What matters to you.
Play Live Radio
Support for GBH is provided by:

Forum Network

  • At Ask the Expert, get access to experts specializing in a wide variety of topics, learn something new about a subject you are passionate about or discover a new interest. GBH invites you to drive the conversation by asking questions during the live event directly with our expert.
  • Virtual
    Cambridge Forum explores some indigenous thinking mixed with a little magic, talking to Jess Housty about her debut poetry collection, CRUSHED WILD MINT.

    Jess Housty is a Haíɫzaqv parent, writer, and land-based educator from the community of Bella Bella, BC. Housty lives in unceded ancestral homelands where she works in community building, food sovereignty, and leadership development. She is a freelance contributor to The Tyee and in addition to her debut poetry collection from Nightwood Editions, she has a forthcoming collection of essays due out shortly from Magic Canoe Press.

    Housty’s writing is enmeshed in her indigenous roots and values, “wealth is measured not by what you’ve accumulated but by what you give away. True abundance comes from community and turning a gift into more gifts”. She demonstrates this beautifully in “Sixty-Eight Plums”, a surprise bag of plums appears on her doorstep and provides an opportunity for her to carry the joy forward by making jars of plum jam, to leave at neighbors’ doors.

    Sixty-Eight Plums (by Jess Housty)

    When sixty-eight golden plums appear like a bowl of phosphorescence on your stoop, look both upward
    and all around you
    when you give a little thanks.

    It is no small feat
    that they have arrived here:

    Someone planted trees,
    smiling to themselves at the foolishness of growing plums in this climate
    where the rain makes everything soft— makes everyone soft.

    And for more than one hundred years the trees have probably not been tended but certainly been spared the axe
    and the lightning and unhappy accidents, and survived to delight you.

    And this week, this week of softening
    and relentless rain, someone lifted their hand level with their heart or higher—
    sixty-eight times to the branches
    while shaking the weather
    out of their hair—
    and doing this, they thought of you.

    So plunge your clean hands in the bowl (What else is there to do?)
    and pick out the stems and leaves;
    tear into the rain-soft flesh,

    the sun-bright flesh, to pry out the pits;
    and think of how you will carry forward joy when you leave jars of warm jam
    on many doorsteps in the morning.
    Cambridge Forum
  • Jess Housty is a Haíɫzaqv parent, writer, and land-based educator from the community of Bella Bella, BC. Housty lives in unceded ancestral homelands where she works in community building, food sovereignty, and leadership development. She is a freelance contributor to The Tyee and in addition to her debut poetry collection from Nightwood Editions, she has a forthcoming collection of essays due out shortly from Magic Canoe Press.
  • In Person
    To mark the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, Revolutionary Spaces is sponsoring a civic event to honor three Community Changemakers whose leadership in bringing people together in dialogue has built a shared sense of purpose to drive change. Through their efforts, these honorees organized and inspired people to take action to ensure their voices are heard and represented.

    This gathering provides an opportunity to reflect on a less-remembered part of the Boston Tea Party story that can inspire participation in our democracy today: the weeks of community meetings that took place at Old South Meeting House after the first of the tea ships arrived on November 28, 1773. Through these gatherings, the community achieved a shared sense of purpose that led to a world-changing action: that the drastic action of destroying the tea was necessary to ensure that the Crown and Parliament understood the colonists’ commitment to the principle of representation.

    The Legacy of the Tea Party: Honoring Community Changemakers will take place at Old South Meeting House on the evening of December 14, 2023, marking the 250th anniversary of the start of the final round of large-scale meetings at Old South Meeting House that culminated in the 5,000-person gathering on December 16, 1773 that preceded the destruction of the tea that night.

    With an inspiring and uplifting atmosphere, this event will honor leaders who exemplify the same commitment to community dialogue, civic action, and representation that were also prerequisites for the American Revolution and founding principles of our nation. Their efforts also remind us that the work of creating and sustaining a free society remains unfinished, and that our collective future can and will be shaped by the strength and depth of our civic engagement. Each Community Changemaker has, in their unique way, turned words into action and exemplified the same courage of their convictions and the spirit of change demonstrated by the patriots of 1773.

