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Since 1919, The New School has been home to scholars, creators, and activists who challenge convention and boldly make their mark on the world.
To celebrate this groundbreaking legacy, we are opening our doors to the public for a weeklong festival of innovative performances, talks, workshops, screenings, exhibitions, and more.

On October 1–6, 2019, join us as we reflect on a century of world-changing ideas and together imagine a new kind of future.

The Festival of New is free and open to all.
Friday, October 4 • 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Honoring Adam Michnik: Degree Re-Conferral and Lecture

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Limited Capacity seats available

April 26, 1984, New York Times: “A Polish Nobel laureate in exile stood in a church on lower Fifth Avenue yesterday and read an open letter of moral outrage from a jailed dissident in Poland to his jailer. The letter, as another speaker put it, felt like 'a tornado' on the 50th anniversary of the University in Exile.”

Czeslaw Miłosz, the 1980 Nobel Prize-winning poet, was the man who read that letter from Adam Michnik, who then sat in a prison cell. He received his honorary doctorate of humane letters for his work as a democracy advocate. As a student, Michnik was a leader in 1968 protests for greater freedom and a more humanistic socialism. In the years that followed until the fall of communism, he was in and out of prison for his courageous actions and his seminal political writing. After the fall, he has continued to make a difference in Poland and far beyond as a writer, an editor of Poland’s major newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza, a political analyst, and an activist, continuing to promote the ideals to which he has dedicated his life—the same ideals that have informed The New School for the past 100 years, and will inform the university in its future. Michnik is again being defined as an enemy of the people by the ruling party in Poland, vilified and attacked as he was 35 years ago.

Michnik was one of seven human rights activists honored in 1984 in the commemoration of the founding of the University in Exile. He, alone, could not attend. Today he is honored for his continuing work and he is considering our dark times as he reflects on the promise of the recent past in the lecture “Thirty Years Ago: A Time of Joy and Hope."