Dialogues Community Programs

Class of 2010 / Clase de 2010


Middle class, lower middle class, upper middle class, working class  … what class are you in? Who is Obama addressing in his agenda for middle class families? What are the consequences of those decisions? And what are some alternative ways to consider our standards for living in this century? Join us for a discussion of class in the 21st century.

Clase media, clase media baja, clase media alta, clase obrera – ¿a cuál clase social perteneces? ¿A quién se refiere Obama cuando habla de su agenda para familias de clase media? ¿Cuáles son las consecuencias de esas decisiones? ¿Cuáles son las maneras alternativas para evaluar nuestra calidad de vida en este siglo? Únete a una discusión sobre clases sociales en el Siglo XXI


April 2010 : Cherry Lane Theater, NYC


Speakers / Presentadores


“‘Middle class’ is not a class concept. In the history of economic thought, there is no ‘middle class.’ There’s working class, there’s bourgeoisie, there’s aristocracy, etc. The closest you come in European economic literature is ‘petty bourgeoisie.’ Middle class is largely an American concept, essentially a denial of class difference. That’s how it’s used in the U.S…to say,’it isn’t that there are conflicts among people, that some do well because other people do badly, or that some profit from the low wages or poverty of others, that’s not the case. We’re mainly one big family, we’re all in the middle.’ It’s absurd. But it’s certainly not a class concept. I would argue that there’s no such thing as middle class.”

Peter Marcuse



Guest speakers:

All Bios as of Apr 2010

Zakia Henderson-Brown is a lead organizer for Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE), a Brooklyn-based, multi-racial organization that organizes low-income and working families to promote equality, improve economic conditions and build collective power to win system changes as the local, state and national level.  Primarily led by women of color with an emphasis on community and family, FUREE uses direct actions, leadership development, community organizing nd poltical education to achieve its goals and visions.

Peter Marcuse / Professor Peter Marcuse
Peter Marcuse, an urban planner and lawyer, is Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning at Columbia University in NYC.  Born in Berlin, he lived and practiced civil rights and labor law in Waterbury, CT. In mid-career, he earned his PhD in city planning, and has written, taught and lectured in many places around the world.  His present concerns include supporting the movement of Right To The City, understanding where the tea parties come from, and puzzling out the relation of the arts to public space and social criticism. 

Marina Sitrin is a writer, lawyer, teacher, student and dreamer. She is the editor of Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina (2006 AK Press, Edinburgh and Oakland, CA; 2005 Spanish edition Chilavert, Argentina). A new and expanded version of Horizontalism is forthcoming, entitled: Dreaming Without Limits: Horizontalism and Autonomy in Argentina. Marina is co-editor of Insurgent Democracies: Latin America’s New Powers (2010, City Lights Press, San Francisco, CA). Marina has spent the past year working in Cuba while writing a book on contemporary life there.  Her work has been published in: The International Journal of Comparative Sociology, Znet, Yes! Magazine, Upping the Anti, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, alternet.org, and Prensa Latina.


Right To The City is a diverse movement-building alliance organized into geographical regions, thematic working groups, resource allies and a national center.  The backbone of the Right to the City Alliance is comprised of dozens of community-based organizations which organize thousands of RTTC constituents for urban justice and democracy every day. www.righttothecity.org

Melanie Joseph is a theatre maker and founding Artistic Producer of The Foundry Theatre.  She has co-created and/or directed 7 of the company’s premieres, which have collectively been awarded 6 OBIE awards. Joseph is a recipient of the Skirball Kennis’ T.I.M.E. Artist Prize and a Lucille Lortel Award for Artistic Producing.  From 2002-2009 she was the U.S. President of ITI (International Theatre Institute) and served on the Board of Directors for TCG (Theater Communications Group.)