The artist-activists of Resistance Mic! share stories and politically engaged works that read, move, sing, and speak truth to power.
The streamed October 21 event features Justin Danzy, Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, Oompa, V (formerly Eve Ensler), and a short film by John Lucas and Claudia Rankine. Participate in a live Q&A with the artists and host Timothy Patrick McCarthy following the performances.
The 2016 election inspired a broad-based Resistance not seen in the United States in decades. Since then, people from all walks of life have been protesting, marching, mobilizing, and organizing in an effort to take back the country and create a more compassionate and just world. Artists are vital to this work. Launched on November 9, 2017—the one-year anniversary of the day after the 2016 election—Resistance Mic! is part of the A.R.T. of Human Rights series, an ongoing collaboration between the American Repertory Theater and Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, and presented in collaboration with the literary magazine Pangyrus.
Hosted by Timothy Patrick McCarthy
Justin Danzy’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in New England Review, The Offing, On the Seawall, Obsidian, New Ohio Review, Guesthouse, and elsewhere. He was the 2019 Gregory Pardlo Fellow at the Frost Place and received an Academy of American Poets Prize from Washington University in St. Louis, where he completed his MFA and currently serves as the Senior Fellow in Poetry. He is originally from Southfield, Michigan.
Photo: Emiliana Renuart
Alex Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of THE FACT OF A BODY: A Murder and a Memoir, which received a Lambda Literary Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the Grand Prix des Lectrices ELLE, the Prix des libraires du Quebec, and the Prix France Inter-JDD, an award for one book of any genre in the world. Named to Best of the Year lists on three continents, it has been translated into ten languages. Other work appears in The New York Times, Harpers, Best American Essays, and many other anthologies and publications. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Eccles Centre at the British Library, Bread Loaf, MacDowell, and Yaddo, they are an assistant professor at Bowdoin College. Their next book, BOTH AND NEITHER, is a genre- and gender-bending work of memoir, history, cultural analysis, trans re-imaginings, and international road trip about life beyond the binary, forthcoming from Doubleday and publishers internationally.
Photo: Greta Rybus
Oompa is a nationally-acclaimed, Boston-born poet, rapper, and educator, who is forever representing the queer, black, orphaned, hood kids, n’ them. She was named one of NPR’s 2020 Slingshot Artists to Watch and her engaging, interactive performing style won her the Boston Music Award for Live Act of the Year in 2019, following her 2018 Unsigned Artist of the Year victory among an unprecedented 12 total nominations. In a 2019 feature, WBUR’s the Artery describes the lyric-focused rapper as having a “natural tenderness with language” and calls her verses “funny…incisive and memorable.” Oompa showed this poetic prowess as the winner of the 2017 Women of the World Poetry Slam and a finalist in the 2016 National Poetry Slam. With the release of her newest album, Cleo, Oompa has sold out the Sinclair and a number of other Boston venues. She has been featured by NPR, The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, WGBH, digboston, and NBC 10, and is the recipient of the 2019 Brother Thomas Fellowship, enriching Boston and the world beyond with her work.
Photo: Ally Schmaling
Claudia Rankine is a poet, essayist, and playwright. Her most recent book, Just Us, completes her groundbreaking trilogy, following Don’t Let Me Be Lonely and Citizen, which was a New York Times bestseller and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Forward Prize, and many others. She is the author of The White Card (which premiered at A.R.T. in 2018); three previous books of poetry, Nothing in Nature is Private, The End of the Alphabet, and Plot; and coeditor of the anthology The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. In 2016, Rankine co-founded the Racial Imaginary Institute, “committed to the activation of interdisciplinary work and a democratized exploration of race in our lives.” She is a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow and the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University.
V (formerly Eve Ensler)
V (formerly Eve Ensler) is the Tony Award-winning playwright and author of the Obie Award-winning theatrical phenomenon The Vagina Monologues, which has been translated into 48 languages and performed in 140 countries. She is the author of a number of books, including her latest bestsellers The Apology and In the Body of the World, as well as The New York Times bestseller I Am an Emotional Creature. She starred on Broadway in The Good Body and most recently Off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club production of In the Body of the World (originally produced at the A.R.T. in 2016). She is the founder of V-Day, the 22-year-old global activist movement which has raised over 120 million dollars to end violence against all women and girls—cisgender, transgender, gender-fluid, and nonbinary. She is also the founder of One Billion Rising, the largest global mass action to end gender-based violence in over 200 countries, and co-founder of City of Joy.
Photo: Paula Allen
Timothy Patrick McCarthy
Timothy Patrick McCarthy is the host and director of Resistance Mic!, now in its fourth season at OBERON, the A.R.T.’s club theater. Tim is an award-winning historian, educator, and human rights activist who has taught on the faculty at Harvard University since 2005. Twice named one of Harvard Crimson’s “Professors of the Year,” he is the recipient of the 2019 Manuel C. Carballo Award, the John F. Kennedy School’s highest teaching honor. Tim is also the Academic Director Emeritus and Stanley Paterson Professor of American History in the Boston Clemente Course, a free college humanities program for lower income adults and co-recipient of the 2015 National Humanities Medal. The adopted only son and grandson of public school teachers and faculty workers, he was educated at Harvard College and Columbia University, where he earned his Ph.D. in History. He is the author or editor of six books, including the forthcoming Stonewall’s Children: Living Queer History in the Age of Liberation, Loss, and Love (New Press) and Reckoning with History: Unfinished Stories of American Freedom (Columbia UP).
Photo: Martha Stewart