Bernie Sanders and “The People Speak” to appear at People’s Summit
The People's Summit

Sen. Bernie Sanders will keynote a major gathering of several thousand progressive activists from across the U.S. in Chicago June 9 to 11 under a thematic of moving beyond resistance to building a broad people’s movement for a just world. The People’s Summit will bring together grassroots activists and leaders of key progressive organizations to chart strategies and build unity in calling for promoting a progressive vision that moves beyond resistance and protests.

Actors and musicians will perform “The People Speak,” Saturday evening, June 10 at the Arie Crown Theater in McCormick Place at 8:30 p.m. following the keynote speech by Sen. Sanders.

“The People Speak” is intended to bring to life the extraordinary history of ordinary people who built the movements that made the United States what it is today, ending slavery and Jim Crow, protesting war and the genocide of Native Americans, creating unions and the eight hour work day, advancing women’s rights and gay liberation, and struggling to right wrongs of the day. “The People Speak” will feature performances celebrating the often neglected history of the United States. It will give voice to leaders, activists, rebels, dissenters and visionaries from both the past and present.

It is being produced by National Nurses United in association with Voices of a People’s History of the United States and is directed by author, editor and producer Anthony Arnove.

“I am thrilled to be collaborating for the second year with National Nurses United and The People’s Summit,” said Arnove. “Last year’s performance was a reminder of how meaningful and inspiring the rich tradition of dissent in the United States can be. We are honored to bring these passionate voices to the McCormick stage again, and couldn’t be happier with the remarkable cast who will be singing and reading on June 10.”

“National Nurses United is enormously pleased to be able to bring these distinguished actors and musicians to the stage at the People’s Summit,” said NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro. “The members of this cast are not only distinguished performers, they are also notable activists in their own right and we are so grateful to them for giving their time and talent. Through this performance we are honoring the vital role of art and culture in the movement for progressive social change.”

Performing in “The People Speak” will be:

Joan Baez is a legendary singer, songwriter, and activist and the winner of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Over her long career, she has released 50 albums in the U.S. alone. She was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Hong Chau is an actress and writer. Her credits include the soon-to-be released film, Downsizing, and HBO’s Big Little Lies and Treme. She won the Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award as part of the cast of the film, Inherent Vice.

Jesse Eisenberg is an actor, author and playwright. His credits include the film The Social Network for which he received Best Actor nominations from the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and BAFTA Awards. He also won critical acclaim for his roles in the films Squid and the Whale, End of the Tour, and Zombieland. He has most recently appeared in the films Justice League, Now You See Me 2, Café Society, and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. He has written three plays that have appeared on the New York stage and his last play appeared on the West End stage in London. He is the author of the book “Bream Gives Me Hiccups: And Other Stories” and he writes for the New Yorker.

Frances Fisher is a film, stage and television actress and activist. In film, she is known for her roles in Unforgiven, Titanic, True Crimes, The Lincoln Lawyer, among many others. In television, she had a starring role in the ABC’s series Resurrection and most recently in the FX series Fargo. She has been nominated for several acting awards.

Laura Gómez is an actress, speaker and writer. She is best known for her role in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. She is currently a member of the Spanish Repertory Theater.

Brian Jones is an actor, educator and activist. He is known for his performance of the one man play, Marx in Soho. Jones taught in the New York City public schools for nine years and is a doctoral candidate at the City University of New York. He is a contributor to the book, “Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation.”

Melissa Leo is an award winning film and television actor. Leo won the Academy Award, the Golden Globe Award and the SAG Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film The Fighter. She also was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in the film Frozen River. She won an Emmy Award for her role in the television series Louie. She also won critical acclaim for her role in the television series Homicide: Life on the Street. She recently starred in the 2017 Netflix film The Most Hated Woman in America.

Aasif Mandvi is an actor, writer, comedian and producer. He is well known for his regular appearances as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show as well as on HBO’s comedy series, The Brink (on which he was also a writer and producer). His film credits include Spider Man 2, the Dictator, and the Internship. He is also the creator of the web series, Halal in the Family for which he won the Peabody Award. He is the author of the book, “No Man’s Land.”

Susan Pourfar is a television, film and stage actress. She is best known for her recurring roles in the ABC television series Scandal, the Netflix series House of Cards, and the CBS series Elementary. Her film credits include the recent award-winning Manchester by the Sea and the forthcoming In the Studio. She won an Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actress and the Actors’ Equity Charles Derwent Award for her role in the play Tribes.

Kendrick Sampson is an actor, producer and activist. He is best known for his roles in the CW television series The Vampire Diaries, the Fox television series Gracepoint, and the ABC television series How to Get Away with Murder.

Wallace Shawn is an actor, playwright, essayist and comedian. His many film roles have included My Dinner with Andre (for which he also co-wrote the screenplay), The Princess Bride, Clueless, and The Haunted Mansion. His television roles have included Gossip Girl and recurring appearances in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Clueless and The Good Wife. Among his many awards are three Obie Awards for his plays Our Late Night, The Fever, and Aunt Dan and Lemon; and an OFTA Television Award for Best Guest Actor in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Barbara Russum contributed to this article. The People’s World will be at the People’s Summit. We look forward to meeting you in Chicago!


Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.