#LaborTalks2 – “Necessary Trouble”: A Conversation with Sarah Jaffe  


We are in a period of extraordinary political activism and political transformation in the United States. Not only after the election of Donald Trump but since at least the financial crisis of 2008, social movements agitating for fundamental, systemic change have proliferated on the left but also right: Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, the Fight for $15, and many organizations surrounding the Sanders campaign, but also the Tea Party and others. How and why are Americans demanding change? How have these different movements taken shape and changed the American political landscape? Exactly what kind of trouble should we be getting in to? Join us for a discussion and reception with Sarah Jaffe, Brooklyn Institute’s Ajay Singh Chaudhary, and The Workmen’s Circle’s Ann Toback as they discuss Jaffe’s new book Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt, and new avenues for protest, activism, and politics in the 21st century.

Introduced and moderated by The Sidney Hillman Foundations’s Alexandra Lescaze.

This event is co-presented by The Workmen’s CircleThe Sidney Hillman Foundation, and The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research.

It is the second event in the ongoing #LaborTalks series.


  • Sarah Jaffe

    Sarah Jaffe is a Nation Institute fellow and an independent journalist covering labor, economic justice, social movements, politics, gender, and pop culture. Her work has appeared in The Nation, Salon, the Week, the American Prospect, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and many other publications. She is the co-host, with Michelle Chen, of Dissent magazine’s Belabored podcast, as well as an editorial board member at Dissent and a columnist at New Labor Forum. Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt is her first book.

  • Ajay Singh Chaudhary

    Ajay Singh Chaudhary is the executive director of the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research and a core faculty member specializing in social and political theory. His research focuses on social and political theory, Frankfurt School critical theory, political economy, media, religion, and post-colonial studies. He has written for the The Guardian, Los Angeles Review of Books, Quartz, Social Text, Dialectical Anthropology, The Jewish Daily Forward, Filmmaker Magazine, and 3quarksdaily, among other venues. Ajay is currently writing a book on the politics of climate change.

  • Ann Toback

    Ann Toback has served as the Executive Director of the Workmen’s Circle since June 2008.  For more than a century, the Workmen’s Circle has been cultivating a proudly progressive, diverse and inclusive community rooted in Jewish culture and social and economic justice activism. A lifelong progressive activist – whose grandparents met at a union hall – and trained attorney, Ann previously served as a union leader at the Writers Guild of America, East, as the Assistant Executive Director during her tenor from 1999-2008.  A highlight of Ann’s union career was successfully directing and organizing the 2007-2008 Writers Guild strike on the East Coast before coming to lead the Workmen’s Circle.

  • Alexandra Lescaze

    Alexandra Lescaze is the Executive Director of the Sidney Hillman Foundation which honors excellence in journalism in service of the common good. She is a former union organizer and an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her first film, Where Do You Stand? Stories from An American Mill, told the story of the 25-year effort of North Carolina textile workers to organize a union in the face of modernization and globalization. Her latest film, All of Me, about a group of women who undergo weight-loss surgery, premiered on PBS Independent Lens in 2014.

Event Schedule

Wednesday, 7-9 pm
April 26, 2017

The Workmen's Circle
247 W. 37th Street (5th Floor)
New York, NY 10018


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