“Story-Listening for Social Change”: Distinguished Speaker Series presents a virtual evening with Zaheer Ali on April 12

SUNY New Paltz will welcome oral historian and educator Zaheer Ali to deliver the spring 2021 Distinguished Speaker Series Address, “When We All Speak Truth to Power, Who’s Listening? Story-Listening for Social Change,” on Monday, April 12, at 5 p.m. via Webex.

Ali has worked for nearly 20 years as a listener, amplifier and preserver of stories of often-marginalized voices. He believes in the creative power of storytelling and story-listening to recover and preserve histories, affirm and celebrate communities, and engage and encourage intercultural exchange.

“Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools organizers and activists have at our disposal – the ability to tell powerful stories of resistance and transformation that amplify marginalized voices, challenge conventional unwisdom, and imagine new possibilities for the future,” said Ali. “Yet, in order for us to tell powerful stories, we must first commit ourselves to listening to them, intentionally, openly and deeply.”

As New Paltz’s spring 2021 Distinguished Speaker, Ali will explore concepts of story-listening – what it looks like, and what it requires of us – and offer insights to our community about the role of stories in bringing about real social change.

All are welcome to attend this virtual Distinguished Speaker Series event. Advance registration is required in order to receive the link. General admission is complimentary, though a $10 donation is suggested to help the SUNY New Paltz Foundation continue supporting future educational programs for our students.

For more information and to reserve tickets, please visit http://www.newpaltz.edu/speakerseries/.

About Zaheer Ali
A committed educator, Ali has taught for more than a decade as an adjunct lecturer at New York University, including courses on United States history, Malcolm X and Prince Rogers Nelson. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Afro-American Studies from Harvard University, and Master of Arts and Master of Philosophy degrees in History from Columbia University.

Formerly, Ali served as project manager of Columbia University’s Malcolm X Project under the direction of the late Manning Marable, and was a lead researcher for Marable’s Pulitzer Prize winning biography, “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” (2011). As a scholar of Malcolm X, Ali has written for both scholarly and general publications, and has been a featured narrator in two documentaries: CNN’s “Witnessed: The Assassination of Malcolm X” (2015) and Netflix’s “Who Killed Malcolm X?” (2020).

More information about Zaheer Ali can be found at https://www.zaheerali.com/.

About the Distinguished Speaker Series
Now in its 13th year, the SUNY New Paltz Distinguished Speaker Series connects the College’s alumni, community members, faculty, staff, students and their families with well-known authors, policy makers, scientists, media experts, business leaders and other luminaries.

The Distinguished Speaker Series is made possible by the SUNY New Paltz Foundation, with support from Presenting Sponsor M&T Bank, and Speaker Sponsors Orange County Chamber of Commerce, Jade Grill & Café, Riverside Bank, Chestnut Market and Ulster Savings Bank.