City Tech Hosts Black History Month Book Launch for ‘Swimming Upstream: Black Males in Adult Education’

City Tech will host a book launch and panel discussion on February 18, 3 pm to 5 pm, in Namm 119, 300 Jay Street, Downtown Brooklyn. Speakers include Swimming Upstream’s co-editor Dr. Joni Schwartz, LaGuardia Community College; contributing authors Dr. Carlyle Van Thompson, Medgar Evers College; Brian Miller, CUNY student; Professor Paul J. Schwartz, City Tech; and Dr. Stephen James, City Tech professor of African-American Studies. This Black History Month event is open to the public and free.

Swimming Upstream: Black Males in Adult Education (New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, Jossey-Bass) is an introduction to salient topics and issues affecting Black males as they engage in adult basic education programs, pursue employment, and obtain higher education. The book combines academic research as well as program descriptions and personal narratives with a concern for the “lived experiences” and the voices of men. Swimming Upstream challenges commonly held stereotypes, interactions, and policies as well as raises questions about the unique experiences of this specific population and the socio-cultural dynamics that impact their education. Schwarts book cover

The chapter titled “A New Normal: Young Men of Color, Trauma and Engagement in Learning” was an outgrowth of a film documentary of the same name—part of which will be shown at the event starting at 2:45 pm—and funded by the 2011 CUNY Diversity Projects Development Fund. The documentary features 20 young men who were students at City Tech and Kingsborough Community College, as well as Dr. Carlyle Van Thompson and Professor Paul Schwartz, co-authors of the chapter.

The documentary was produced by the husband and wife team of Paul Schwartz, LCSW, MA, a City Tech crisis counselor, and his wife, Joni Schwartz, EdD, a professor at LaGuardia Community College and former research coordinator for City Tech’s CUNY Black Male Initiative (BMI).

The film is based on the findings of a one-year phenomenological study looking at engagement of young men of color in college. This study, as well as the documentary, is viewed from a Critical Race Theory (CRT) framework, which emphasizes the importance of the voices of people of color, counter-storytelling and “naming one’s own reality.” CRT comes out of critical race legal theory and traditional civil rights law. As applied to educational scholarship, it focuses on the centrality of race and educational inequality.

This event is sponsored by City Tech’s Counseling Services Center, African-American Studies Department, BMI/CDA, Veterans Support Services, Office of the Provost, and Office of Student Affairs. Books will be available for sale at the event. For more information, contact Paul Schwartz at 718.260.5030.