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Buy Your LEAP Year Event Tickets

Thank you for joining us at the 2023 LEAP Year Event! We hope you enjoyed your dinners and conversations.

With your help, we raised over $350,000 and welcomed over 500 guests in the Greater New Haven area, New York, and beyond to gather in support of Creating a New Haven for Our Children. Please email if you are interested in supporting the event next year as a Host, Sponsor, or Guest of Honor.

The following information refers to the 2023 LEAP Year Event. Please check this page for information about next year's event in January 2024.

Click here to download a pdf of the invitation. Please reference this page for the most up-to-date information. 

Join us on Thursday, February 23rd for our twenty-eighth annual LEAP Year Event (with additional conversations on Saturday, February 18th and Saturday, February 25th)!

LEAP Year Event Virtual Reception - LEAP Year Event virtual reception beginning at 5:30pm. We encourage all to join us at the reception as we recognize this year's honorees, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, State Representative Toni Walker, and Bonnie Scarborough, and hear from LEAP supporters, staff, and counselors.  

 Registration for LEAP Year Event is now closed. Please email with any inquiries regarding registration. Thank you!

Option 1: In-Person Dinner Parties

A traditional LEAP Year Event dinner located at the homes of LEAP supporters in the Greater New Haven area.

Dinner-Included Tickets are required for in-person events, during which the host will provide meals. Each dinner is limited to approximately 20 attendees.

Participants may be required to take an at-home COVID test before in-person dinner parties. It is possible that some in-person dinner parties may shift to virtual events if circumstances require. Check here and in your email inbox for changes.

Schedule of Events (Thursday, 2/23) *There is a virtual reception with a 5:30pm start time to view in your own home. Please arrive at your hosts' home at 7:00pm.

  • 5:30-6:15pm – Join the virtual reception online from your own home (link will be provided in email before the event)

  • 7:00pm – Guests arrive at hosts' homes or restaurants for in-person conversations and dinner (unless otherwise noted)

  • 9:00/9:30 – Conversations end

  • Note - if your conversation is on a Saturday, you are still welcome to join the virtual reception on Thursday 2/23.

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Option 2: Conversations on Zoom

Join a lively conversation with the Guest of Honor and an open audience Q&A from the comfort of your own home.

You may choose a First-Time Attendee Ticket for newcomers (without dinner), a Non-Dinner Ticket to attend the conversation without dinner, or a Dinner-Included Ticket, which includes a three-course meal from a local restaurant for pickup. Click here to view the restaurant menus from the list of local restaurants we are supporting!  

Conversation sizes vary - some have limited seats, and others are open to all. Book your ticket early to secure your seat at your conversation of choice!

Schedule of Events *There is a virtual reception with a 5:30pm start time and Zoom conversations with a start time of 6:30pm.

  • 4:00 - 6:00 pm –  Guests with Dinner-Included Tickets pick up meals from local restaurants 

  • 5:30 - 6:15pm – Join the virtual reception online from your own home (link will be provided in email before the event)

  • 6:30 pm – Virtual Zoom conversations begin

  • 8:00/8:30 pm – Conversations end

Conversation Options

Option 1: In-Person Dinner Parties

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1. Advocate for Alternatives 

Did you know the U.S. leads the world in rates of incarceration? Be inspired as you learn about The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961 to advocate for alternatives to the bail system in NYC. Meet President and Director Nick Turner, who leads Vera's work to end mass incarceration, reduce the use of prisons and detention centers, safeguard the dignity of those behind bars, and support safe and thriving communities.

  • Get to Know our Guest of Honor: Listen to a December 2022 podcast episode from the Great Battlefield podcast titled, "Ending Mass Incarceration with Nick Turner of Vera."

Hosted by Celeste & Stephen Myers at the Harvard Club, New York City

2. [SOLD OUT] Hometown Heartbreak 

Explore The Other Side of Prospect with writer Nicholas Dawidoff, as he reflects on his childhood home of New Haven and how the injustices of racism and inequality reverberate through generations. His beautifully written portrait of life in the Elm City is told through unforgettable people and their intertwined experiences.

