The Center for Civic Engagement

Day of Dialogue XVIII:
The State of the United States: Our Issues and Election 2020

October 28, 2020, 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

In anticipation of the 2020 presidential election, Day of Dialogue invites conversation about issues important to a wide variety of communities. Many are considered through the perspective of specific problems and policies. The entire day will be hosted on Zoom, which makes each session convenient to attend. Please come and join the discussion. Let your voice be heard, while engaging others who think differently.

Session I
9-10 a.m.:

Introductory Panel: The State of Our Democracy
Panel Discussion:   
Carolyn Eisenberg
Professor of History, Hofstra University
Michael D’Innocenzo
Professor Emeritus of History, Hofstra University
David Green
Professor of Political Science, Hofstra University

Session II
10-11 a.m.:

  1. US Foreign Policy: The Effects of “America First,” Isolationism, and the WHO Withdrawal
    Speaker: Stephen Kinzer, Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
    Moderator: Paul Fritz
    Associate Professor of Political Science, Hofstra University
  2. Impacts of the 2016 Election on the Sociopolitical Climate and the LGBTQ+ Community
    Panel Discussion:
    Juli Gray-Owens (she/her/hers)
    Board Chair & Executive Director, Gender Equality New York, Inc (GENY)
    Aidan Kaplan,LMSW(he/him/his)
    LGBTQ Services Manager, Pride for Youth (PFY), Long Island Crisis Center
    Kristy LaRocca, (she/her/hers)
    Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Owner of Live Your Truth Counseling – specializing in LGBTQ+ populations
    Moderator: Alicia Bosley,LMFT (she/her/hers)
    CCE Board Member; Assistant Professor and Director, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Hofstra University

    This panel will focus on the sociopolitical climate in the years following the 2016 election and its impacts on the LGBTQ+ community. The current sociopolitical climate and presidential administration have offered some important victories for the LGBTQ+ community, namely, the June 15, 2020 victory ruling that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ+ employees from discrimination on the basis of sex. However, many prohibitive laws and efforts have taken place in the same time period. These include the February 2017 rescission of transgender restroom protections, which took place only a few weeks after President Trump took office. Other similarly drastic impacts include the reinstated ban on transgender troops serving in the military, implemented in April 2019, and the June 2019 ruling removing nondiscrimination protections from gender minorities in healthcare settings. Challenges, such as disproportionate rates of violence against the transgender community, particularly trans women of color, healthcare discriminations against LGBTQ+ patients, and homelessness for transgender youth, are ongoing problems in serious need of attention. Resulting and ongoing needs for the LGBTQ+ community for the 2020 election will be highlighted, with a focus on how the larger US community can assist in the effort for increased equality and access for all. 

    This panel is led by Alicia Bosley, faculty and a mentor in Hofstra’s LGBT Studies program, who is a practicing marriage and family therapist specializing in working with the LGBTQ+ community. Panelists include recognized and active leaders in the LGBTQ+ communities of Long Island and NYC. 

Session III
11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: Common Hour Sessions

  1. Centering Reproductive Justice During Public Health Crises: What the History of the Santa Fe Maternal Health Center Can Teach Us Today.
    Lena McQuade
    Professor of American Studies, Sonoma State University 
    Moderator: Katrina Sims
    Assistant Professor of History, Hofstra University
    *Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
  2. The Opioid Crisis and the US Foster Care System: New Evidence on State Level Policy Initiatives Impacting Children Entering the Foster Care System because of Parental Opioid Use.
    Maria X. Sanmartin, Assistant Professor of Health Professions
    *Colloquium sponsored by the Center for “Race,” Culture and Social Justice

Session IV
12:50-2:15 p.m.:

Health Equity and COVID-19: Finding Opportunity in Crisis
Panel Discussion:
Anne Flomenhaft
Steering Committee, Nassau County Democratic Socialists of America
Therese Brzezinski
Director of Planning and Public Policy, Long Island Center for Independent Living
Kristie GoldenLMHC, CRC
Executive Administrator/Associate Director of Operations, Stony Brook Medicine
Mary Anne Trasciatti
Professor of Rhetoric and Public Advocacy; Director of Labor Studies, Hofstra University
Andrea Nerlich
Associate Professor of Counseling and Mental Health Professions,     Hofstra University
*Co-sponsored by the Rehabilitation Counseling Programs
**This program has been pre-approved for 1.25 cr. of CEUs by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.

