NYCLU Concert

NYCLU Concert

Bringing communities and leaders together around the spirit of change


On Monday October 15th, the New York Branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) hosted its 16th annual Broadway Stands Up for Freedom concert at the historic venue Town Hall in midtown. The event, a block away from Times Square, was hosted by former Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi, during which actor and activist Alan Cumming received the 2018 “Freedom Award”.

Between the ICE detentions and deportations, the Supreme Court deciding to uphold the Muslim Ban, and the recent confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh the NYCLU has had a long 2018.


The concert featured performances from Shaina Taub, Ariana DeBose, Wé Mcdonald, the Brooklyn Youth chorus, and more. The performances, especially DeBose’s finale, rang with messages of change and struck a chord with audiences. The concert’s proceeds will go to the ACLU and NYCLU.


“It’s a time when our civil liberties are our most important thing,” said host Asif Mandvi. NYCLU director Donna Lieberman echoed this sentiment. “I think people need to vote, stay engaged, support the ACLU and every other organization that fights for people, justice, and the values of democracy,” she said. “Artistic expression is essential to any democratic society.”


“It definitely means the world to me [to be performing] especially as a young woman of color,” said Wé McDonald. “There’s a lot of things that need to be changed, but that fact that I’m here helping move that change matters to me.”


Words by Ismail Ibrahim

Photographs by Amal Flower Kay // @cohibit