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On America

On America: Jelani Cobb on The Essential Kerner Commission Report with Arva Rice

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Thursday, 7:00 pm EDT October 28, 2021

Online via Zoom & at
The Center for Fiction*

In-person* tickets include a $10 bookstore voucher, redeemable toward the featured event book on the night of the event. All registrants will receive a link to livestream the event.

Jelani Cobb, Columbia University professor and New Yorker correspondent, joins us to discuss the launch of The Essential Kerner Commission Report, a historic study of American racism and police violence. The Report examines economic inequality, race, and policing in more than a dozen urban uprisings between 1964 and 1967. In a conversation with Arva Rice, CEO and President of the New York Urban League, a civil rights organization dedicated to addressing structural issues in underserved communities, the two will consider the crucial importance of the report’s findings to today’s fight for equal justice. Library Journal says, “this version of the report might point the way toward a national resolution, if the United States summons the will and wherewithal to make change.”

*Proof of vaccination is required to attend this event in person. Mask wearing is also required throughout the building. Accepted vaccination proofs include:

  • CDC vaccination card
  • Excelsior pass
  • a record of vaccination from the healthcare provider who administered your vaccine

If you remain unvaccinated because of a disability or sincerely held religious belief, please contact us at for assistance or to request a reasonable accommodation. 

Kerner Commission report book jacket - William Lyman

In Conversation

  • jelani-cobb - William Lyman

    Jelani Cobb

    Jelani Cobb

    A staff writer at the New Yorker, Jelani Cobb is the Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School. The recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright and Ford Foundations, he lives in New York.

  • ArvaRice - William Lyman

    Arva Rice

    Arva Rice

    Arva Rice is a passionate community leader who has dedicated herself to creating pathways to success for young people with a focus on girls and women. Arva currently serves as President & CEO of the New York Urban League. The New York Urban League is leading the way underserved African-Americans are educated, employed and empowered across the 5 boroughs. For the past 100 years we’ve inspired, influenced, and ignited over 1 million black people to achieve their highest aspirations. Arva is a member of the Women’s Forum, Greater New York Chapter of The Links Incorporated, a Commissioner for the NYC Equal Employment Practices Commission and Trustee at First Corinthians Baptist Church. Arva is a 2013-2014 Annie Casey Fellow, a national fellowship for government and nonprofit leaders focused on supporting innovation solutions for children. Arva graduated from the Northwestern University. She currently lives in Harlem.