Session V
2:55-4:20 p.m.:

  1. Human Trafficking in the Northeast
    Panel Discussion:
    Keith Scott
    Director of Education, The Safe Center
    Sarah Stauffer
    Fellow, Center for Civic Engagement;
    Global Studies and Public Policy and Public Service Major, Hofstra University
    Tricia Grant
    Director of the Not Here Justice in Action Network; Program Director for Sophia’s House
    Moderator: Kari Jensen
    Professor Global Studies and Geography, Hofstra University
  2. The Gangs of Long Island: Mythmaking, Policymaking and the Origins of MS-13
    Panel Discussion:
    Steven Dudley
    Investigative journalist and cofounder of InSight Crime, a think tank devoted to investigating organized crime and corruption in the Americas. He is the author of the just published book MS-13: The Making of America’s Most Notorious Gang.
    Sergio Argueta
    Among the most influential community activists on Long Island, he is the  founder and Board Chair of S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth, Inc. (Struggling To Reunite Our New Generation), one of the leading gang prevention and intervention agencies in the northeastern United States.
    Moderator: Mario A. Murillo
    Professor, Vice Dean, The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, Hofstra University

    Despite the sensationalist news coverage of MS-13 and Donald Trump’s harsh rhetoric about the infamous gang, lesser known is the larger story of how flawed U.S. and Central American policies and exploitative and unequal economic systems helped foster and sustain it as an organization. In this timely panel, we’ll hear from two of the leading voices on MS-13 and how it has impacted communities on Long Island, and on a national and international level.

Session VI
4:30-5:55 p.m.:

Voting Reforms and the “Voting Fraud” Fraud: Voting, Voting Reforms, and the Effects of Revoking Preclearance
Panel Discussion:
James Sample
Professor of Law, Maurice A. Deane School of Law, Hofstra University
Mark Niles
Professor of Law, Maurice A. Deane School of Law, Hofstra University
Will Davis
2020 Graduate, Maurice A. Deane School of Law, Hofstra Unversity
Moderator: Rosanna Perotti
Associate Professor of Political Science, Hofstra University

Session VII
6:30-7:30 p.m.:

Stained Glass: A reading of a new play by Margaret Engel
Margaret Engel
Drama, Geography, and Global Studies major, Hofstra University
Moderator: Cindy Rosenthal
Professor of Drama and Dance, Hofstra University

Hofstra students from the Department of Drama and Dance come together to perform a   reading of an original theatre activism piece, followed by a talkback. Stained Glass highlights the challenges faced by victims of human trafficking across all identities and backgrounds, including the ways in which the Catholic Church is implicated.

Join the #HofDialogue and #HofVotes conversations on social media.
For more information or updates, visit or contact Philip Dalton, director, Center for Civic Engagement and associate professor of writing studies and rhetoric at; or Kali Winn, graduate assistant, Center for Civic Engagement, at

Hofstra University
Center for Civic Engagement

Day of Dialogue XVII:
People on the Move: Conflict, Climate, and the Crisis of Forced Migration

Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 9 am-6 pm

Tentative Schedule

9:05-11:05a.m. (with break at 10:05 a.m. for changing classes)
Multipurpose Room, Mack Student Center, North Campus
Introductory Panel: People on the Move: Conflict, Climate, and the Crisis of Forced Migration

