Speakers, including Leon Panetta, Kate Starbird, and Will Hurd, will address the state of democracy, white supremacy and the spread of disinformation   

Register for the free, online event here 

The 92nd Street Y, New York, a global center for culture, connection and entertainment, will host the fourth annual State of America Summit, examining the state of our democratic systems and the importance of protecting and expanding democracy at every level of government. The free and virtual event, hosted by the Newmark Civic Life Series, will take place on March 22nd, 2023, beginning at 12pm ET. The summit is made possible through support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies.   

The summit explores the state of American democracy, disinformation and cybersecurity’s impact on media, “wokeism,” and the political left, white supremacy’s influence on the rise of political violence and antisemitism. The event will feature eight panels with speakers including Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, former presidential and NYC mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, author Susan Neiman, and introductions from celebrated philanthropist and program funder Craig Newmark and 92NY CEO Seth Pinsky.   

“The survival of our country is no certainty, and it’s up to regular people to fight for American democracy. Our democratic institutions are not guaranteed, and it is our responsibility to protect and expand them through civic engagement and advocacy,” said Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist, Craig Newmark Philanthropies and funder of the Newmark Civic Life Series. “92NY has been on the forefront of American civic life and culture since its founding, and I’m proud to be involved in the State of America summit to educate and inspire the next generation of defenders of democracy.”   

“92NY is honored to be working in close partnership with Craig Newmark, a steadfast champion of democracy, and our world-class panelists to focus on the timely and critically important topics of the state of our democracy, civic engagement, media and disinformation. At this fraught moment in our history, nothing short of the future of our democratic institutions is at stake. We are proud to be hosting these conversations as part of a larger discussion about the direction of our country and to be offering them free of charge in an effort to make them as accessible as possible to people across America,” said Seth Pinsky, CEO of The 92nd Street Y, New York.   
Virtual Panels include:  

What is America? 12:10 pm ET  
Join Harvard University Professor and Director of Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics, Danielle Allen; author Suketu Mehta; filmmaker Bird Runningwater; author and advocate Anna Malaika Tubbs; and moderator Farai Chideya for a discussion of how the definition of American values shapes the political actions of both parties — along with the roles they play in shaping our democracy. We’ll explore a nuanced and thought-provoking analysis of what today’s “American values” are and their significance in the current political landscape.  

How Can We Reboot Bi-Partisanship? 12:40 pm ET  
How can our leadership inspire Americans to take back their country from the fringes that dominate our politics? Former U.S. Representative Will Hurd and former presidential and NYC mayoral candidate Andrew Yang will explore ways to refocus and refresh politics that reflects where most Americans are, in a country mired in political divides and internal strife.  

How Does White Supremacy Threaten Democracy? 1:10 pm ET  
Political violence and antisemitism are on the rise, and they are corrosive to democratic ideals. How can we put a stop to it? How have white supremacy and antisemitism impacted American democratic ideals? Anti Defamation League’s Senior Vice President of Democracy Initiatives Eileen Hershenov; Senior Fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center Eric K Ward; and APIA Vote’s co-founder and executive director Christine Chen explore the threat and reality of political violence and the ways in which these ideologies and actions threaten the safety, inclusivity, and stability of our democracy. The panel will also examine the role of institutions and individuals in addressing one of the most dangerous threats facing democracy today.  

What’s at the Intersection of Journalism, Disinformation, and Cybersecurity? 1:40 pm ET  
In a digital age plagued by misinformation, what is the future of free speech? Join Professor of Human Centered Design & Engineering at University of Washington Kate Starbird; research manager at the Stanford University Internet Observator Renee DiResta; founder and CEO of AI for the People Mutale Nkonde; and POLITICO’s Rebecca Kern for a discussion on the complex relationship between misinformation, journalism, cybersecurity, and free speech in today’s digital landscape.   

Is the Threat to Democracy Over? 2:10 pm ET  
The American midterm elections brought a wave of defeats for election deniers, but recent polls and surveys suggest a decline in public trust in democracy and democratic institutions, and unrest following the recent presidential election in Brazil paints an unsettling portrait of global democratic ideals. Professor of Government at Harvard University Steven Levitsky; Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University Liliana Mason; Pima County Recorder Gabriella Cázares-Kelly; Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold; and co-founder and co-executive director of Run for Something, Ross Morales Rocketto, will explore how we can address the challenge to democratic norms that we are currently facing, at home and abroad and the future of democratic institutions in the U.S.   

Why the Left is Not Woke 2:40 pm ET  
Since it entered our national lexicon, “wokeness” has been associated with the politics of the left. But the truth is more complex. Join political philosopher Susan Nieman, author of Left is Not Woke, with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar on how to define what is “woke” in 2023 — and the misconception that ties wokeness to the left.   

What Did We Learn from the Midterms? 3:10 pm ET  
What can the 2022 midterm elections tell us about the upcoming 2024 presidential race? Join NPR’s Tamara Keith; The Brennan Center’s senior counsel Michael Li; and New York Times reporter Jeremy W. Peters for a discussion on how the results of the 2022 elections will affect America’s political future.   

Why Civic Engagement Matters 3:40 pm ET  

Former Secretary of Defense and White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta examines the importance of civic engagement in the fight to protect and expand our democratic systems.

About The 92nd Street Y, New York:  The 92nd Street Y, New York (92NY) is a world-class center for the arts and innovation, a convener of ideas, and an incubator for creativity. 92NY offers extensive classes, courses and events online including live concerts, talks and master classes; fitness classes for all ages; 250+ art classes, and parenting workshops for new moms and dads. The 92nd Street Y, New York is transforming the way people share ideas and translate them into action all over the world. All of 92NY’s programming is built on a foundation of Jewish values, including the capacity of civil dialogue to change minds; the potential of education and the arts to change lives; and a commitment to welcoming and serving people of all ages, races, religions, and ethnicities. For more information, visit  www.92NY.org