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The Democracy Series: A Conversation with Deva Woodly

Mon. Apr 18, 2022
6:00 — 7:00 PM CDT

Virtual via Zoom Webinar


Join the University of Chicago Center for Effective Government, the Chicago Center on Democracy, and Seminary Co-op Bookstores on Monday, April 18, at 6 PM CT, for another installment of ‘The Democracy Series’-- a joint initiative of public events featuring dialogue between book authors and experts on issues related to the state of democracy in the U.S. and abroad. 

Deva Woodly, Associate Professor of Politics at the New School, will discuss her book Reckoning: Black Lives Matter and the Democratic Necessity of Social Movements. The event will feature:

  • Deva Woodly | Author, Reckoning: Black Lives Matter and the Democratic Necessity of Social Movements

  • Will Howell (Moderator) | Director, University of Chicago Center for Effective Government

About the book:

Examining the significance of the Movement for Black Lives, Reckoning uncovers a broadly applicable argument for the democratic necessity of social movements.

Barack Obama famously said that the purpose of social movements is to get a seat at the table. However, as Deva Woodly argues in Reckoning - a sweeping account of the meaning and purpose of the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) - the value of such movements is something much more profound: they are necessary for the health and survival of democracy. Drawing from on-the-ground interviews with activists in the movement, Woodly analyzes the emergence of the M4BL, its organizational structure and culture, and its strategies and tactics. She also shows how a unique political philosophy - Radical Black Feminist Pragmatism - served as an intellectual foundation of the movement and documents the role it played in transforming public meanings, public opinion, and policy. Interweaving theoretical and empirical observations throughout, Woodly provides both a unique portrait of the movement and a powerful explanation of the labor social movements do in democracy. A major work that speaks to both scholars and activists, Woodly's account of the rise and spread of M4BL will reshape our understanding of why the movement is so important - and so necessary - for democracy.

Note: This book is available for purchase at a discounted rate at the Seminary Co-op Bookstores through the Democracy Series Discount Program! Take 30% off retail at the link below using the coupon code "STRIPES" — offer valid through May 18 or until supplies last.