What do conflict, climate, and forced migration all have in common? Our Day of Dialogue 2019 introductory panel will open with alook at these topics and how they are interrelated.
Conflict: William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy
Climate: Professor Robert Brinkmann, Department of Geology, Environment, Sustainability, Hofstra University
Forced Migration: Law Professor Lauris Wren, who directs Hofstra’s Asylum Clinic

11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Student Center Theater, Mack Student Center, North Campus
2019 Lives in Public Policy and Public Services Address

How do we make a difference in public service? Lessons from political activism to elected office with New York State Senator Jessica Ramos (District 13). Co-sponsored by the Public Policy and Public Service Programs, Hofstra Cultural Center, the Office of University Relations, and the Center for Civic Engagement.


12:50-2:15 p.m.
Plaza Room West, Mack Student Center, North Campus
Student Perspective on Human Trafficking: What Can We Do?

This panel will consist of Hofstra University students who have taken a human trafficking class, and/or have close experience with human trafficking in the U.S.and abroad. They will lead a discussion examining the challenges of confronting this issue and how the average student can help stop it.

12:50-2:10 pm
Multipurpose Room, Mack Student Center, North Campus
Not Just a Crisis at the Border: Critical Immigrants' Rights Issues on Long Island 
The panel will discuss the immigration issues we face here on Long Island, including the implications of Trump's policies of reversing DACA, denying green card status for those who have used social services, increasing ICE's presence, and deporting "assumed" gang members.
Patrick Young, Esq., Downstate Advocacy Director, New York Immigration Coalition;
Keiko Cervantes-Ospina, Co-Founder and Attorney-in-Charge, Community Legal Advocates of New York;
Cheryl Keshner, Senior Paralegal/Community Advocate, Empire Justice Center and Coordinator of the Long Island Language Advocates Coalition;
Susan Gottehrer, Director, Nassau County Chapter, New York Civil Liberties Union (panelist & facilitator)

2:55-4:20 p.m.
Plaza Room West, Mack Student Center, North Campus
Crisis of Migration on Long Island

Join historian Michael D’Innocenzo, activist Sister Mary Beth Moore; and representatives from local Latina immigrants’ rights organization SEPA Mujer to discuss forced migration on Long Island and learn what you can do to help within your local community.

4:30-5:55 p.m.
Guthart Cultural Center Theater, Axinn Library, first floor, South Campus
1619 -2019: The Quest for Reparatory Justice to Achieve More Perfect Union

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Dutch ship White Lion in Jamestown, the British colony that was to become the Commonwealth of Virginia, with “20 and odd Negroes” from Africa. The arrival of these enslaved Africans was the opening chapter in one of the most horrific events in human history. In this presentation, Dr. Ron Daniels, president of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, will present a detailed examination of the centuries-old struggle for emancipation, as well as the current movement for reparations in the U.S. and its global implications. Dr. Daniels served as executive director of the National Rainbow Coalition in 1987, and deputy campaign manager for Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign in 1988. From 1993-2005,Dr. Daniels served as first African American executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR).

Join the #HofDialogue conversation on social media.

For more information, visit or contact Josie Dituri, graduate assistant, Center for Civic Engagement, [at]


Active citizenship has become a core part of the mission and agenda of Hofstra University, which offers educational, co-curricular and cultural programs and activities that foster an awareness of local, national, and global issues. The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) plays a major role in the university’s fulfillment of core objectives.

Started as an initiative by faculty committed to promoting student involvement in community and public life, the CCE opened officially on February 2, 2007. We are a university institute designed to educate students in democratic values by actively engaging them as knowledgeable citizens in collaborative partnerships with their campus, local, state, national, and global communities.

Since its inception, the CCE has organized dozens of on-campus events, including forums, conferences, debates, workshops, exhibitions, cultural gatherings and performances around several important themes including nonviolence, social justice and sustainability, the democratic process, and globalization. The CCE now also offers a new minor in civic engagement as well as internships for academic credit.

