Eighth Annual CUNY BMI Conference Explores “Race, Law and Justice”

October 31, 2013

The Eighth Annual CUNY Black Male Initiative (BMI) Conference was held on Friday,
October 4, 2013 at York College. The conference, “Race, Law and Justice,” attracted a capacity audience of students, faculty, elected officials, administrators and guests to a full day of keynote speakers and panel discussions. The day’s theme was dedicated to exposing CUNY BMI undergraduates to the racial history of the struggle for equality and its ongoing manifestation in contemporary American society.

CUNY BMI University Director, Elliott Dawes, reported that 1,029 people registered to attend including 383 CUNY students, 71 CUNY alumni, 93 CUNY administrators; 34 CUNY full-time faculty members and 31 CUNY adjunct faculty members. Middle and high school students from the New York City Department of Education were also in attendance during the morning and early afternoon sessions. Conference keynote speakers included Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice/PRLDEF; Paul Butler, Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center; and Ron Daniels, Distinguished Lecturer at CUNY’s York College.
CUNY Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Frank D. Sanchez, York College President, Marcia V. Keizs and Vice President for Student Development, Geneva Walker-Johnson offered greetings to the diverse audience assembled. Council member Leroy Comrie was also on hand to meet and greet students and the CUNY community.
CUNY BMI University Director Elliott Dawes expressed his gratitude to the conference planning committee members including Jonathan Quash, director, York College Men’s Center; Olubukola Ogunmola, program assistant, York College Men’s Center; Jermaine Wright, CUNY BMI associate director; Deborah Douglass, Maxine Henry and Natasha Williams of CUNY COPE; Charlene Griffin and Cassandra Jones of the College Initiative, and Jaye Jones, director of Lehman College Adult Literacy Center. Link to photos of the 8th Annual CUNY BMI conference
Broad promotion of the BMI conference garnered an invitation from the producers of the African- American public affairs television program “HERE AND NOW.” Representatives from the program contacted Jonathan Quash and Mr. Ajani Brown to appear on the show to discuss the work of the York College Male Initiative. View the segment at the HERE & NOW website.
With a ninth consecutive BMI program grant from the New York City Council, CUNY has established projects to support the enrollment and retention of students from underrepresented groups in all five boroughs of New York City and at all the CUNY senior, comprehensive and community college including the Graduate Center and the CUNY Law School.