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Daniel Alarcón and Janine de Novais met as undergraduates at Columbia in 1995. In the intervening years, they’ve remained lifelong learners, teachers and writers. They come together to chat about how learning can equip us for freedom, even in perilous times and places.


Daniel Alarcón covers Latin America for The New Yorker, and is co-founder and Executive Producer of Radio Ambulante Studios, an award-winning Spanish-language podcast production company. His most recent book of stories, The King is Always Above the People, was long-listed for the National Book Award. Alarcón teaches at the Columbia Journalism School. In 2021, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.

Janine de Novais is is a writer, sociologist, and teacher. Her first book, Brave Community: Teaching for a Post-Racist Imagination, to be published by Teachers College Press in April 2023, shares a method to create empathetic and resilient conditions for learning about racism in order to intervene on it. Janine has taught at Harvard University and the University of Delaware. Before that, she served as the Associate Director of Columbia University’s Center for the Core Curriculum.

This event is part of our Justice Forum series, which provides opportunities for community discussion of arts and ideas on justice, equality, and mass incarceration.

Please email disability@columbia.edu to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.

  • The Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures
  • Department of Classics
  • African American and African Diaspora Studies
  • Institute for Comparative Literature and Society
  • Center for American Studies
  • Tamer Center for Social Enterprise
  • Stavros Niarchos Foundation
  • Department of Music