Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences will host Helen Gym, a leading progressive voice on Philadelphia City Council, on April 22 for a special event hosted by the Crossroads School Equity & Justice Institute and the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Equity & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series.

In a lecture entitled “When They Go Low, We Go Local: How Municipal Politics Power Grassroots Justice Movements,” the activist and community organizer will discuss the power of local politics to transform communities and effect change on social justice issues.

This free event—which will be held at 7 p.m. in the Joanie Martin Community Room on Crossroads’ Norton Campus (1634 18th St., Santa Monica)—is open to members of the public. All attendees are asked to register for this event at

Gym, the first Asian-American woman to serve on Philadelphia City Council, is also the national vice chair of Local Progress, a national network of progressive elected officials from local governments across the country. Local Progress is committed to “a vision of shared economic prosperity, equal justice under law, livable and sustainable communities and good government that serves the public interest.”

Gym is the recipient of the White House’s César E. Chávez Champions of Change award and the 2017 national Rising Star Award from EMILY’s List. She is a contributor to the recently published book “Why I Run: 35 Progressive Candidates Who Are Changing Politics.”

“Civic engagement is defined as ‘individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern,’” says Derric J. Johnson, founding director of the Equity & Justice Institute. “Helen Gym understands that everyone should be concerned with their own level of civic engagement and their community’s as well. Helen knows that we are not isolated creatures impervious to outside influences, and that the concept of freedom is not passive. I look forward to her presentation addressing the necessity for progressive movement-building and developing a collective conscious for the greater good.”

The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Equity & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series was established to help stimulate dialogue among students, educators and community leaders committed to tackling the problems of racism, poverty, war, environmental degradation, educational inequities, religious persecution, genocide and other forms of injustice.

The lecture series is an initiative of Younes & Soraya Nazarian Family Foundation, which supports educational causes in a broad spectrum of institutions and through a wide variety of avenues: academic, public policy, community-based, social and artistic programs in the United States and Israel.

About Crossroads

Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences is a K-12, coed college preparatory school in Santa Monica, California. Crossroads was founded upon five basic commitments: to academic excellence; to the arts; to the greater community; to the development of a student population of social, economic and racial diversity; and to the development of each student’s physical well-being and full human potential. One in four students receives financial assistance. The School is highly acclaimed for its programs and is a leader in public/private educational partnerships.

Submitted by Sara Ring, Director of Communications

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