    Click here to livestream the event.
    Revolutionary Spaces
  • SEAN SIMONINI is the founder of the Massachusetts Association of Student Representatives (MASR), an organization that uplifts and empowers student representatives serving on local and state school boards across the Commonwealth. Sean saw firsthand how powerful student sentiment can be after serving on his own school committee during the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic and sought to establish a network that encourages students to be leaders in creating the change they want to see. He believes that students are essential partners in building better school environments and uniting communities around our common pursuit of a more accessible and impactful education system.
  • In Person
    Join Revolutionary Spaces on Monday, December 11 at the Old South Meeting House for a discussion with Dr. James Fichter of the University of Hong Kong to mark the publication of his new book Tea: Consumption, Politics, and Revolution, 1773–1776. Dr. Fichter will be joined in conversation with Dr. Nathaniel Sheidley, President and CEO of Revolutionary Spaces.

    In his new book, Dr. Fichter reveals a new dimension of the Boston Tea Party by exploring a story largely overlooked for the last 250 years—The fate of two large shipments of East India Company tea that survived and were drunk in North America. The book challenges the prevailing wisdom around the tea protests and consumer boycotts while showing the economic reality behind political rhetoric: Colonists did not turn away from tea as they became revolutionary Americans. While history records the noisy protests and prohibitions of patriots, merchant ledgers reveal that tea and British goods continued to be widely sold and consumed.

    By bringing different locations and events into the story and reinterpreting old ones, Dr. Fichter shows how the continuing risk that these shipments would be sold shaped colonial politics in the years ahead. He also hints at the enduring potency of consumerism in revolutionary politics.

    Following the reading and discussion, guests will have the opportunity to purchase their own copy of the book. Dr. Fichter will be available to sign copies and answer questions.

    This program is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 5:30 pm and the program will begin at 6:00 pm. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.
    Click here for more information about Tea: Consumption, Politics, and Revolution, 1773–1776.

    This program is made possible by the generous support of The Lowell Institute.

    Click here to attend virtually.
    Revolutionary Spaces
  • JAMES FICHTER is Associate Professor of European and American Studies at the University of Hong Kong, where he teaches courses on maritime history, the revolutionary Atlantic, and World War I. Fichter is also the author of So Great a Profit: How the East Indies Transformed Anglo-American Capitalism (Harvard, 2010) and editor of British and French Colonialism in Africa, Asia and the Middle East: Connected Empires across the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Centuries (Palgrave, Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies, 2019), as well as author of various articles. His next monograph, Suez Passage to India: Britain, France, and the Great Game at Sea, 1798-1885, examines the interconnections between the British and French Empires in Asian waters, from Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 to the Sino-French War in 1885. He received a BA in history and international studies from Brown University in 2001, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2006.
  • Virtual
    Innovations in bioengineering are revolutionizing medicine. Preservation of tissues, organs, sperm/eggs can be preserved in several different ways for future use. Methods include specialized forms of supercooling, vitrification (especially for eggs), and drying (anhydropreservation). Many of the models for these developments come from nature: organisms that transition to frozen or dehydrated states for extremely long periods –and then revive. Mehmet Toner is an international pioneer in this field. He describes the significance of the preservation-revival research, the different methods, and the remarkable creatures in nature that serve as models for these methods.
    Science for the Public
  • The major ocean currents strongly influence regional climate stability. Today’s rapidly warming oceans will ultimately alter major currents such as the AMOC, with huge consequences for global climate. In order to predict when and where these climate shifts will occur, oceanographers gather data over a long period of time and compare that data with historical variations in ocean temperature and currents. Hali Kilbourne’s focus on 2000 years of the relationship between oceans and climate provides important data for accurate climate models.
    In this discussion Dr. Kilbourne describes how scientists collect and analyze the data, and what oceanographers can predict regarding sea level changes, stability of major currents and the coming impact on global climate.

    Science for the Public
  • Hali Kilbourne’s research focus is the relationship between the oceans and climate over the last 2000 years. This long-range analysis provides context for modern changes and will improve our understanding of processes driving climate variability.