Lectures and Talks

New Science, New Solutions: Changing the Future for At-Risk Youth

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Can science, ethics, and law identify new pathways out of poverty? Anna Deavere Smithhosts a panel of leading thinkers to explore new approaches to society’s most intractable problem. Join us for a lively conversation about how programs, policies, and scientific research are paving the way for new solutions. Featuring speakers Ana BermudezFrances ChampagneFagan HarrisBruce McEwen, and Dorothy Roberts.

This program is presented in collaboration with the New York University Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue.


Actress, playwright, and teacher, Anna Deavere Smith is said to have created a new form of theater. She received the National Humanities Medal, presented to her by President Obama in 2013. She was the 2015 Jefferson Lecturer for the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is a MacArthur Fellow, and received The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize. She is recipient of two Tony nominations, and two Obie awards. She was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for her play Fires in the Mirror. She has created over 15 one-person shows based on hundreds of interviews, most of which deal with social issues. Twilight: Los Angeles, about the Los Angeles race riots of 1992, was performed around the country and on Broadway. Let Me Down Easy focused on health care in the U.S. Her current work-in-progress, the Anna Deavere Smith Pipeline Project, examines the school to prison pipeline. In popular culture you have seen her in Nurse JackieBlack-ishThe West WingThe American PresidentRachel Getting Married, and Philadelphia. Books include Letters to a Young Artist and Talk to Me: Listening Between the Lines. Honorary degrees include those from Yale, Juilliard, the University of Pennsylvania, Barnard, Radcliffe, Wesleyan, Williams, and Northwestern. She sits on the board of trustees for the American Museum of National History, the Aspen Institute, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She is University Professor at New York University, where she also directs the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue.