On Graduation

If you’ve never been to a CCNY graduation, you should come.

All graduations are joyous events; all graduations affect transitions between years of preparation and a world rife with new possibilities.  And, I’ll admit that it’s been years since I’ve attended a graduation that did not take place on a CUNY campus—but I still think our graduations are different.

I think they’re different because they’re filled with young people rewriting their entire family history.  When you wander around after a Colin Powell School graduation ceremony, you’re surrounded by parents who’ve sent sons and daughters into a world they didn’t understand and couldn’t explain to their children.  For many it may feel like a huge gamble: will their children grow unfamiliar to them, alienated from home and culture? Will the embrace of an education build walls, or create ladders? Will a child’s opportunity be a family’s loss? Despite the risks and doubts, or perhaps because of them, students and families arrive at graduation day as to a new continent they never thought they’d reach.  The air is spiced with their joy.

Continue reading “On Graduation”

Have you seen A New Light in Harlem?

Do you know a young person who wants to be a leader in public service? Get access to world-class preparatory coursework and field experience without amassing piles of debt? Are you a scholar, educator, or community organizer looking to break down walls between the Academy and the surrounding community? Who knows that in order to find better answers to pressing questions of the 21st century, we need to hear more voices? Watch and learn more about the mission of the Colin Powell School—”A New Light in Harlem.”

Our original upload to YouTube got over 600 views in just a matter of days! We had to do a *tiny* bit of clean-up, so we uploaded a new version (click below).

The film features interviews with General Colin Powell, Dean Vince Boudreau, and faculty, students, alumni, and board members, spotlighting the amazing community we have up here on the City College campus.

Do you know a young person who wants to be a leader in public service? Get access to world-class preparatory coursework and field experience without amassing piles of debt?

Are you a scholar, educator, or community organizer looking to break down walls between the Academy and the surrounding community? Who knows that in order to find better answers to pressing questions of the 21st century, we need to hear more voices?

Watch and learn more about the mission of the Colin Powell School—”A New Light in Harlem.”

 

Remembering “Rev”

The Reverend Eugene Callender—or “Rev” as he insisted we call him—served as the very first New York Life leader-in-residence in the early years of CCNY’s Colin Powell Center. He embraced the opportunity of working with our students with incredible joy and energy, and was particularly committed to bringing the lions of the civil rights struggle—people like Derek Bell and Vincent Harding—to campus to meet our students. He was a mentor and a leader to our students, and to many of us who had the chance to work with him.

The Reverend Eugene S. Callender speaking at the City College of New York. Reverend Callender passed away on November 2.
The Reverend Eugene S. Callender speaking at the City College of New York. Reverend Callender passed away on November 2.

by Vince Boudreau, Director, Colin Powell Center

The Reverend Eugene Callender—or “Rev” as he insisted we call him—served as the very first New York Life leader-in-residence in the early years of CCNY’s Colin Powell Center. He embraced the opportunity of working with our students with incredible joy and energy, and was particularly committed to bringing the lions of the civil rights struggle—people like Derek Bell and Vincent Harding—to campus to meet our students. He was a mentor and a leader to our students, and to many of us who had the chance to work with him. Continue reading “Remembering “Rev””

The Powell School: Building Mission and Meaning

Even before moving into the details of merging the Colin Powell Center and Division of Social Sciences, I had some ideas about what it meant to become a school. A school would have a presence and identity more powerful and unified than separate departments and programs. A school would be an institution with specific and publicly discernible commitments and capacities. A school would have a mission—both on campus, and in the life of our city and nation. Children in the neighborhoods around City College and across the globe will be able to point to our campus and say, “The Powell School is there. That’s where I’m going to go.”

powellbanner

by Vince Boudreau, Director, Colin Powell Center

In the weeks leading up to the inauguration of the Powell School this past May 2nd, I spent time asking certain questions of myself and virtually anyone else who would listen: What does it mean to become a school? What should it mean to teach and study at the Colin L. Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, and to reside near it in the adjacent neighborhoods of Harlem and Washington Heights? How should campus life change in response to this new institution in our midst?

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Jan. 30 “Tackling Poverty” Event to Focus on Homelessness and Housing

City Limits Magazine is hosting an event at El Museo del Barrio, 6:00 pm, on January 30, 2013. The event will focus on the national and local policy agenda for urban housing and homelessness, but is part of a greater series titled, “Tackling Poverty.”

On January 30, City Limits magazine will sponsor a talk on homelessness and housing as part of its "Tackling Poverty" series. Photo by homelesshub; used under the Creative Commons copyright.City Limits Magazine is hosting an event at El Museo del Barrio, 6:00 pm, on January 30, 2012. The event will focus on the national and local policy agenda for urban housing and homelessness, but is part of a greater series titled, “Tackling Poverty.” The panelists include the following people:

  • Ralph da Costa Nunez, President and Chief Executive Officer Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness,
  • Christopher M. Brown, Director for Legislative Affairs, PolicyLink, and
  • David Jones, President and CEO of Community Service Society,

with a time for networking to follow. The event is free and open to faculty, community partners, students, etc. Below is the event page, as well as the registration page. Hope to see you all there, and please feel free to share and forward. (We will also post this on our Facebook page!)

Event page: http://www.tacklingpovertynyc.com/#!upcomingevents/cee5
Registration:http://tacklingpovertymanhattan.splashthat.com/

Join Us: on Dec. 6 for “Stop and Frisk and Marijuana Arrests: Policing Communities of Color in Harlem and Beyond”

In 2011, More than 684,000 individuals, primarily young African-American and Latino men and women, were stopped under New York City’s controversial “Stop and Frisk” policy. Now the Center and key partners will spotlight the devastating consequences of these and related policing tactics in a community justice forum on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at the City College of New York

Harlem is our Home, from Flicker by Jarito by Creative Commons permission.In 2011, More than 684,000 individuals, primarily young African-American and Latino men and women, were stopped under New York City’s controversial “Stop and Frisk” policy. Now the Center and key partners will spotlight the devastating consequences of these and related policing tactics in a community justice forum on Thursday, December 6.

Service-Learning Faculty Fellow Links Community Voices to Neighborhood Needs

Professor Mary Lutz presents the results of the West Harlem community needs assessment project.
Professor Mary Lutz presents the results of the West Harlem community needs assessment project to members of Community Board 9. Photo: Genéa Stewart

By Mary Lutz and Jonathan Bennett

How do you find out what New York City communities need? You stop people on the street and ask them.

This simple and ingenious technique for assessing community needs has been tested successfully in two of New York City’s 59 Community Districts and is the subject of a 43-page report released this month by CCNY’s Center for Worker Education Professor Mary Lutz, a service-learning faculty fellow and public scholar with the Colin Powell Center.

“It’s easy to imagine that this method, in combination with local political action, could be an important step to bring creative small-town democratic decision making into big city life,” says Professor Lutz. “It is a promising alternative to the top-down decision making that is currently favored by the Bloomberg administration.”

Continue reading “Service-Learning Faculty Fellow Links Community Voices to Neighborhood Needs”

Save NYC’s Abandoned Buildings, Save the Planet

Converting vacant buildings to housing for homeless New Yorkers might just save the Earth from climate change.

vacant-building-nyc-homeless-environment
A vacant building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Photo: Flicker Clicker / Creative Commons

By Alex Davies, Communications Coordinator

In a January 2012 report, grassroots advocacy group Picture the Homeless surveyed vacant buildings and properties in New York City, finding enough space to house nearly 200,000 people — four times the homeless population of the city.

As the Center expands its work on environmental issues, I’ve been thinking about how the expression, “the greenest brick is the one already in the wall” applies to the report. It’s the unofficial mantra of the design section of TreeHugger, an environmental blog I contribute to. Here’s a simpler way to put it: It’s a waste (of time, money, energy, and resources) to build an entirely new structure when there’s one already there.  Continue reading “Save NYC’s Abandoned Buildings, Save the Planet”