Jul 27, 2021

Tracy Droz Tragos - Filmmaker, Writer, Producer

The recipient of several prestigious honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Sundance Screenwriting and Directing Fellowship, Tracy Droz Tragos' work focuses on issues involving women, inequality, rural America, and education. Her latest film, "The Smartest Kids in the World," based on the New York Times bestseller, focuses on the crisis in U.S. high school education. It chronicles a year abroad of four American teenagers. Join us as Tracy shares her passion for cinematic story-telling.

Jul 20, 2021

Nyasha Williams - Author, Activist, and Former Kindergarten Teacher

Author, activist and former kindergarten teacher, Nyasha Williams - who was adopted into a trans-racial family - grew up in South Africa and the U.S. A former kindergarten teacher and author, her picture book, "I Affirm Me: The ABCs of Inspiration for Black Kids" was inspired by the words Nyasha and her students recited at the beginning of every day: "I am confident and capable. I learn at my own pace. I am loved, and I believe in me. I believe in us." Nyasha is pursuing social justice, decolonizing work and creating for her community full-time. You won't want to miss this fascinating conversation.

Jul 13, 2021

Emily Lockhart - New York Times Bestselling Author

New York Times bestselling author Emily Lockhart of "We Were Liars" has written children's picture books, young adult novels, and adult fiction. "Genuine Fraud," was also a Times bestseller and LA Times Book Prize finalist and her novel, "The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks" was a National Book Award finalist. Emily's latest work, "Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero," is a graphic novel about a Jewish teenage activist who gets superpowers and infiltrates the city's criminal underworld. Lots to talk about? You bet!

Jul 6, 2021

Christina Fontana - Filmmaker/Editor

Christina Fontana has been a force in the film and tv industry for more than two decades. She was an editor on documentaries and unscripted tv projects for Fox, NBC, CBS, Netflix, A&E, The History Channel to name a few, and received an Emmy nomination for her work on The Amazing Race. Christina makes her directorial debut with "Relentless," a 6-episode true crime series that tells the story of 21-year-old Christina Wittaker, who disappeared from her home town of Hannibal, Missouri. Using more than 400 hours of footage, "Relentless" also chronicles the journey of a filmmaker who becomes dangerously caught up in the story she's telling.

Jun 22, 2021

Jess deCourcy Hinds - Writer & Founding Library Director of Bard H.S. Early College

Jess deCourcy Hinds is a fiction/nonfiction writer and founding library director of the Bard H.S. Early College in Queens, N.Y. A New York Times Modern Love columnist, her writing has also appeared in Newsweek, Ms. Magazine, Literary Hub and Quarterly West. Jess, a queer feminist, is completing a novel about bisexual and sexually fluid graffiti artists in post-9/11 New York. Check out her website and sign up for her newsletter, I'm an Open Book: On Libraries, Love and Life-Building. A lot to talk about?? You bet! 

Jun 15, 2021

Leeann Passaro - COO, The Hidden Opponent

Raising awareness for the mental health of student athletes, while confronting the stigma within the world of sports is the mission of The Hidden Opponent. Chief Operating Officer Leeann Passaro is more than familiar with the pressures of competing. She's a former student-athlete at a Division 3 school who struggled with anxiety and depression. You won't want to miss this timely, honest, no-holds barred conversation.

Jun 8, 2021

Evetta Petty - Milliner & Owner Harlem’s Heaven Hats

For more than 30 years, Evetta Petty has designed hats in her uptown Manhattan shop and studio. Her creations have graced the heads of men and women: runway models, actors, churchgoing seniors. They've been worn to the Kentucky Derby and England's Royal Ascot. Evetta's hats have appeared in movies, television, fashion magazine covers and articles. Her hats have humor, whimsy, rhythm and fantasy… just like their designer!

May 25, 2021

Christina Hunger - Speech-Language Pathologist

As a Speech-Language Pathologist, Christina Hunger works with both children and adults, teaching them to use Augmentative and Alternative Communication devices, or AACs to express themselves non-verbally. However, humans aren't her only clients. In 2018, when Christina brought her new puppy home, she had an epiphany - one that she shares in her book, "How Stella Learned to Talk." Since dogs can understand words, why couldn't Stella use an AAC device to express herself?? And she has! You really won't want to miss this fascinating, engaging, captivating conversation about Stella, the world's first talking dog!

May 18, 2021

Cynthia Kaplan - Author, Musician, Actress, Producer

How to describe Cynthia Kaplan? Let us count the ways: author, musician, songwriter, actress, producer, co-host. Called a 'young Dorothy Parker' by the New York Times, her credits include 2 acclaimed books of comic essays. She's acted in numerous plays and several films and... composes and sings hilarious songs, performing with her band, The Cynthia Kaplan Ordeal. There's plenty to talk about with this multi-talented, engaging, creative woman.

May 11, 2021

Betty Yu - Multimedia Artist, Photographer, Filmmaker, Activist, Educator

Betty Yu combines film, new media platforms and community-infused approaches in her work. A tireless promoter of social justice initiatives, she is a co-founder of Chinatown Art Brigade, a cultural collective which uses art to oppose gentrification in the New York City neighborhood, resulting in the loss of affordable housing and mass displacement. Join us for an eye-opening and inspiring conversation with this passionate, committed activist-artist.

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