The Joanna Jackson Goldman Memorial Lectures, delivered by Jamelle Bouie, Part I: “What’s the Matter with American Democracy?”

Tue. Jun 21, 2022 6:00pm - 7:00pm EDT
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Jamelle Bouie will deliver the Joanna Jackson Goldman Memorial Lectures on American Civilization and Government in two parts: Part I on June 21, Part II on June 22. This biennial lecture series at The New York Public Library, established by the estate of the historian Eric F. Goldman in honor of his wife, aims to encourage provocative comment and analysis concerning contemporary issues of deep, long-term significance for American democracy.

THIS IS A TWO-PART PROGRAM. YOU MUST REGISTER SEPARATELY FOR PART I, ON June 21, AND PART II, ON June 22. To register for Part II on June 22 click here.

“What’s the Matter with American Democracy?”: Part I of the Joanna Jackson Goldman Memorial Lectures.

The missing ingredient in American democracy is political equality, the idea that all citizens are of equal weight, even if they aren’t of equal voice. It’s not just that political equality is essential if Americans ever hope to realize the potential of their democracy, but that the absence of political equality from our institutions is part of what has warped our political system into something which struggles to express our democratic values.

To register for Part II on June 22 click here.

Doors will open around 5:30 PM. For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released shortly before start time, and seats may become available at that time. A standby line will form 30 minutes before the program.

The video recording of both lectures will be made available on the Library’s YouTube channel later in June. The lectures will not be livestreamed.


As of March 14, 2022 The New York Public Library no longer mandates proof of vaccination at large-scale public events.

Patrons are strongly encouraged to wear a mask at LIVE from NYPL events.

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or suspect you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, please stay home.


Assistive listening devices and/or hearing loops are available at the venue. You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation or CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning service by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email or use this Gmail template. This venue is fully accessible to wheelchairs. 

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Based in Charlottesville, Virginia and Washington D.C., Jamelle Bouie is a columnist for the New York Times and a political analyst for CBS News, covering history and politics. He has served as chief political correspondent for Slate magazine and a staff writer at the Daily Beast, and has held fellowships at the American Prospect and the Nation magazine. Bouie attended the University of Virginia, where he graduated with a degree in political and social thought, and government.



Please submit all press inquiries to Sara Beth Joren at least 48 hours before the event: email or use this Gmail template.

For all other questions and inquiries, please email or use this Gmail template.

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The Cullman Center is made possible by a generous endowment from Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman in honor of Brooke Russell Astor, with major support provided by Mrs. John L. Weinberg, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Estate of Charles J. Liebman, The von der Heyden Family Foundation, John and Constance Birkelund, and The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, and with additional gifts from Helen and Roger Alcaly, The Rona Jaffe Foundation, The Arts and Letters Foundation Inc., William W. Karatz, Merilee and Roy Bostock, and Cullman Center Fellows.

Jamelle Bouie © The New York Times

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Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Celeste Bartos Forum 476 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10018