2020 Events

“Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free men.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Basic Zoom Instructions

To join our Zoom Meeting, you have to have the Zoom App. Click on the link provided above to go to the Zoom website page. You will be prompted to download the app (very quick process) and then prompted to enter the meeting ID and the password (also provided above).  You can join with video/audio or audio only.  Once the hosts admits you, you will be able to see the speaker and participants.  Make sure you click the video camera icon so initate your video.  

If you have a question or comment we ask that you use the "raise hand" feature to indicate when they would like to speak.  To accomodate everyone, please keep to a 2 minute limit.

See you at the meeting!

Virtual Forum:  Racial Inequality-Part 3: Collective Action

THURS, OCTOBER 29, 2020, 5-6:30PM

Join us as Solana Rice, cofounder of Liberation in a Generation, will help us understand how all of us, as concerned American citizens, can engage in effective action and change the tide of systemic racism. Are you ready for collective action? What should be our racial and economic justice policy agenda and how do we as individuals make our candidates and elected officials accountable? 



Prior to being Co-Founder, Co-Executive Director of Liberation in a Generation, Solana was Director of State & Local Policy at Prosperity Now where, under her leadership, she built strong advocacy partnerships with organizations in the field and advanced dozens of policies in nearly half the states in the nation. Prior to joining Prosperity Now, Solana served as a director for financial security initiatives at PolicyLink. Solana has a Master’s in City Planning from MIT, where she researched the integration of individual development accounts into community development services. She holds a B.A. in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis.

Zoom link will be provided the day of the event.

Virtual Forum:  2020 - The Most Important Election in History?

THURS, SEPTEMBER 17, 2020, 5-6:30PM

As the November general election draws near, many questions are circling about:  What are the stakes?  What are the threats?  Can we have a fair democratic election?  Will there be a peaceful transfer of power if the incumbent president loses? Let's Talk Democracy invites you to join us as Michael Krasner, professor of Political Science at Queens College, walks us through these questions and more as we discuss the importance of voting this year.



An expert in government and politics, Michael Krasner is co-director of Queen's College’s Taft Institute for Government, which promotes better understanding of the political process among young people; he also is associate director of the Michael Harrington Center for Democratic Values and Social Change. Since 1970 he has taught courses on politics and the media; presidential, gubernatorial and mayoral elections; American foreign policy; public policy; and arms control and disarmament. 

More information on Prof. Krasner :  Queens Collge    |    Taft Institute



Virtual Forum: Racial Inequality Today - Part 2: American Black Experiences – Personal Stories

THURS, AUG 13, 2020, 5-6:30PM

Please join us this Thursday at 5pm for Part 2 of our VIRTUAL Let’s Talk Democracy Forum discussing the racial inequality still prevalent in our society.

As a follow up to our review of the aftermath of the civil war, this session brings us to current times. "American Black Experiences – Personal Stories" will feature a panel of speakers from various backgrounds talking about their personal experiences growing up Black in America. 



Virtual Forum: Racial Inequality Today - Part I: Why We're Still in the Aftermath of The Civil War


Please join us this Wednesday at 5pm for a VIRTUAL Let’s Talk Democracy Forum featuring Columbia University professor, Dr. Eric Foner, the leading historian and author of more than 10 books on the subject of Reconstruction, including the definitive work Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution.

Reconstruction, the turbulent era following the Civil War, was the effort to reintegrate Southern states from the Confederacy and 4 million newly freed slaves into the U.S. mainstream community.  It was “a massive experiment in interracial democracy” and it lasted for 12 years. Then the white backlash succeeded in ending it with the terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan, sharecropping, and Jim Crow. The promises of Reconstruction went largely unfulfilled, and we are here today challenged to deal with the legacy that has been perpetuated since then.

Dr. Foner will explain what we can learn from this period, as it applies to our situation today, and answer our questions about where we go from here.



Virtual Forum: National Conventions and the Road to Voting

Zoom MEETING Online  |  Thursday, JUNE 4,  5:00pm-6:30pm

Let's Talk Democracy resumes its usual programming this Thursday 6/4 on ZOOM!  Over the next few months we will be focusing on the issues around the upcoming elections.

Join us as BEN YEE tackles the role of DELEGATES at our national conventions and issues around VOTING in New York State (coming up in a few weeks) as well as nationally.  Tell friends, family and neighbors to join us on ZOOM at 5pm on Thursday.  All invited! 
Ben Yee, Committeeman AD66 for Democratic State Committee, is an engaging and knowledgeable speaker who has a passion for opening the political system to empower communities, through transparency in government.  He was involved in “Reinvent Albany”, a good-government nonprofit invested in reforming New York State.  More recently “You Matter Nation” has trained over 2,000 people since the 2016 Election on civics and politics.

Virtual Forum: Understanding the Life Cycle of a Crisis

Zoom MEETING Online  |  Thursdays, April TO MAY,  5:00pm-6:30pm

Join us as Patricia K. Kuusisto, LCSW-R, a graduate of Columbia University and a Life Cycle Therapist, moderates our discussion on how we are coping with COVID 19 -- the isolation, work from home (or lack thereof), the kids, the shortages, the risks, the losses.  At each of the three sessions, Ms. Kuusisto will provide scientific insight and moderate an open discussion on how you are coping with the current health pandemic.