Hofstra University
Center for Civic Engagement
Day of Dialogue XVI
The Center for Civic Engagement is in the final planning stages for its annual Day of Dialogue, scheduled to take place on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 from 9 am – 9 pm. This year’s theme “Born Free and Equal”

11:15 am-12:45 pm
Mack Student Center, Multipurpose Room, North Campus
The Dialogue Project
Learn about cross-cultural environmental studies at the Arava Institute, where students from Israel, Palestine, Jordan and around the world come together to collaborate on environmental solutions. The Dialogue Project brings Arava Institute alumni to speak about their experiences with cross-border environmental cooperation and peace-building.
Presenter: Arava Institute: Sarah Braverman, Ben Ben Ami, and Hasan Ebdah

11:15 am – 12:45 pm
Mack Student Center, Plaza Room West, North Campus
Girl RisingA discussion using curriculum centered on a film that depicts girls in different countries and their fight for education.
Discussants: Imani Hinson, CCE Fellow; Donia Firooz, CCE Fellow; Shanon Thomas, CCE Fellow

12:50 pm-2:15 pm
Mack Student Center, Plaza Room West, North Campus
Not People, They’re Animals: Criminalizing Immigrant Youth and the Myths Behind MS-13
In this session, we’ll explore the roots of the MS-13, and why the ongoing media coverage of this group has failed to adequately represent both the pose they threat to the community, and the reasons for their emergence in the U.S.
Presenter: Sergio Argueta, community activist and founder of S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth, Inc.
Others TBD
A presentation of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies program.
12:50 pm-2:15 pm
MPR/Plaza Rooms, North Campus
Digital Design and Narratives of Color
This event is structured around a keynote speaker and a digital installation titled "Neurospeculative Afrofeminism" (NSAF). The speaker Ashley Baccus, is Co-Founder of Hyphen-Labs, an "international team of women of color working at the intersection of technology, art, science, and the future." Hyphen-Labs undertakes projects that utilize modern media such as VR, wearable technology, and innovative design to foreground issues in the public sphere related to the lack of spaces for women of color in technology, embodying the experience of marginalization, as well as futuristic projects based on contemporary oppressive state or patriarchal apparatus.
This presentation is made possible by a Hofstra Cultural Center grant.
Moderator: Aashish Kumar, Assoc. Professor, Radio/TV/Film
Presenter: Ashley Baccus, Creative Director, Hyphen-Labs

(related exhibit taking place the day prior to Day of Dialogue)
Tuesday, October 23rd
McEwen 216
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Virtual Reality Exhibition: NSAF (Neurospeculative Afrofeminism) on Oculus Go
VR is the immersive platform that transports our viewers into a NeuroCosmetology lab, a reimagined black hair salon, placing the viewer into a black woman’s body giving a glimpse into a speculative future of black women pioneering brain research and neuromodulation through the culturally specific ritual of haircare. NSAF has been shown at Sundance Film Fest, SXSW, Tribeca Film Fest (Jury Honorable Mention), Gray Area Art & Technology Festival, Primer Speculative Futures Conference, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Stony Island Arts Bank & Rebuild Foundation, New Inc: Versions Festival, Refinery 29's 29 Rooms.
A presentation by students in a L. Herbert School of Communication’s “VR Storytelling” course.
Contact: Prof. Aashish Kumar, Radio/TV/Film

12:50 pm – 2:15 pm
Plaza Rooms East, North Campus
Screening:  “Eating Animals,”a film based on the bestselling book by Jonathan Safran Foer that takes a close factory-based, corporate meat production and its impact on the environment, health and economic system.
Moderator:  Dr. Sharryn Kasmir, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology and Director, Food Studies Program

