Crossing Borders at Cafe Conversation


On Monday, April 13th, CCE fellows hosted this semester’s Café Conversation. The topic chosen was Society and Sexuality, focusing on how different societies view and react to public displays of affection, the LGBTQIA community, ally relations and gender roles. The event, which was held in Room 246 of the Axinn Library, was attended by CCE fellows, volunteers and students interested in the discussion.

Since the event had representatives from different parts of the world, the lengthy discussion focused on laws, healthcare, society acceptance and personal experiences concerning LGBT relationships and identities in different societies. Though in some countries more than others, it became clear that communities around the world are becoming more aware and opening up discussion on these topics. Ally experiences were also shared, bringing awareness to how giving support is important in creating a more just society.

Hofstra Conference Reviews George W. Bush Presidency

Tuesday through Thursday of this past week, Hofstra held its 12th presidential conference, reviewing George W. Bush’s presidency. Writers, members of the press, members of the administration, political cartoonists and more led panels on a wide assortment of topics relating to the Bush presidency. My favorite was the panel titled White House Communication in the George W. Bush Presidency, made up of Ed Rollins, Howard Dean, Ron Christie, and Julie Mason. The panel analyzed and discussed the media’s role in the presidency and its impact in America’s perception of  President Bush.

On the final day, I had the honor of being a student ambassador for Ed Rollins, a Republican campaign consultant and advisor. Although our political interests and opinions were often opposing, Mr. Rollins was both respectful and insightful about our differences; he told me that he was just happy to meet a young person who cared so much about politics.

The conference did a great shop of showing multiple viewpoints on an array of topics including the former president’s legislative power, relation to the media, and handling of crises. Although it ended on a note of uncertainty in regards to George W. Bush’s presidential legacy, most speakers were optimistic about the future of the ever-changing role that American presidents play both domestically and internationally.


5 Women Role Models


Last Sunday,March 7th, was International Women’s Day and thousands of women were honored and remembered across the world in an effort to recognize the struggle of making a stride in the human rights issue that is gender equality. However, when talking about women and their achievements, we seem to forget about a small but significant group, that of transgender women. Here’s a list of 5 influential and inspiring transgender women that should be remembered and celebrated.

'Cloud Atlas' Los Angeles Premiere

Lana Wachowski was the first major Hollywood director to come out as transgender. She’s best known for co-writing and directing the award-winning Matrix Trilogy with her brother, Andrew Wachowski. Lana came out in 2012 and received the Human Rights Campaign Award two months later.

“I met a woman that was the first person that’s made me understand that they love me not despite of my difference, but because of it. She’s the first person to see me as a whole being.”

“Invisibility is indivisible from visibility. For the transgender this is not simply a philosophical conundrum. It can be the difference between life and death.”


Janet Mock was born in Hawaii in 1983. After having been a sex worker at age 16, started her career in People magazine and is currently a contributing editor for Marie Claire magazine, a host for the show “So POPular!” and a New York Times best selling author. She first told her story of growing up as a trans girl in 2011 in Marie Claire magazine and is today a transgender rights activist.

“(…) These women’s murders have become the harsh reality that girls like us face. For a trans woman of color, these women’s murders are a constant reminder that who we are falls so outside of the box of what society says is acceptable that our deaths and even our lives don’t matter. We are in fact disposable, and our entire system validates this belief.”

“I was born in what doctors proclaim is a boy’s body. I had no choice in the assignment of my sex at birth… My genital reconstructive surgery did not make me a girl. I was always a girl.”


Kim Coco Iwamoto is a commissioner on the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, appointed to serve from 2012 to 2016. She was first elected in 2006 and served two terms with the Hawaii Board of Education, which made her, at the time, the highest ranking openly transgender elected official in the United States and first openly transgender official to win statewide office.


Pauline Park was born in Korea, adopted by American parents and is now a transgender activist based in New York City. She is the co-founder of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (1998), the Queens Pride House (1997), the Out People of Color Political Action Club (2001), the Guillermo Vasquez Independent Democratic Club of Queens and the Iban/Queer Koreans of New York (1997), which was the first statewide transgender advocacy organization in New York. She also named and helped create the Transgender Health Initiative of New York (THINY), which is a community organizing project to ensure that transgender and gender non-conforming people can access health care in a safe, respectful and non-discriminatory manner.


