Past Event

Now What? – A Conversation on Equality and Education

Respond to insightful dialogue and view photos from this event!


RSVP for the 2nd installment of our Now What? series: “Politics, Culture and Social Media”


What does one of our country’s most sacred texts suggest about equality? And what is the connection between equality and education?

Take part in an open conversation on ideas about democracy and public education with Elizabeth Dozier, principal of Chicago’s Fenger Academy H.S and a fixture in CNN’s documentary series Chicagoland, and Institute for Advanced Studies professor Danielle Allen, whose new bookOur Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality, affirms the relevance of the Declaration of Independence, and as Junot Diaz says, “[returns] it to its true and rightful owners-you and me.”

They’ll be joined by our new executive director Angel Ysaguirre, who’ll be taking questions via Twitter both before and during the event to shape the discussion.

Through this conversation, we hope to inspire actionable ways for the humanities to have an impact on education and help meet the true ideal of a participatory democracy.

This is the first installment of Now What? a five-part series of off-the-cuff conversations with some of the country’s most interesting thinkers talking about today’s front-page issues. Led by our executive director, Angel Ysaguirre, these unrehearsed conversations and the ideas they inspire will reflect the future of Illinois Humanities Council programming and its vital role for the health of our society. The next conversation, in June, will inquire into the uses of social media for political organizing, especially among African Americans. 

This event is free and open to the public.
However, registration is now closed.

About the Speakers:

Prominently featured in CNN’s 8-part documentary series “Chicagoland,” Elizabeth Dozier has become a national figure in the education reform movement through her groundbreaking local work as the principal at Fenger High School on the south side of Chicago. Under her leadership the school has seen a rise in the ACT composite and increases in student attendance and Freshmen On-Track. Additionally, the school’s culture and climate has drastically improved. Elizabeth is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher in Mathematics and a graduate of New Leaders for New Schools program.

Danielle Allen is a Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, a 2002 MacArthur Fellow, and the former Dean of the School of the Humanities at the University of Chicago. Allen’s new book, Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality draws upon her experience teaching the Declaration of Independence to low-income adult students in IHC’s The Odyssey Project. Allen is widely known for her work on justice and citizenship in both ancient Athens and modern America, and is a frequent public lecturer and occasional contributor on similar subjects to the Washington Post, Boston Review, Democracy, Cabinet, and The Nation.

Angel Ysaguirre is Executive Director of the Illinois Humanities Council. He has served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Director of Global Community Investing at The Boeing Company, and as a program officer at the McCormick Foundation. He’s served on the boards of The Donors Forum of Illinois, Theatre Communications Group; I.C.E. (International Contemporary Ensemble), the Illinois Center for the Book, Blair Thomas & Co.; and the Next Theatre.



If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580 at least 72 hours prior to the event. For parking locations near the facility, please visit

For more information, please cal 312.422.5580.