The Center for Civic Engagement at Hofstra University presents
Civil Rights Day:
Contemporary Struggles for Obama's Second Term
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013: Civil Rights Day
10:00am to 9:00pm
“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths—that all of us are created equal—is the star that guides us still, just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall, just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone, to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.”
– President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, January 21st, 2013
In his second inaugural address on January 21st, President Barack Obama gave a significant nod to some of the most important civil rights struggles throughout U.S. history in outlining the goals of his second term. From the movement for immigration reform to the defense of voter rights in communities of color, from gay and lesbian marriage to affirmative action, today's civil rights agenda is broader than it has ever been. Today we will address these and other issues, and find out ways students can get actively involved in local campaigns for civil rights.
10:10-11:05am Location: Multi-Purpose Room East, Hofstra Student Center
After the Elections: Voting Rights Struggles on a Local and National Level
This panel will explore the voting rights debate that resurfaced during the recent presidential election, focusing on national and local voting issues and the role of grassroots organizing and community journalism in the struggle for voting rights.
- Aura Bogado, Community Journalism Coordinator and Blogger, Color Lines (Voting Rights Watch 2012) & The Nation
- Daniel Altschuler, Coordinator, Long Island Civic Engagement Table
- Moderated by Ariel Flajnik, CCE Fellow and Hofstra University senior
11:15-12:40pm Location: Multi-Purpose Room East, Hofstra Student Center
Immigration Reform: Brainstorming the Next Steps
As the national debate for immigration reform heats up, this panel will explore the civil rights struggles facing the immigrant community in the local area, contextualizing the struggle for immigrants’ rights as a component of a broader campaign for civil rights protection in the United States.
- Nadia Marin-Molina, Worker Rights Program Coordinator/Staff Attorney, National Day Laborer Organizing Network
- Valeria Treves, Executive Director, New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE)
- Plus representatives of other local immigrant advocacy organizations on Long Island.
- Moderated by: Mario A. Murillo, Professor and Chair of Radio, Television, Film, and Co-director, Center for Civic Engagement, Hofstra University
12:50-1:45pm Location: Multi-Purpose Room East, Hofstra Student Center
Affirmative Action under President Obama 2.0
What message can we send President Obama to better inform his thinking and policy decisions regarding Affirmative Action in the areas education, employment and housing? This panel will explore the issue within a local and national context.
- Elaine Gross, President, ERASE Racism New York
- Christina Vargas Law, Director, Diversity and Affirmative Action, Stony Brook University
- Moderated by: Jonathan Lightfoot, Associate Professor, Hofstra University
2:15-3:15pm Location: Faculty Lounge, Law School
What Is (Gay) Marriage Equality and Where Might It Come From?
This panel will explore both theoretical and practical issues relating to gay marriage equality. Participants will discuss whether government should have any role in defining what constitutes "marriage," and describe the two gay marriage cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court and their possible outcomes. They will comment on what this may mean for the issue of marriage equality during the President's second term.
- Daniel J.H. Greenwood, Professor of Law, Hofstra University
- Eric M. Freedman, Maurice A. Dean Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law, Hofstra University
- Moderated by: Robin Charlow, Professor of Law, Hofstra University
4:30-5:55pm Location: Plaza Room East, Hofstra Student Center
The Invisible War: Sexual Assault in the Military
With the recent decision by the Pentagon to allow women to serve in combat roles in the military, the disturbing issue of sexual assault against women within the ranks of the U.S. Armed Forces has been overshadowed once again. This session will examine what some people call “the invisible war,” and present excerpts of a documentary film by that title.
Helen Benedict, Columbia University professor and author of The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq, and the novelSand Queen.
Moderated by Paige Gordon, CCE Fellow and Hofstra University Senior.
7:00-9:00pm Location: Cultural Center Theater
SCREENING of the Documentary Film: LET FURY HAVE THE HOUR
This film is a charged journey into the heart of the creative counter-culture in 2012. In a time of global challenges, big questions and by-the-numbers politics, this upbeat, outspoken film tracks the story of the artists, writers, thinkers and musicians who have gone underground to re-imagine the world – honing in on equality, community and engaged creativity – in exuberantly paradigm-busting ways.
Writer/director Antonino D’Ambrosio will join us for this screening and discussion.