Imagining a Future of Public Abundance

Event time: 
Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Dwight Hall (DW) See map
67 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

How can we imagine a future of public abundance? We are in a moment ripe with both possibility and danger. On the one hand, there has been a upsurge in efforts to provide and fund a broad range of public goods, evident in demands for free public higher education, mass transit, Medicare for All, Universal Pre-K, water rights and protections, reparations, the Green New Deal, public control of utilities, and many others. Moreover, privatization and market-based programs no longer have the same authority as catch-all solutions.

On the other hand, more than forty years of relentless attacks on the government in general and publicly-funded services and programs in particular have taken their toll. Public distrust of government across the political spectrum remains high. The charge that public goods represent “free stuff” is still resonant; many of these charges have race and gender underpinnings.

In this plenary to open the “Future of Public Goods” conference, a group of nationally recognized organizers and thinkers will consider the political strategies, narratives, and frameworks of analysis that hold the potential to address this contradiction. How do we win broad based-support for public goods and government accountability at a time when anti-statist feelings still run high? How have indigenous communities and communities of color sought to reimagine pubic and collective goods? What can we draw from the past and what must we forge anew?