2018 Honorees & Special Guests
(2019 in formation)

HONOREE: Ady Barkan, The Center for Popular Democracy & Former MRNY Staff Member

Ady Barkan is a Senior Campaigner at the Center for Popular Democracy and was the founding director of two of its major projects: Local Progress and the Fed Up campaign. Ady is now focused on strengthening America’s health care system and inspiring millions of Americans to take back our democracy from the racists and kleptocrats.

Ady was a law clerk to the Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin in the Southern District of New York, who found the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program to be unconstitutional. Prior to that, Ady worked at Make the Road New York, where he represented low-wage workers seeking to recover unpaid wages, and obtain safe and dignified working conditions. He helped design and draft policy proposals to enhance the quality of low-wage jobs in New York City including the right to paid sick days, regulation of major retailers, and cleaning up of the car wash industry. He graduated from Yale Law School and Columbia College. Join 300+ guests to honor Ady’s courage and power.

HONOREE: Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Throughout its history, Paul Weiss has maintained an unwavering commitment to assisting the most vulnerable members of our society. Recently, their pro bono work has become especially urgent given the rising number of assaults on the rights of our immigrant communities. They were among the first to come to the aid of those affected by President Trump’s travel ban, and have since mounted numerous challenges to anti-immigrant policies nationwide. Most recently, they helped coordinate the legal community’s response to the crisis brought on by the forced separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, and continue to work to reunify separated families. Join 300+ guests to honor Paul Weiss’ for their advocacy on behalf of our communities. 

HONOREE: Wyatt Cenac, HBO’s Problem Areas

Grammy-nominated NY-based stand-up comedian Wyatt Cenac is also an Emmy and WGA Award-winning performer, writer, and producer. Armed with an “attentive, inquisitive perspective” (AV Club) and a “hilariously understated style” (Paste Magazine), he has become a favorite of audiences and critics alike. In the Spring of 2018, Wyatt’s own satirical docuseries, Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas, launched on HBO and after a successful first season, was picked up for a second. The half-hour late-night show takes a satirical look at social and cultural issues from Cenac’s unique perspective. Rather than sit behind a desk, he undertakes a journey to understand some big issues of the moment and investigates the real-world solutions.

SPECIAL GUEST: Ana Maria Archila, Board Co-Chair of Make the Road New York & Center for Popular Democracy Co-Executive Director

Ana Maria emigrated to the U.S. from Colombia at the age of 17 and has become a leading voice for racial justice, economic justice and immigrant rights in New York and nationally, first as Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York, and now as co-Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy. Ana Maria has dedicated her heart, her poetic and bold spirit, and endless hours to bringing the experiences of immigrants, working-class people, women, and TGNCIQ+ people to the forefront of public debate, bringing about radical change and justice. She has fought for the Dream Act, helped win DACA, stands against the #BackersofHate, and lives as a sister and deep partner to those in struggle around the world. Most recently, Ana Maria’s bold and courageous action played a decisive role in changing the course of history when she confronted Senator Jeff Flake about his support of Brett Kavanaugh. Ana Maria stands as proof that our voices, our actions, and our stories will transform this nation, advancing a vision of justice and opportunity for all. Join us on November 14th to thank Ana Maria for all of her contributions!

SPECIAL GUEST: Alyssa Milano, Actress & Activist

Alyssa Milano has been in the spotlight for most of her life. She chooses to shine that spotlight on causes that matter deeply to her. Her advancement of #MeToo sparked a viral movement of women fighting against sexual harassment and assault and she has been involved in TimesUp since its inception. In the wake of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, Alyssa became one of the founders of NoRA, a coalition dedicated to combatting the NRA money in political campaigns so that common sense gun reform can be enacted. For 15 years, she has been a UNICEF National Ambassador. In 2016, she received their Spirit of Compassion Award for her dedication to their mission of advocating for the protection of children’s rights, helping meet their basic needs and expanding their opportunities to reach their full potential. She has lobbied members of congress for greater rights for immigrants as well as education reform and has been on the forefront of efforts to protect health coverage for all Americans. She continues to use her voice and platform to advocate for social justice, fairness and equality.