2:55 pm-4:20 pm
Plaza Rooms West, North Campus
The Ethics of Immigration: Is US Policy Immoral?
Whom shall we welcome as residents here? What are our moral responsibilities to refugees? How do we reconcile immigrant rights with the rights of long-term residents? If our immigration system is broken, what would more ethical policies look like? Come hear a discussion of these and other ethical issues raised by U.S. admissions and deportation policies today, by our speakers.
Presenters: Ana Levy-Lyons (author of new book No Other Gods & Senior Minister, 1st Unitarian Church, Brooklyn); Amy Baehr (Professor, Philosophy Dept., Hofstra U.); and Paula Chirinos (DACA recipient & former Fellow, Center for Civic Engagement);  (Professor, Philosophy Dept., Hofstra U.); Paula Chirinos (DACA recipient & Student Fellow, Center for Civic Engagement), Rosanna Perotti (Professor, Political Science Dept., Hofstra U.); and Kimberley Chin, Deputy Director of the Children’s Defense Fund- NY
Contact: Dr. Greg DeFreitas, Professor of Economics and Director, Center for Study of Labor and Democracy, Hofstra University
This is a presentation of Hofstra’s Labor Studies Program.

4:00 pm-5:30 pm
David Felderman Gallery, 9th floor Axinn Library
Hidden in Sight: Voices Unheard. Join us for a discussion led by representatives from Herstory Writers Workshop encouraging people to think about the harsh realities of incarceration
and talk about how communities can address the problem.  This discussion will be preceded by a virtual reality immersive project by The Guardian titled “6x9:  A Virtual Experience of Solitary Confinement.”  (see below for details  of screening)
A Hofstra University Museum presentation for Day of Dialogue.
(related Virtual Reality exhibit)
11:15 am-12:45 pm; 5:30pm - 6:30 pm
9th Floor Axinn Library, South Campus
What’s it like to spend 23 hours a day in a cell measuring 6x9 feet for days, weeks, months or even years? 6x9 is the Guardian's first virtual reality experience, which places you inside a US solitary confinement prison cell and tells the story of the psychological damage that can ensue from isolation.
A presentation by students in the “VR Storytelling” course at the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication
Contact: Prof. Aashish Kumar, Radio/TV/Film

4:30 pm-5:55 pm
Student Center, Plaza Room East
What Is The “Real News”? The Media & The 2018 Midterm Elections: A dialogue on the state of broadcast news in the age of “fake news.”
Presenters:  Paul Jay, Founder of The Real News Network, Kayla Rivera, Associate Producer, The Real News Network and former Hofstra CCE Fellow
Contact: Prof. Martin Melkonian, Coordinator of Community Partnerships and Co-Director, International Scene Lecture Series, Hofstra University

7 pm
Monroe Lecture Hall
Closing event
HOMEFUL by Amy Ginther. Eager to leave behind her suburban US life, Amy moves abroad to explore the world. But when sudden events force her to return, she navigates a more personal terrain, compelling her to reflect on her identities as an American, transracial adoptee, and woman of color, as she seeks to define what home really is.
Presenters: Amy Mihyang Ginther (Writer/Performer)
Co-sponsored by Department of Drama and Dance, Hofstra University Honors College; Center for Civic Engagement, Women’s Studies Program and the Hofstra Cultural Center.

Please note the following related events taking place in October.

Thursday, October 25th
Student Center Theater, Mack Student Center, North Campus
2:20 pm -3:45pm
"The Myth of a Freely Chosen Status: Puerto Rico’s Future in the Wake of 'PROMESA' and Hurricane Maria"
Featuring Puerto Rican independence leader and former political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera, whose 55-year sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama in 2017 as one of his last acts in office. Lopez Rivera, who spent 35-years in prison for “seditious conspiracy,” has been described as the “Nelson Mandela of Puerto Rico,” and is seen as a hero for many Puerto Ricans. He will discuss the state of the independence movement in the context of the island’s ongoing financial crisis and the devastating impact last year’s storm has had on the Puerto Rican people. A collaboration between The Center for Civic Engagement, the Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) Program, the Center for “Race,” Culture and Social Justice, and the Hofstra University Cultural Center
Introduced by Professor Mario A. Murillo, the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication