Identity Politics: Embracing Diversity or Creating a House Divided Against Itself?
February 05, 2018


Despite being a term used in political discourse since at least the 1970’s, “identity politics” is only now having its moment as part of the mainstream vernacular of the modern American.

Identity politics refers to political positions based on the claimed interests and perspectives of social groups with which people identify, and the ways in which people's politics are shaped by aspects of their identity, such as age, race, sexual orientation, class, religion… the list goes on, and begets a new vocabulary (“white privilege”, “patriarchy”, “gender non-conformity”, “alt right”).

Should our politics focus on asserted differences between Red and Blue America, Black and White America, gay and straight America, or do we need to refocus on commonalities within the United States of America? Is there even a “right” viewpoint in this debate?

Andrew Sullivan and Michael Arceneaux will debate identity politics and American “tribalism” in an exclusive event, which will be filmed for the Council’s public television series, The Whole Truth. Register and participate in this live studio audience for this historic first for the Council.

About the Speakers:

Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard University-educated writer currently living in Harlem. He is a regular contributor to The Root, Essence, Complex, the queer sites Into and Them, among others. Additionally, his writings on politics, pop culture, race, and sexuality have been featured in the New York Times magazine, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Elle, Vulture, Buzzfeed, The Guardian, Mic News, Esquire, The Atlantic, and various other outlets. Michael’s also lent his commentary via appearances on MSNBC, NPR, BET, VH1, Viceland, and SiriusXM. His first book, I Can’t Date Jesus, will be released in July 2018 through Atria Books.

Andrew Sullivan is Contributing Editor at New York magazine, blogger, and author. He is a popular source of provocative, astute political and social commentary. The Washington Post called him “a media pioneer,” and The New York Times said, “Andrew Sullivan might deserve to be remembered as the most influential political writer of his generation.”  His New York essay, America Has Never Been so Ripe for Tyranny, is a finalist for a National Magazine Award.

In the News

It’s Time to Resist the Excesses of #MeToo by Andrew Sullivan

America Wasn’t Built for Humans: Can Our Democracy Survive Tribalism by Andrew Sullivan

The Curious Case of the "New Black": A Conversation interview with Michael Arceneaux

Black Republican Wins May Be Historic, But It’s Not Progress by Michael Arceneaux


Not a member of the World Affairs Council?  Call Margaret Keenan at 215-561-4700 ext. 222 to take advantage of Membership for discounted tickets to programs.

Register Here

Receive News & Special Offers

Monday, February 5, 2018 - Evening

The Suzanne Roberts Theatre
480 S Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

5:15 p.m. Registration to open
5:30 p.m. Reception (no alcohol will be provided; light food and soft drinks only)
6:00 p.m. Program and TV show filming
7:00 p.m. Conclusion on filming and audience Q&A
7:15 p.m. Conclusion


• Program and reception: $30 or Lecture Pass

General Public
• Program and reception: $50

Young Friends Members and Students
• Program and reception: $10 or Lecture Pass

To register using your company's corporate membership benefits, please call Margaret Keenan, Director of Development & Membership, at 215-561-4700 ext. 222.

For the accommodation of special needs during events (e.g. hearing/vision impairments, dietary restrictions, wheelchair accessibility), please call Hayley Boyle at 215-561-4700 ext. 227 or Kristi Scogna ext. 235.


Download Event