Systematic Discrimination still in place for Transgender community in New York!

This past Saturday I attended a last minute protest in Hauppauge, Long Island. The protest took place outside of a rally for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. While the numbers were not large, we attempted to get the attention on Governor Cuomo because many New Yorkers are still quite vulnerable to blatant  discrimination throughout the state.

Please read more by clicking on the link below! 

Jen Ackerman

Hofstra University

MFA Student

CCE celebrates International Non-Violence Day!

On October 2nd, CCE and the Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives held Hofstra’s celebration of Gandhi Day in the Cultural Center Theater.  CCE Fellow Francesca Scaraggi covered the event for the Chronicle, Hofstra’s student paper.  Please enjoy the photos below, taken by Fellow Che Sullivan.


Whoo!  Can’t wait for the event to start!


Margaret Melkonian, Executive Director of LIAPA, urges students to advocate for change.


Professor Michael D’Innocenzo and Poet/Educator Maxwell Corydon Wheat Jr.


CCE Fellow Denisse Girón, introducing the Peace Poets.


The Peace Poets in action.

Hofstra CCE goes to the People’s Climate March








On Sunday, September 21, Fellows attended the People’s Climate March in Manhattan with about 400,000 other people. According to the People’s Climate March website, “We are demanding the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities.” Here are some photographs of the day:


CCE Fellow Mishaina Joseph and Volunteer Eleanore Saintis shocked and invigorated by the amount of people taking the subway to the March.


Mish proudly representing Hofstra.




CCE Fellow Francesca Scaraggi nearly giving an accidental peace sign to fellow Fellow Clara Schopf.

(Blog post by CCE Fellow Che Sullivan)

Earth Day

On April 22, I attended the “Investing in a Greener Future” workshop with guest speaker Ronald Blaylock. One of the first things that Mr. Blaylock clarified was that he was not speaking as an environmentalist but as an investor, which pretty much intimidated me to the utmost degree. Full disclosure in my three years at Hofstra, I have never once taken a financing, economics, or any business related class. Needless to say before Mr. Blaylock even started his presentation I was fully convinced I would not understand a single thing. But I am happy to say that I was completely wrong.   

            When Mr. Blaylock started explaining who he was, a financial specialist who is the founder and managing partner of GenNx360, I was impressed because it sounded impressive but not because I knew what it meant. Basically what his firm does is invest in business to business companies (such as manufacture to store) help them become successful and worth more than what was original invested in them, and then sell stocks for profit. Now I am not sure how other private equity firms do things, but this way seems really logical. He went on to explain that as an investor he is looking for companies that solve problems, because those will be the most successful. Again, logical.

            The problem that Ronald Blaylock was looking at was global warming, and the companies that provided solutions were environmentally friendly companies. He went on to discuss how “greener” options were actually financially sound investments. The example he gave was during a family vacation to Jamaica he observed many of the local homes had solar panels. When he asked his cab driver about it, the driver told him that the electricity company was charging an outrageous amount, so instead of paying the ridiculous cost, the locals began buying solar panels. As a native Long Islander who has always heard her mother complain about LIPA (now PSEG) bills, I could totally relate to this story. What was most surprising was when Chad, a member of Students for a Greener Hofstra, told the audience that a functioning solar panel could be made for $50! It would be a small panel but hey, I’m sure people spend more than that on monthly coffee expenses. As Ronald Blaylock continued to explain the advantages of investing in environmentally friendly companies, it began to feel more like common sense to me than a foreign language, which is something I can safely say I never thought would happen. Mr. Blaylock was informative, clear and passionate during his presentation, making it easy to enjoy!

Earth Day Facts

“When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.”

Happy Earth Day !

April 22nd marks the annual celebration of Earth Day. Many of you may note the date but don’t know many facts about it. Here are so facts about it that you may not have known

1) The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970.

2) Earth Day originated in the US but became recognized worldwide by .

3) On the very first Earth Day, 20 million people gathered in the streets of America to protest the industrial revolution. An environmental movement was born as a result.

4) Earth Day was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin who wanted to respond to an oil spill off Santa Barbara, California

5) In 2009, the United Nations renamed Earth Day and now calls it International Mother Earth Day. That name doesn’t appear to be catching in the U.S.

6) Homes and cars account for half of all American greenhouse gas emissions.