  • Get to Know our Guest of Honor: Listen to an episode of Roxanne Coady’s podcast, "Just the Right Book," in which she interviews Dawidoff about his recent book and how inequality impacts multiple generations.

Hosted by Christine Kim & Doug Kysar, New Haven

3. [SOLD OUT] Understanding Ukraine 

Dig into the heroic struggle of the Ukrainian people against the Russian invasion with Marci Shore, Associate Professor of European Cultural & Intellectual History at Yale. Her research focuses on the intellectual history of twentieth and twenty-first-century Central and Eastern Europe, including writings on Ukraine, Russia, and Friendships and Why Ukrainians are Prepared to Fight.

  • Get to Know our Guest of Honor: Watch Marci Shore discuss her 2018 book, The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution, with Marilyn Wilkes, host of the MacMillan Report at Yale University.

Hosted by Patricia Rossi & Robert King, New Haven

4. A Delicious Partnership

Enjoy the tastes of the Caribbean at this special dinner, a collaboration between Kismet Douglass of Momma Kiss Kitchen Cuisine and Maxine Harris of Je T'aime Cupcakes and Cocktails, who are part of the movement to diversify business ownership in New Haven. Joined by CitySeed Executive Director, Cortney Renton, hear about their experiences as food entrepreneurs based at the commercial kitchen in the newly opened Dixwell Community Q House.

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor: Read this article from the New Haven Arts Paper which features both Douglass and Harris at the CitySeed Farmer's Market at the Dixwell Q House this past fall.

Hosted by Susan Kerley at the Q House, New Haven 

5. Talk of the Town

Be part of a meaningful conversation with, Michelle Wilde Anderson, former LEAP Grant Writer, Larry Kramer Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, Professor at Stanford School of Sustainability, and author of The Fight to Save the Town: Reimagining America. Her work documents how leaders and residents in four blue-collar communities are facing down some of the hardest challenges in American poverty today.

  • Get to Know our Guest of Honor: Listen to an August 2022 episode of "The Bridge," a podcast from OR36 in which Anderson talks about poverty in southern Oregon.

Hosted by Kasia Lipska & Jake Halpern, New Haven

*Note: In-person dinner with the Guest of Honor on Zoom & option for 10 guests to join on Zoom

6. [SOLD OUT] Medical Mysteries 

Prepare for a puzzling evening with stories of medical mysteries presented by Dr. Lisa Sanders who writes Diagnosis for The New York Times Magazine. As Associate Professor and Director of the Writers Workshop at Yale School of Medicine, she leads a multidisciplinary approach to understanding and treating the mystifying symptoms caused by long-COVID.

  • Get to Know our Guest of Honor: Read Dr. Sanders's collection of columns in her 2019 book, Diagnosis: Solving the Most Baffling Medical Mysteries.

Hosted by Shelley & Gordon Geballe, Branford

7. [SOLD OUT] Showtime! - 6:45pm start followed by 8:00pm performance

Begin a dazzling evening at the Shubert Theatre in conversation with Executive Director Anthony McDonald and Shubert historian Anthony Lupinacci over festive cocktails and gourmet hors d'oeuvres followed by the Shubert performance by Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, an internationally beloved troupe of male dancers performing a brilliant combination of skillful pointe work and hilarious parodies of classical ballet favorites.

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor: Read more about McDonald’s history in theater management.

Hosted by Ruby Melton & Bill Aseltyne at the Shubert Theatre, New Haven

8. [CANCELED] Take Heart! 

Your heart will soar when you meet Dr. Erica Spatz, cardiologist and clinical investigator at Yale's Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE), and learn about the factors contributing to cardiovascular disease and how to work with your medical team to protect and improve your healthy heart.