NOTE: If you’ve never used ZOOM, be sure to join the call a few minutes early when we will give a short tutorial before we start.  FREE, everyone invited.


Link to Join Online Zoom Meeting on Thurs, May 28, 2020:

This week's session will be hosted by Donna Mirabell







Forum: Census 2020 - A Deep Dive

Queens Library, Forest Hills  |  Thursday, March 12, 2020 6:00pm to 7:30pm  

Join Let’s Talk Democracy for a deep dive into the U.S. Census, which is conducted once every decade and aims to count each person in the country. Advances in technology, changes to the political landscape, and increasing concerns about data security and privacy are issues that have created uncertainty, confusion and fear within many communities across the nation.   Our speaker will address these concerns and explain how the results of the 2020 Census can impact our communities, the benefits and risks of responding, the extraordinary breadth of the Census, and what happens to the data collected by the Census Bureau.



Andrew A. Beveridge, Ph.D., is Professor of Sociology at Queens College and the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York. He has published extensively regarding Census data, has served as a consultant to the New York Times for over 25 years and has testified as a Census data subject matter expert in numerous civil rights cases involving housing, jury systems, redistricting and criminal justice.  He and his team developed www.socialexplorer.com which allows users to visualize and make reports on change in the US from 1790 to the present using Census data.


Queens Library Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375  |  718.268.7934

Media Literacy Flyer.jpg

Resources Page

Get valuable links to websites, books and articles will help you sort through it all. >>


Forum: Improving our News and Media Information Literacy

Queens Library, Forest Hills  

2-Part Series: Thursday, Feb 13 and Thursday Feb 27, 2020 6:00pm to 7:30pm  

Beneath the spread of all “fake news,” misinformation, disinformation, digital falsehoods and foreign influence lies society’s failure to teach its citizenry information literacy: how to think critically about the deluge of information that confronts us in our modern digital age.  Join us as Let’s Talk Democracy explores this issue in an engaging 2-session, interactive workshop.   Our speakers include Prof. Mara Einstein (PhD Professor and Chair, Media Studies at Queens College), Annafi Wahed (Founder and Editor of The Flip Side, a one-stop shop for balanced news analysis from across the political spectrum), and Professors Eldar Sarajlic and Ewa Barnes (from the Academic Literacy and Linguistics Department of BMCC) who will unpack the complex and sometimes overwhelming topics related to media literacy.

Learn how to:

·     Develop an awareness of our own biases
·     Understand the Economics of news media and regulatory environment – who actually pays for so-called free content
·      Choose the best sources, given our limited bandwidth and time
·      Improve the news we consume and share
·      Understand the roots and sources of influence behind the scenes
·      Filter the content we consume, and get to the truth
·     Test our bias in an interactive exercise, and use our own critical thinking to best consume news 



Queens Library Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375  |  718.268.7934

Community Read: The Curse of Bigness, by Tim Wu

Thursday, January 23, 2020 from 6:00 to 7:30pm

We live in an age of extreme corporate concentration, in which global industries are controlled by just a few giant firms – big banks, big pharma, and big tech, to name a few. To understand how this undermines our democracy, join us for a community read of Tim Wu’s latest, The Curse of Bigness:  Antitrust in the New Gilded Age.   We will discuss the diagnosis offered by the author in his short, concise book and review how changes to the interpretation of antitrust laws in the U.S. have resulted in growing inequality, a shrinking middle class, and ultimately a tendency toward nationalism and extremist views.  As he states, "The road to fascism and dictatorship is paved with failures of economic policy to serve the needs of the general public."  Remembering the lessons of the past, the author suggests we bring back the lost tenets of the trustbusting age as part of a broader revival of American progressive ideas to confront the fallout of persistent and extreme economic inequality.
It's not necessary to have read the book in order to attend, but it is helpful (available at the Library, local bookstore or online).
Tim Wu is the Julius Silver Professor of Law, Science and Technology at Columbia Law School.  He teaches antitrust, copyright, the media industries, and communications law. Other works include: "Network Neutrality Broadband Discrimination" (2003), Who Controls the Internet (2006), The Master Switch (2010), and The Attention Merchants (2016).


Queens Library Forest Hills, 108-19 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375  |  718.268.7934

Past Events

Blue Bubble.jpg Many Thanks to Our Supporters

  • We are deeply grateful to Michael Krasner for his scholastic contributions to our first workshop series. His willingness to show up to our first session in spite of a personal injury that day is a testiment to his unfailing commitment to our cause.
  • We greatly appreciate the extraordinary support of The Taft Institute at Queens College and the help that allowed us to realize our dream.
  • We are very grateful to Queens Library for their ongoing support of our organization and to the Forest Hills branch in particular for providing a welcoming venue for our events and activities.
  • Special thanks to the NY Public Library and the Seward Park Brnach for their help in our expansion to Manhattan.