Skip to content



This calendar intended to help our community stay up to date on progressive events and opportunities along the Central Coast.

Only events that meet our mission will be added. Please allow us up to 4 business days to approve or modify submissions.
To inquire about event sponsorship support, please contact [email protected].
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Walking the Tightrope: Surviving in Working Class America

February 15 @ 6:00 pm - February 17 @ 4:15 pm

Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn—Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and authors— center their writing on human rights abuses and advocacy around the world. Their bestselling book, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope, shines a light on the crises facing working-class communities here at home, including poverty, homelessness, mass incarceration, and addiction. On February 17th, Arts and Lectures will host Kristof and WuDunn for a public lecture on these themes and their reflections on the civic and political landscape in the United States today.

Leading up to this event, the Blum Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy will be hosting a 2-part Pop-Up Discussion series featuring an in-person moderated discussion with Kristof and WuDunn on Thursday, February 17th from 3-4:15PM. In preparation for this exciting opportunity to meet the authors, the series will begin with a preliminary group discussion of excerpts from Tightrope. Diving into the themes of their book, we will explore the policy choices that have created a fragile tightrope, how individuals slip off, and the societal consequences. We’ll discuss expanding the narrative beyond individual responsibility and “bad choices” to institutional and policy choice failures, and how the historical attachment to ideas about American “exceptionalism” stand in the way of this needed shift. We will also discuss the authors’ policy ideas and priorities to create a more inclusive path forward, as well as the power of storytelling and statistical reporting in motivating engagement and advocacy for change.

Join us for our 2-part Pop Up Series: Tuesday, February 15th (6-7PM via Zoom) for a preliminary discussion of Tightrope, followed by an in-person moderated discussion with Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn on Thursday, February 17th from 3:00-4:15PM.

Please RSVP here by February 14th, as space is limited. The first 15 students to sign up will receive a free copy of Tightrope.

This event is co-sponsored by UCSB Arts & Lectures.