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ASU California Center

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1111 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015 United States

February 2022

Does The First Amendment Still Protect Free Speech?

Feb 24 • 7:00 pm
ASU California Center, 1111 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015 United States

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution is supposed to provide the world’s strongest protections of free speech and a free press. But you wouldn’t know that from reading the news. Public officials routinely pressure tech companies to censor content. Conservative lawmakers are moving to ban more books, limit protests, and curb school curriculums. Progressive leaders and activists are successfully pressuring employers to punish and fire people for expressing views seen as harmful or dangerous. Even the ACLU is…

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April 2022

A Special Zócalo Music Presentation: How Immigrants Composed L.A.

Apr 28 • 7:00 pm
ASU California Center, 1111 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015 United States

In 1933, Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg immigrated to the United States, settling in Los Angeles; he would spend the rest of his life writing music and teaching composition at USC and UCLA. Following him, in 1940, came Russian-born composer, pianist, and conductor Stravinsky, who settled in Hollywood after making the move from France. Then, in 1942, fellow Russian-born composer, pianist, and conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff arrived in Beverly Hills. These immigrants—and others who followed them—fused L.A.’s free-spirited culture with the traditions…

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May 2022

Is This What Direct Democracy Looks Like? With Shirley Weber

May 11 • 7:00 pm
ASU California Center, 1111 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015 United States

Direct democracy is supposed to be a people’s process, allowing everyday citizens to enact their own ideas for laws or constitutional amendments. But does California’s system live up to that promise? Qualifying a measure for the ballot costs so many millions of dollars that only the richest people and interests can bring their proposals forward. Elected and appointed officials have considerable sway over the process, and routinely use it for their own aims. And voters have little information, and few…

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What Do We Want From the Next L.A. Mayor?

May 26 • 7:00 pm
ASU California Center, 1111 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015 United States

Moderated by Janaya Williams, KCRW’s Host of All Things Considered Mayoral candidates in Los Angeles love to offer plans and make promises. But in L.A., City Hall is more likely to follow than to lead. Change here has always come from Angelenos themselves, and the ways we interact with each other and cope with the accidents, disasters, and ongoing challenges that define life in L.A. Before June’s first-round mayoral election, Zócalo tunes out the politicians and asks the people: what do…

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June 2022

12th Annual Zócalo Book Prize: Will Americans Ever Be In This Together?

Jun 1 • 7:00 pm
ASU California Center, 1111 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015 United States

From tax cuts and voting rights to healthcare and labor coalitions, middle- and working-class Americans frequently vote for politicians and support policies that go against their interests. The reason, argues economic and social policy scholar Heather McGhee, is racism. Prosperity and success, as the majority sees it, is a zero-sum game: Whatever benefits Black Americans, as well as immigrants and other minority groups, costs white Americans. In reality, explains McGhee, the opposite is true—whether it’s draining public swimming pools after integration,…

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September 2022

What Can We Laugh About?

Sep 15 • 7:00 pm
ASU California Center, 1111 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015 United States

What is the relationship between dissent and comedy? Is there civic virtue in laughter? Are there any issues that it is “too soon” to joke about? Should comedians around the world draw inspiration from American humor? And can comedy break through apathy, discontent, and division in a democracy under pressure—serving as release valve, remedy, and respite? Political satirist Bassem Youssef, and playwright, actor, and performance artist Kristina Wong visit Zócalo to discuss the current comedic zeitgeist, and why the joke can be…

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How Should We Prepare for Aliens to Arrive on Earth?

Sep 27 • 7:00 pm
ASU California Center, 1111 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015 United States

What will contact with a new intelligent lifeform mean for humanity’s future? Can the close encounters Hollywood has imagined help us plot our way forward? And, is it possible that humanity will find unity in how we present ourselves to the new arrivals? A panel including astrobiologist, theoretical physicist, and ASU associate professor Sara Imari Walker, and Corey Gray, senior operations specialist at LIGO Hanford Observatory, visit Zócalo – not to discuss whether there is life out there, but to reflect upon…

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November 2022

Do We Even Need a City Council?

Nov 3 • 7:00 pm
ASU California Center, 1111 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015 United States
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Zócalo Public Square and KCRW present, “Do We Even Need a City Council?” A panel moderated by KCRW’s host of All Things Considered, Janaya Williams, will discuss where things went wrong and imagine new futures. Government officials, reformers, and scholars visit Zócalo to discuss where things went wrong, and imagine new futures for L.A.’s city council. This event is free and open to the public, in person and online. Zócalo and KCRW invite the in-person audience to continue the conversation at…

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How Does L.A. Inspire First-Time Novelists?

Nov 10 • 7:00 pm
ASU California Center, 1111 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015 United States
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Zócalo Public Square and the Library Foundation of Los Angeles present, “How Does L.A. Inspire First-Time Novelists?” Debut novelists Fatimah Asghar, Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi, and Ryan Lee Wong visit Zócalo and ALOUD to read from their new books, and to discuss the excitement and challenges of putting out a first novel, what inspires their craft, and why Los Angeles had to be a part of it all. This event is free and open to the public in person and online. Zócalo and…

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