Police Violence & Social Justice: A Faculty-Supported Student Dialogue

CPS_Logo_RGB_newsquare_small Dear Students,

Members of the faculty have grown concerned about how you are thinking about and coping with issues of police brutality, the response of our justice system, and the protests that have occupied so much of our attention and emotional energy these past few weeks. We've noticed many of you with deep concerns and questions. We also know that many of you have felt compelled to join your voice with others in protest.

We’d like to respond. Starting next Monday, December 15, we will be holding a series of meetings in the social science conference room (NAC 6/141) to discuss these issues.

We’re not calling the meetings talks or teach-ins, because we don’t imagine that we’d be in any way instructing you. Rather, think of participating faculty members as resource people: we’ll convene a conversation, be on hand to share whatever we know and answer questions, but mainly make some space for students to talk through some of these issues, and to meet others, like yourselves, who are concerned, have questions, or want to talk. We’ll post a roster of participating faculty, and the experience and expertise that they bring to the table—from knowledge of critical race theory, to legal expertise, to an understanding of the political context. And you will hopefully attend the meeting or meetings that best to fit your schedule or address your concerns.


Vince Boudreau

Dean, Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, CCNY

Scheduled Sessions

(as of 12/15/14: check back for updates as we'll be adding sessions in the coming days)

Monday December 15: 

11:00 AM Leslie Paik, Sociology (Race, Justice, and the Law)

2:00 PM Cheryl Sterling, Director of the Black Studies Department (Critical Race Theory)

Tuesday December 16:

10 AM-12 PM Michael Busch, Associate Director, Office of Student Success

2:00 PM Stan Thangaraj, Anthropology (Cross-racial Possibilities for Solidarity Work Post-Ferguson)

Wednesday December 17

3:00 PM Jennifer Lutton, Honors Center (Race and Racism)

Thursday, December 18

11:00 AM Lotti Silber, Anthropology (Human Rights and Justice)

Syed Haider is recognized at Biomedical Research Conference

On Wednesday, November 7th Syed Haider, a current Partners for Change Health Justice fellow, departed for an all-expenses paid trip to San Jose, California. Syed was selected as a Travel Grant Awardee to attend the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. On Saturday morning at 8am, Syed presented his research on neurotrauma in front of a crowd of over sixty people. Despite some initial nerves at presenting in front of such a large crowd, Syed said he was able to relax by focusing on the four people in the very first row. He also pointed out that presenting his viewpoints to Leader in Resident, Shena Elrington, and the other Health Justice fellows at their weekly seminars was great preparation for this public speaking event.

Syed’s presentation, “Increased solute permeability across an in vitro blood brain barrier after blast over exposure,” described his team’s research mimicking the conditions of a blast on an in vitro blood brain barrier model using a mouse brain. After simulating the blast, they investigated its effect on the integrity of the brain structure. Disruption of the brain barrier is particularly precarious because its main function is to block toxins from entering the brain, leaving it more susceptible to toxins after a disrupting blast. The most exciting part of the research for Syed was the fact that this type has never been done before so it leaves open many opportunities for future research.

While Syed calmed his nerves by focusing only on the first row of audience members during his presentation, it was evident that he managed to engage those even in the farthest rows. After it was over, a student congratulated him on how clear and easy to follow the presentation was even from the back row! The strength and professionalism of Syed’s presentation was again reaffirmed when he was recognized at the awards ceremony as one of four students for their Outstanding Oral Presentation in Engineering, Physics, and Mathematics.

Syed emphasized that he owes a lot of credit to his mentor, Christopher D. Hue, a CCNY alumnus and leader of the research project. Syed’s career goals are to become a physician and I’m confident that with his deep interest in health justice, understanding of intricate scientific matters, and blossoming ability to clearly communicate complex research to the public he will be a valuable member of the medical field. I look forward to his medical and scientific contributions in the future!

This Thursday, November 29th from 12:15-1:45pm Syed will present his research for the CCNY community on the Plaza Level of the Marshak Hall of Science. The public is invited to get an up close look into the outstanding research of Syed and other CCNY science students!