by Alessandra Benedicty, assistant professor of literature; director of Masters program in the Study of the Americas at the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies, Center for Worker Education, City College of New York
The “Human Rights: A Yearlong Forum at City College of New York” series is, first and foremost, an invitation, and then, as most invitations are, a gesture. The invitation is to all those who are in our City College community—faculty, students, advisors, staff, alumni, community member, or just a visitor passing through—to partake in this yearlong forum. The gesture is offering a space for all to listen, learn, and exchange within the CUNY system, but also with and alongside specialists and friends of our larger extended community.
The lecture series came about as a collaboration among various divisions and centers at CCNY, spinning off of a series organized by Juan Carlos Mercado at the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at City College and a breakfast series organized by the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.
There were a couple points of resonance that emerged in discussions as we began to organize the human rights forum. First, we agreed that regardless of whether our disciplines were more “humanistic” or “scientific,” so much of our engagement as administrators, advisors, faculty, staff, and professionals involves human rights. Second, we realized we must first raise an elementary question: “What do we mean by human rights?” Continue reading