News and Events of Interestto the College Community
M 9, 2011
Anyone passing Room 630 in Haaren Hallon the evening of February 23 might have felttransported back to the 1960s, as a standing-room-only crowd linked arms and unabashedlysang “We Shall Overcome,” led by a guitar-toting guest lecturer.Closer inspection would have revealed that thelecturer in question was none other than PeterYarrow, former member of the seminal 1960s folktrio Peter, Paul and Mary, who was on hand as oneof the distinguished artists, writers and scholarstaking part in the spring semester lecture series
“The 1960s: The Struggle for Justice Intensies.”
The series is co-organized by Visiting Professorof Economics Michael Meeropol and DistinguishedProfessor of History Gerald Markowitz. It builds onthe successful lecture series staged by Meeropolin 2010, “Justice and Injustice in 1950s America.”As before, the 1960s lectures are designed asone component of an Interdisciplinary Studiescourse taught by Meeropol, along with readings,interactive Blackboard sessions and 90-minutediscussions before the lectures.Yarrow, 72, remains actively engaged in bothmusic and causes, and he called on many of the touchstone moments from his life and long career to talk about “Music as Advocacy: HowSongs Can Change History.” Biographical and
historical reections were mixed with soft-spoken
admonitions and familiar folk songs as Yarrowmade his case to a captivated audience.The series opened, and will close, with talks
by leading gures from the radical organization
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). OnFebruary 7, Paul Buhle, a historian and formereditor of the SDS journal
,presented “The 1960s: An Overview.” Buhle wasa spokesperson for campus chapters of SDS inBernstein; poet/playwright/activist Amiri Baraka;political scientist/broadcaster/publisher AlanChartock; historian Joyce Avrech Berkman, andplaywright/author/activist Barbara Garson.Funding for the series is being provided by theNew York Council on the Humanities. Co-sponsorsinclude the Westside Crime Prevention Programand JASA – Jewish Association for Services for theAged.
[The complete schedule for the series “The
1960s: The Struggle for Justice Intensies” can
be found online at www.johnjay.jjay.cuny.edu/ injusticejustice/60s/.]
The Malcolm/King Breakfast, the annualcelebration of African American heritage andscholarship that concludes Black History Monthat John Jay, honored noted artist and author FaithRinggold, with a keynote address by eminent legalscholar and activist Derrick Bell.
The event took an unexpected turn when
Ringgold presented the College’s Departmentof African American Studies with a gift of heracclaimed series of serigraphs based on Dr.Martin Luther King Jr.’s
Letter from a BirminghamJail
.The gift of the hand-signed prints stunnedthe audience and generated a sustained roundof enthusiastic applause. The serigraphs depict
examples of key issues that gave rise to the CivilRights movement and highlight signicant events
in that struggle, as commented on by King in hisletter.The letter, written in April 1963 while King was being held in the Birmingham, AL, jail for hisinvolvement in a protest against segregation inthat city, serves as a call to immediate and directnonviolent action to overcome racial injustice inthe South. Ringgold’s serigraphs were produced
in an extremely limited edition of 75, of which the
College’s is No. 31.“Faith asked that the works be displayed wherestudents can see them, as inspiration,” said adelighted Professor Lisa Farrington, chair of theDepartment of Art and Music. “Ideally, that wouldbe in the African American Studies Departmentwhen they are resettled in the new building.Meanwhile, the works would make a wonderful
exhibit in the President’s Gallery.”
