“Woke” used to be a simple past participle suggesting the cessation of sleep. But these days, the slumber it purports to end is political and social, not physical, and the movement behind it is driving large segments of America toward greater awareness of social injustice, activism, fear, fury, distraction and, at times, to all the above.
Are the woke movement and its attendant cancel culture leading the nation toward greater equity or creating a backlash that threatens its very goals?
Is cancel culture a way of speaking truth to power or has it morphed into mob witch-hunting?
Where’s the line between seeking justice and protecting free speech?
What implications does the movement have politically for both the Democratic and Republican parties?
Can you be committed to social and economic justice without being woke and rejecting cancel culture?
The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center welcomes James Carville and Michelle Goldberg to address these and dozens of other related questions that are shaping both the national conversation and the political landscape.
James Carville is a prominent political consultant and public commentator who was the lead strategist of the successful presidential campaign of Bill Clinton in 1992. He is the author or co-author of 11 books.
Journalist and op-ed columnist for The New York Times, Michelle Goldberg is the author of three books.