  • Get to Know our Guest of Honor: Listen to Dr. Erica Spatz discuss the benefits of shared-decision making regarding patient treatment in this 2021 podcast episode from Health & Veritas

Hosted by Debra & Ron Nudel, Woodbridge

9. [SOLD OUT] Secrets in the Stacks - 5:30pm start at the Beinecke Library, tour to start at 6:15pm 

Book a special evening when Michael Morand, Director of Community Engagement of Yale's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, guides a private viewing of original W.E.B. Du Bois manuscripts and first editions in the Beinecke Library. Guests will learn of DuBois's impact on civil rights in America and his many ties to New Haven.

  • Get to Know our Guest of Honor: Read this article Morand wrote to promote the Black History Month Pop-Up Exhibit at the Beinecke Library in 2020. 

Hosted by Andrea & Jeremy Asnes, with dinner to follow at Mory's Association, New Haven

10. [SOLD OUT] I'll Take New Haven 

Learn new reasons to enjoy New Haven as Lary Bloom discusses his latest book, I'll Take New Haven: Tales of Discovery and Rejuvenation. Travel with the author as he moves from the Connecticut countryside to the city and rediscovers his love of New Haven and its residents.

  • Get to Know our Guest of Honor: Watch Lary Bloom talk about his book on WNHH FM's "Dateline New Haven." Recently, The New York Times selected New Haven as one of the top 52 places in the world to visit in 2023. 

Hosted by Meg & George Knight, New Haven 

11. [SOLD OUT] Picture Perfect Evening - 6:30pm tour start with dinner to follow

Enjoy a private tour with Stephanie Wiles, Henry J. Heinz II Director of the Yale Art Gallery, and Jessie Park, Assistant Curator of European Art, who will guide you through the multidisciplinary exhibit, Crafting Worldviews: Art and Science in Europe, 1500-1800, examining the relationships among art, science, and colonialism in shaping Europeans' understanding of the world and their place in it. 

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor: Read this 2021 article about Stephanie Wiles's vision for the Yale University Art Gallery. 

Hosted by Gisela & Richard Goldstein, followed by dinner at Union League Café, New Haven

12. [SOLD OUT] Cosmic Conversation 

Orbit with Dr. Priyamvada Natarajan, Chair of Astronomy at Yale, to delve into her book, Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal the Cosmos, exploring ever-expanding theories and tools to probe and understand the universe over time.

  • Get to Know our Guest of Honor: Read this 2021 interview from The New York Review with Dr. Natarajan about new understandings of matter.

Hosted by Lely & David Evans at Berkeley College, New Haven

13. A Champion for Children

Learn about how early life experiences shape our thinking and passions with Allyx Schiavone, Executive Director of Friends Center for Children. Her commitment to quality child care is having a direct impact on the future of our New Haven community and economy. Light piano music will be provided by Andy Rubenoff

  • Get to Know our Guest of Honor: Read Schiavone's December 2022 op-ed in CTPost advocating for increased state funding for early childhood education centers and strengthening childcare infrastructure.

Hosted by Francine Farkas Sears at Taste of China, New Haven

14. Gospel Musicology

Rejoice with Reverend Doctor Braxton Shelley, Associate Professor of Music, of Sacred Music, and of Divinity at Yale Divinity School, a musicologist, active performer, and ordained minister who specializes in African American gospel performance. He will share music theory insights from his book, Healing for the Soul: Richard Smallwood, the Vamp, and the Gospel Imagination, and will perform along with Lindsay Wright, Assistant Professor of Music at Yale.

  • Get to Know our Guest of Honor: Read Shelley’s 2021 book, Healing for the Soul: Richard Smallwood, the Vamp, and the Gospel Imagination, which received 4 awards including the Lewis Lockwood Award from the American Musicological Society, the Emerging Scholar Award-Book from the Society for Music Theory, the Ruth Stone Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology, and the inaugural Portia Maultsby Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology.

