THE AGITATORS: Panel Discussion Explains How Differences Can Be Overcome

The Alabama Shakespeare Festival held a panel discussion Saturday in downtown Montgomery– focusing on people who are working for change in the Montgomery community.

The discussion was made up of city and community leaders and was inspired by ASF’s current play called the Agitators. The play tells the story of Susan B. Anthony and Fredrick Douglass, and how they sparked changes by advocating for voting rights. Both, however, were fighting for very different reasons.

“He was fighting for the 15th amendment, which didn’t include the right for women to vote. And then she later, after he passed, was still fighting for women’s suffrage,” ASF Executive Director Todd Schmidt said. “They came together at times and also at times they were butting heads a little bit.”

The discussion included Michelle Browder with More Than Tours; Phillip Ensler, the policy advisor to Mayor Steven Reed; Tabitha Isner, a public figure and political activist; and Lloria James, Chief Deputy District Attorney for Montgomery County.

“We just talk about things that are important to us all, but we don’t have necessarily the space to talk about. So I think its important that we create space for people to just get things off their chest to learn, and to engage with each other because that’s how we allow for normal human empathy in our community,” moderator of the panel and Kress’s Community Engagment Coordinator Shakita Jones said.

The panel discussed issues about social injustice and state policy. The conversation was designed to bring people together to show you may not always agree on everything, but you can still find common ground and bring positive changes to the community.

“We want to be able to understand that just because you may not be aligned on certain issues, that you can definitely support people on other issues,” Jones said.

The Agitators is currently playing at the Shakespeare Festival until February 13th.

ASF will hold its next panel discussion on March 14th at the Kress building downtown.

Categories: Montgomery, News