Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Town Hall Seattle: Civics Series

Town Hall’s Civics series highlights everything from local policies to world politics. These events offer perspectives on a range of topics as diverse as Seattle itself—a bustling forum for activism, discovery, and thought-provoking discussion.

Don't miss our other series podcasts:


Nov 3, 2022

Can the choices you make on a daily basis transform society? Sociologist and Princeton professor Dr. Ruha Benjamin thinks so, and has the research to support the idea.

Dr. Benjamin’s groundbreaking research on race, technology, and justice spanned years and focused primarily on larger, structural changes. But the scourges of COVID-19 and anti-Black police violence inspired Dr. Benjamin to rethink the importance of small, individual actions. Her new book Viral Justice offers a sweeping, deeply personal exploration of how we can shape our world through the choices we make on a daily basis.

Part memoir, part manifesto, Dr. Benjamin vividly recounts her personal experiences and those of her family, showing how decisions that might otherwise go unnoticed can have great impact — even on an exponential scale. Through stories about her father’s premature death, her brother’s experience with the criminal justice system, and her own challenges as a young mother navigating an inequitable healthcare system, Dr. Benjamin shines a light on both the devastating impacts of chronic racism and the passions and strengths of communities driven to demand justice.

Born of a stubborn hopefulness, Viral Justice offers a powerful and practical vision of how small changes can add up to large ones, transforming people’s relationships and communities while inspiring them to build a more just and joyful world.

Ruha Benjamin is an internationally recognized writer, speaker, and professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, where she is the founding director of the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab. She is the award-winning author of Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code and editor of Captivating Technology, among many other publications. Her work has been featured widely in the media, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, The Root, and The Guardian.

Vivian Phillips, Founder and President of the non-profit organization ARTE NOIR, is a communications professional and arts leader. Vivian’s professional history includes service as the Director of Communications for a Seattle Mayor, Director of Marketing and Communications for Seattle Theatre Group, Seattle University Adjunct Professor (MFA Arts Leadership), television, radio, and live performance producing, public speaking, and numerous arts and strategic communications projects. She served as the Chair for both the Seattle Arts Commission and 4Culture, and co-founded The Hansberry Project and the Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District.

Jazmyn Scott, ARTE NOIR Executive Director, comes to Arte Noir as a long-time advisor and community organizer. For the past six years, she led programming and community partnerships for LANGSTON Seattle, where she was the organization’s first employee. Her leadership at LANGSTON catalyzed the development of new programs that engaged a wide range of local and national performing artists. Jazmyn is also the co-curator of 50 NEXT: Seattle Hip-Hop Worldwide interactive experience, which includes music from Seattle and Northwest Hip-Hop artists displayed at the Museum of History and Industry. Jazmyn’s community connections are extensive, and she currently serves as board vice president for Earshot Jazz and The Residency and sits on several community arts advisory boards.