The breakfast proceeds support the Malcolm/King Leadership Scholarship and other studentendeavors.To the average Westerner, much of Islam and
the Muslim experience may seem cloaked in mys
-tery. During the spring 2011 semester, John JayCollege will try to bring some clarity to the subjectthrough a campus-wide initiative, “Mosques, Veilsand Madrassas: Muslims and Institutions of Jus-tice in Pluralistic Societies.”A diverse program of public discussion, studyand research, “Mosques, Veils and Madrassas”
seeks to build awareness of the experiences
and challenges of Muslims living in America andEurope at a critical juncture in history.“In the modern era, one of the most pressing issues facing our society is the emerging role of Islam and the Muslim population in pluralisticdemocracies,” noted President Jeremy Travis.“Academic institutions such as John Jay Collegecan serve an essential function in fostering under-standing and discussion of these critical issues.Indeed, doing so is key to the College’s mission.”The initiative is the product of the Understand-ing Islam Task Force, which Travis empaneled lastAugust under the chairmanship of Professor FritzUmbach of the history department. The task forceincluded faculty, staff, students and alumni.As part of the program, Umbach and sociologyProfessor Mucahit Billici will teach an interdisci-
plinary course exploring the history of the Islamic
diaspora and the new challenges facing Muslimcommunities as well as their adopted countries.
Related college-wide activities include lms, musi
-cal and theatrical performances, trips to museumsand other cultural institutions, and outreach toIslamic students in the United States and abroad.
Answers Are Still Blowin’ in the Wind
Folksinger Peter Yarrow Highlights Lecture Series on the 1960s
Illinois, Connecticut and Wisconsin.On May 2, the series will conclude with a
presentation by Mark Rudd, an SDS xture at
Columbia University who led a student takeover
of ve campus buildings in 1968, and later one
of the founders of the Weather Underground, an
extremist offshoot of SDS. Now a schoolteacher inNew Mexico, Rudd will speak on “The Revolution
Fantasy: Thinking Yourself into a Corner.”Other speakers include educator/civil-rightsactivist Bob Moses; editor/writer/radical feministRobin Morgan; free-market economist RichardEbeling; Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Carl
Singer Peter Yarrow has a song and a smile for an overow audience as he talks about how music can change history.
The lecture series, which is open to the collegecommunity and the general public, is sponsored bya private foundation and the Canadian Consulate.The series includes:March 10. “Muslim Immigrant Communities: The
Canadian Experience.” (Panel Discussion)
Room 1311 North Hall.March 17. Shari’a Law in Liberal MulticulturalSocieties: Are Religious Tribunals Desirable?Speaker: Bryan Turner, CUNY Graduate Center.Room 630 Haaren Hall.March 24. Islamophobia. Speaker: AndrewShryock, University of Michigan. Room 1311North Hall.
March 31. Islam, Women and the American Experi
-ence. Speaker: Mona Eltahawy, columnist,
. Room 1311 North Hall.
Understanding Islam Is Goal of Campus Initiative
April 7. Homeland Values, Homeland Communities:Has History Repeated Itself? Speaker: DavidCole, Georgetown University Law Center. Room630 Haaren Hall.April 14. Roots of Fundamentalism. Speaker: ScottAtran, Presidential Scholar, John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Room 630 Haaren Hall.
April 28. Hijabi Monologues. Room 1311 North
Hall.May 5. The 99 and Challenging Muslim Stereo-types. Speaker: Naif Al-Mutawa, clinical psy-chologist. Room 630 Haaren Hall.May 12. Muslim Youth and Police Relations in Hol-land and Canada. Speakers: Geoffrey Verheul,Ready for Change, and Luciano Bentenuto, Cor-rectional Service of Canada. Room 1311 NorthHall.
Keeping Faith: Malcolm/King Honoree Donates Artwork
As keynote speaker Derrick Bell (lower left) applauds, a smiling Professor Lisa Farrington accepts a gift of valuable artwork donated tothe College by Malcolm/King Breakfast honoree Faith Ringgold (at microphone).
Cybersecurity:A NATO for Cyberspace
Professor Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law School
Presented by the Centerfor Cybercrime StudiesMultipurpose Room, North Hall
The 1960s The Struggle
for Justice Intensies
Politics in the 1960s: A Conversation with Alan Chartock
Room 630, Haaren Hall
The 1960s The Struggle
for Justice Intensies
The 1960s: Struggle Against Racism
Amiri BarakaFordham Law School, 140 W. 62nd St.
The Presumption of Guilt: TheArrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. andRace, Class and Crime in America
Book discussion with Professor Charles Ogletree,Harvard Law School
Presented by the Center onRace, Crime and JusticeRoom 630, Haaren Hall