7) People often celebrate this day by planting trees and recycling.

8) In recent years, Earth Day has become an international day of protest so people can tell their elected officials to make preventing climate change a priorit

Day Against Deportation 4/5/14

Day Against Deportation 4/5/14

On April 5th, 30 cities across America stood up against deportations; this date marks 2 million deportations under the Obama Administration. The Center for Civic Engagement participated in a anti-deportation march and vigil in Hempstead with NDLON, La Fuente, and other community groups. The chants “Obama escucha, estamos en la lucha” and “Obama, Obama don’t deport my mama” rang from the over 60 participants marching through Hempstead. Once at the Hempstead Bus Terminal, candles were passed out and a moment of silence was given for all those who had been deported. This was a truly great event to be a part of and it was great to see so many students and community members working together. Be on the lookout for information regarding next month’s event against wage theft.

Consumption of Education: The Future of Universities in a Globalizing World

As a part of Globalization day I visited a panel composed of Hofstra professors, and one student. The most memorable part of the discussion for me was the student’s (I believe her name was Maya) stance on the topic. Maya said that her best professor at Hofstra has been Google. She argued that the Internet has an endless amount of information available at the push of a button, and that schools would have to adapt to this otherwise they would become obsolete. One of Maya’s many examples was her resume that she created by watching a “how-to” YouTube video for adobe. I can safely say that her resume was the most creative and eye-catching resume I have ever seen, but I believe there is a major flaw in her argument.

         In my opinion human interaction, is an intangible characteristic to education. The success of one on one interaction between students and professors is well known, hence the need for office hours. As a science major I could not imagine having to go through organic chemistry, but not being able to run up to Dr. Finzel’s office and ask if my structure was drawn properly or if a bond I was pointing to was being attacked.

         There are certain things that the Internet cannot clarify for you. For example had the how-to video that Maya watched been for a different version of Adobe than the one she had I am sure the entire experience would have been much more frustrating for her (lets assume she couldn’t access a video for the version of Adobe that she had). A professor’s ability come over and point out simple mistakes that sometimes evade us, is something the internet can not provide.

         Although I do agree that with progressive technology, education systems should have to adapt in some ways, I firmly disagree that they would eventually become obsolete without the changes. Although watching a video of a lecture may work for some people, I think there is a large population of students that need to raise their hand and ask a question directly to their instructor.

Join NDLON Tomorrow for the April 5th March Against Deportation


Tomorrow the National Day Laborers Organizing Network, La Fuente, the Workplace Project, and the Center for Civic Engagement are teaming up in Hempstead as part of the national #Not1More campaign to stop deportations. In spite of his many promises and professed commitment to comprehensive immigration reform, President Barak Obama’s administration has deported more undocumented immigrants than any president before him. Tomorrow, that number will reach 2 million. We’re standing up to say that 2 million is too many.

Every day 1,100 people are deported, but these are not just statistics, they are lives. The 2 million deportations represent 2 million lives that have been deeply affected, 2 million families torn apart. When families are separated and American-born children are forced into foster care because their parents are taken away from them–it is no longer just an immigration issue, it is a human rights issue.

The Hempstead event will begin tomorrow at 5pm. We will be meeting at the Workplace Project in Hempstead and from there we’ll march to the Hempstead bus terminal. Together we will protest deportations while listening to testimonies from workers and families affected by the inhumanity of deportations. Please join us and become part of the movement.


Globalization Day Retrospective: We Crossed the BLVD with Judith Sloan



This year’s globalization day came to a fun and thoughtful finish with Crossing the BLVD; a performance by veteran journalist, activist, and performer–Judith Sloan. The performance was based on a book and audio project Judith produced with her husband, Warren Lehrer. The event took place in the Speigel Theater at 7pm and brought together students and faculty members alike.

In her roughly two hour performance, Judith introduced us to the vibrant diversity of Queens, and just a few of the  many people and cultures she met while assembling this project. Pictures and audio from the book and accompanying CD enhance the show by adding music and voice overs that connect the dots for the audience. Judith guided us across the BLVD, and we felt the helplessness of a refugee trapped in a detention center, the anxiety of a gay couple escaping persecution, and the passion of Ukrainian musician Gogol Bordello. The evening ended with a brief Q&A and a newfound affection for our immigrant neighbors in Queens.