Hosted by Patricia & Davis Gammon, Hamden


Saturday Dinners

The following dinners and conversations are on Saturday, February 18th or Saturday, February 25th at 7pm. If your conversation is on a Saturday, you are still welcome to join the virtual reception on Thursday, February 23rd from 5:30-6:15pm.

15. [SOLD OUT] Give Me Liberty - In-person Saturday, February 18th at 7pm EST

Share in the fight for civil rights, civil liberties, and racial justice with Deborah Archer, the first person of color to be President of the ACLU and New York University Professor of Clinical Law, Co-Faculty Director of the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law, and Co-Director of the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program, who will discuss the power and persistence of racial inequality. Archer began her leadership at a pivotal moment for the ACLU, as the U.S. grapples with white supremacy and a long history of racism.

  • Get to Know our Guest of Honor: Read about Archer's presentation of the 64th Annual John R. Coen Lecture at the University of Colorado Law School on The Power and Persistence of Racism in April 2022.

Hosted by Miriam Gohara & Marcus McFerren, Woodbridge

16. Freedom Reads - In-person Saturday, February 25th at 7pm EST

Break bread with 2021 MacArthur Fellow Reginald Dwayne Betts, poet, lawyer, and prison reform advocate. Betts is the Executive Director of Freedom Reads, a not-for-profit organization radically transforming access to literature in prisons through the installation of Freedom Libraries in prisons across the country. Betts and Titus Kaphar have just released a book entitled, Redaction.

  • Get to Know our Guest of Honor: Watch Reginald Dwyane Betts speak at the University of Houston's Graduate College of Social Work's 2021 Maconda Brown O'Connor Distinguished Lecture series, Eyes on Abolition: Speaking of Social Justice. In the lecture, Betts discusses his 2019 book, Felon: Poems

Hosted by Roxanne & Kevin Coady and Alva Greenberg, New Haven

17. [SOLD OUT] Crime Time - In-person Saturday, February 25th at 7pm EST

History comes to life when Beverly Gage, Professor of History and American Studies at Yale, reflects on the impact of J. Edgar Hoover, FBI Director for 50 years, in her new book, G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century. It was named one of the top ten books of 2022 by The Washington Post and a New York Times Notable Book of 2022. 

  • Get to Know our Guest of Honor: Read this November 2022 article Gage penned for Smithsonian Magazine, "How World War II Helped Forge the Modern FBI."

Hosted by Cynthia Farrar & Paul Kennedy, New Haven

18. Prescription for Equality - In-person Saturday, February 25th at 7pm EST

Join an important discussion about the disparities in healthcare access with Doctors Emily Wang, 2022 MacArthur Fellow and Director of the SEICHE Center for Health and Justice, a collaboration between the Yale Medical and Law Schools, and Dowin Boatright, an emergency medicine physician at NYU Langone. Learn about factors that can improve the health of those impacted by mass incarceration.

Hosted by Renu & Dowin Boatright at the Elm City Club, New Haven

19. [SOLD OUT] Music in the Night - In-person Saturday, February 25th at 7pm EST

A concert exploring song: The Elm City Quintet journeys from Renaissance madrigals, through Italian opera, the ground-breaking Porgy and Bess, and the Great American Songbook. For over 15 years, the Quintet has been delighting local audiences with music by artists from a range of other occupations who come together in the name of music and the social good.

  • Get to Know our Guest of Honor: Listen to these one-to-two-minute samples of pieces in The Elm City Quintet's repertoire. 

Hosted by Mona Endicott & Petra Frisell, New Haven



Option 2: Group Conversations on Zoom  

Thursday, February 23rd at 6:30pm EST

20. Comfort Food

We've got all the right ingredients for a terrific evening with Jennifer Clair, chef and owner of Home Cooking, New York. Cook in community and prepare subtly spiced tomato-cream sauced chicken tikka masala (vegetarian option available), savory homemade garlic naan, and refreshing raita right in your own kitchen. With two decades of teaching in-person and virtual cooking classes, Jennifer will guide you as you prepare your own dinner, with all the ingredients delivered to you. 

*Note: Dinner-included ticket required.

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor:  Read a list of Jennifer Clair's tasty, beginner-friendly dinner recipes.

Hosted by Maureen Weaver & Rob Leighton on Zoom


21. Warming Up...For the Fight

Leading the fight to save our planet, passionate environmentalists Bill McKibben and Mary Evelyn Tucker will speak of possible and more affordable solutions to the growing damage from global warming. Recipient of the Gandhi Peace Award, McKibben is an award-winning author, activist, and educator as the Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College. Tucker is a Senior Lecturer and Senior Researcher at Yale School of the Environment and Co-Director of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor: Read McKibben's December 2022 article "From Climate Exhortation to Climate Execution" in The New York Times. Listen to this October 2022 podcast published by The Great Simplification in which host Nate Hagens talks about "Religion, Ecology, and the Future" with Mary Evelyn Tucker. 

Hosted by Sue McDonald & Corey Stone on Zoom • Optional dinner from participating restaurants.

22. A Matter of Civility

Enjoy that rarest of conversations, one characterized by civility and interest in diverse and divergent opinions with Emily Bazelon, staff writer at The New York Times Magazine, and Ross Douthat, New York Times Op-ED Columnist

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor: Read about the Prison Letters Project, an initiative started by Bazelon that seeks to highlight the voices of people currently incarcerated. This project is run in collaboration with Reginald Dwayne Betts, who is also a LEAP Year Event Guest of Honor. Read Douthat's December 2022 op-ed in The New York Times, "The Americanization of Religion."

Hosted by Allie Perry & Charlie Pillsbury on Zoom • Optional dinner from participating restaurants.

23. The Big Picture

Join a conversation with LEAP alumna Shana C. Waterman, Head of Film & Television at Royal Ties Productions, and New Haven native Frank Chi, director of social justice short films, including the recently acclaimed documentary 38 At The Garden about Jeremy Lin's 2012 Linsanity season with the New York Knicks. They will share the challenges and joys of developing commercial entertainment for multicultural audiences.

  • Get to Know our Guests of Honor: Read about Shana Waterman’s involvement in Hollywood in this 2021 article from the Yale in Hollywood Black Filmmakers Speaker Series. Listen to this October 2022 podcast episode from Dear Asian Americans in which Frank Chi discusses his film 38 at the Garden with host Jerry Won

Hosted by Clifton Watson on Zoom • Choose dinner from the list of participating restaurants.

Zoom Conversations
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Guest of Honor Books for Purchase

​This year, a few LEAP Guests of Honor have made a limited number of signed books available for purchase, with proceeds going to LEAP. You will be able to indicate your book selections on the Ticket Purchase Form. A $5 shipping charge will be added for the purchase as books will be mailed to your mailing address.

  1. [SOLD OUT] Conversation 2 - The Other Side of Prospect: A Story of Violence, Injustice, and the American City by Nicholas Dawidoff ($17.00)

  2. Conversation 5 - The Fight to Save the Town: Reimagining America by Michelle Wilde Anderson ($20.00)

  3. Conversation 10 - I'll Take New Haven: Tales of Discovery and Rejuvenation by Lary Bloom ($18.00)

  4. Conversation 12 - Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal the Cosmos by Dr. Priyamvada Natarajan ($17.00)

  5. Conversation 14 - Healing for the Soul: Richard Smallwood, the Vamp, and the Gospel Imagination by Reverend Doctor Braxton Shelley ($55.00)

  6. Conversation 16 - Redaction by Reginald Dwyane Betts and Titus Kaphar ($100.00)

  7. Conversation 17 - G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century by Beverly Gage ($35.00)

  8. Conversation 20 - Six Basic Cooking Techniques: Culinary Essentials for the Home Cook by Jennifer Clair ($20.00)

Books for Purchase
Restaurant Options

LEAP Year Event Restaurants

LEAP is delighted to partner with these local restaurants! Dinner-Included Tickets to Zoom Conversations (except Conversation #20, a virtual cooking class) include a three-course meal from one of the following eateries. Each restaurant will offer at least two three-course dinner choices, including appetizer or salad, entrée, and dessert.


To view the full list of menu options, click here. You will be able to select your meal from a limited menu on the ticket reservation form below. Please plan to pick up your meal on the day of the event between 4-6 pm.

Caffé Bravo
794 Orange St, New Haven, CT 06511

Established in 1994, Caffé Bravo offers quality Italian cuisine and other European specialties.

September in Bangkok
754 State St, New Haven, CT 06511

Named the best Thai food in New Haven.

Sandra's Next Generation
636 Congress Ave, New Haven, CT 06519

Flavorful dishes infused with love and a blend of seasonings to create soul food.

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[FULL] Union League Café
1032 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510

Named New Haven’s best French Brasserie. 

Ticket Reservation Instructions

Ticket Reservation Instructions

  1. Choose your type of ticket.​​
    • First-Time Attendee Ticket ($75) - does not include dinner
    • Non-Dinner Ticket ($95) - available for Zoom conversations, does not include dinner
    • Dinner-Included Ticket ($150) - available for In-person and Zoom conversations, does include dinner
  2. Choose your desired conversation from the conversation options:
    1. In-Person Dinner Parties 
    • These are limited to Dinner-Included tickets, as dinner will be provided by the evening's host. 
    1. Group Conversations on Zoom 
    • You can purchase a First-Time Attendee ticket, a Non-Dinner ticket, or a Dinner-Included ticket. Dinner-Included tickets include a three-course meal from a local restaurant.   
  3. Enter the number of guests you are registering for. 
    • You can reserve up to 6 tickets to the same conversation and restaurant with each registration form, but you can fill out the form as many times as you want, for as many conversations as you want.
  4. (For Dinner-Included Tickets to Zoom Conversations) Follow the instructions to choose a meal for each guest from the fixed menu options. ​​
  5. Continue to the next section to have the option of purchasing Guest of Honor books. 
  6. Continue to the next section to fill out each guest's name and contact information. You will also have the option to make a donation to LEAP. 
  7. Continue to the payment screen.
  8. Guests will receive a confirmation email and a payment confirmation email. Thank you for your wonderful support of LEAP - we can't wait to see you there! 
Ticket Form FAQ
How do I reserve tickets for two different conversations?
To reserve tickets for two different conversations, or to choose different restaurants for your party's virtual conversation, you will have to fill out a new reservation form. If you are reserving multiple tickets to the same conversation and restaurant, you will not need to do this - just fill out one form and select the number of tickets you need (up to 6 guests). Be sure to fill out the full contact information for each guest.
Can I buy tickets for a friend?
You can buy up to 6 tickets in one order. You will need the following information for all guests in your party: their mailing address, email address, phone number, any book purchases, and/or their meal preferences (if Dinner-Included Ticket to a Zoom dinner).
How will I know if my spot in a dinner party/virtual conversation is confirmed?

Once you submit the form and make the payment, you will receive two confirmation emails to the email address(es) you entered on the form: one confirming your conversation selection and one confirming payment. If there is an issue with your reservation, you will be contacted by a LEAP team member. Tickets to conversations are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so we suggest you reserve your spots as soon as you can!

What should I do if I reserve a ticket and I can no longer attend the event?

Please contact us at if you can no longer attend, at your earliest convenience. This is especially important for attendees of in-person dinners as hosts plan to provide meals for each attendee. Unfortunately, LEAP is unable to provide refunds for purchased LEAP Year Event tickets - all proceeds will go to support LEAP programs for youth. 

How can I receive assistance purchasing my tickets?

If you require assistance purchasing tickets, please call us at 203-773-0770 or 203-767-7413, and we can complete your reservation with you over the phone. General LEAP Year Event inquiries can be directed to​​
Ticket Form

Ticket Reservation Form

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