietaVAMOS Unidos.


“The financial crisis and the bailout of Wall Street point to the increasing precariousness that those of us who live in cities like New York face. More often than not, when the ‘global city’ is discussed, it is in isolation from the very communities most affected, say, by the increased reliance on service sector economies.”

Ujju Aggarwal, curator of Out of the Global City 



Dialogue Two

Public Education

The cost of education in a global city. Will our schools – which represent the last remaining universal public good in the United States – remain public?

Guest Presenters:
Luci Dania Mejia & Ujju Aggarwal, Center for Immigrant Families
Harmony Goldberg, Educator, Founding member of SOUL (School of Unity & Liberation)
Edwin Mayorga, New York Collective of Radical Educators
Nilaja Sun, writer and performer of No Child, an award-winning theatre piece based on Sun’s experience as a teaching artist in the NYC school system.
Una Aya Osato, performer and educator


Listen: Public Education w. Ujju Aggarwal & Luci Dania Mejia

Listen: Public Education Q & A



Dialogue Three

Health Care

How will the fiscal crisis and budget cuts impact health care in New York City?   What kind of health care is on the horizon?

Guest Presenters:
Jacoby Ballard3rd Root Health Collective
Maryse Mitchell BrodyRock Dove Collective
Soniya Munshi, Activist, Organizer, Writer
Trudy Lieberman, Journalist, Director of Health & Medicine Reporting Program at The CUNY Grad School of Journalism


Listen: Maria Soto, Open-It Clinic

Listen: Trudy Lieberman’s Introduction


Dialogue Four

Housing and Gentrification

Starbucks, Starbucks everywhere, but not a drop to drink. Now that everyone’s neighborhood has been impacted by gentrification, what’s next?

Co-sponsoredby The Maysles Cinema

Guest Presenters:
Amanda Alexander, Journalist, Associate Producer/News Editor for Pacifica Radio’s Wake Up Call (WBAI 99.5 FM);
Caron Atlas, Director of Arts & Community Change Program at Pratt Center for Community Development
Monique “Ndigo” WashingtonCoalition to Save Harlem
MamaJoy Chatel, FUREE
Natasha Florentino & Tamara Gubernat, Directors of Rezoning Harlem
Steve Cosson, Founding Artistic Director of The Civilians


Dialogue Five

The Safe City

Safe for whom? A conversation on prisons, policing, Blackwater and their relationship to war, empires, and the global city.

Guest Presenters:
Andrea Ritchie, Attorney, Director, Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center
Desiree Marshall, Founder, FIERCE
Hasan Elahian interdisciplinary artist
Sara Garland, Journalist and author of How Immigration, Segregation and Youth Violence Are Changing America’s Suburbs


Dialogue Six

The Economic Impact of a Global City

Where are we now? How has the economic shift impacted the organizations presented in the previous five conversations?

Guest Presenters:
Adriana Valdez YoungChez Bushwick.
Marilyn Kleinberg Neimark, Journalist, Co-host of WBAI’s Beyond the PaleCo-founder of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
Carl Lipscombe, Right to the City
Virginia Louloudes, Executive Director, The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York