Laverne Cox was born in Alabama and is very well known for having portraying Sophia Burset on the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Cox stated that she attempted suicide at age 11 for noticing feelings towards a male classmate and having been bullied for several years for not behaving as society considered adequate for a young boy. Having overcome difficult experiences while growing up, she has become the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the acting category, the first to be nominated for an Emmy Award since 1990 and the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of Time magazine.

Ally Week Begins 3/13 with “Letter to Anita” Screening


Hofstra’s 2nd Annual Ally Week kicks off this Friday, March 13th, 2015 with a special screening of Letter to Anita, a heart-wrenching documentary from award-winning filmmaker Andrea Meyerson that tells the story of one woman’s fight against the profound injustice that propelled her into a life of LGBT activism.  The film, narrated by Emmy-winning actress Meredith Baker, explores Dr. Ronni Sanlo, who lost custody of her two young children in the 1970s after divorcing her husband and coming out as a lesbian.  

Dr. Sanlo and director Andrea Meyerson will join us for the screening, a Q&A session, and a special reception to meet with students and activists before the show.  The screening is the first for the Long Island community and is open to the public. To RSVP, visit

Reception: 5:30-7 p.m. (Multipurpose Room West, Mack Student Center)

Film Screening and Q&A: 7-9 p.m. (Student Center Theater, Mack Student Center)

Ally Week runs from Friday, March 13th through Thursday, March 19th, 2015.

For more information, call 516-463-6796, email, visit, or follow MISPO on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: @HofstraMISPO.

Hofstra Shuttle

Community Partner GUAAC Moves Forward with Hofstra

The Greater Uniondale Area Action Coalition, better known by its acronym GUAAC, has been working tirelessly in conjunction with the Center for Civic Engagement and Hofstra University for Campus Adjacent Community Development. Through a series of proposals made to the university’s administration, the members of GUAAC expressed a desire to become a university town. While efforts go back as far as the petition started last year and the planting of Hofstra-donated tulips along Front Street, the most recent development of this partnership has been effected through a new Hofstra shuttle.

For years, Hofstra’s shuttle system has been a resource for students to get to the train, get groceries, and even watch a movie or go to the mall. However, despite Hofstra’s Uniondale location, these shuttles always took students to grocery stores in the neighboring Garden City. One of GUAAC’s many proposals was to have a shuttle take students to local grocery stores, which are not only closer to the school (saving students time and saving Hofstra on gas) but also allowing students to really be in the community where they study while supporting local businesses.

This goal has finally been reached. This new service, which is extended to students, faculty, and staff members alike, will be picking Hofstra shuttle riders up at the Student Center, and will be traveling through the commercial corridor of Uniondale. It will be making stops at the Post Office, Walgreens, Walmart and ShopRite. As an additional incentive for the service, the local ShopRite is offering $5 off Hofstra student purchases when they stop at ShopRite for the first time via the newly established shuttle. Details about the service can be seen below.

The shuttle will leave from the Student Center Bus Stop, travel south on California Avenue, make a left turn onto Front Street.

1-      The first stop is the Post Office on Front Street

2-      The second stop is Walgreens. Which is located at  603 Uniondale Avenue, at the intersection of Uniondale Avenue and Jerusalem  Avenue

3-      The third stop is the Walmart and ShopRite located in the shopping center at 1123 Jerusalem Avenue

4-      On the return to the campus the shuttle will stop again at Walgreens and the Post Office.

The  shuttle run takes approximately 30 to 35 minutes to complete. The times for the shuttle are as follows:

 Leave                    Arrive

Student                Student

Center                  Center

BUS                        BUS

STOP                     STOP

10:50 A.M.—-11:20 A.M

12:50 P.M.—-1:20 P.M.

2:20 P.M.—–3:00 P.M.

3:30 P.M.—Pick up only from stores and return to campus

For other goods and services along the shuttle route, visit “Food and a Lot More: Community Resources for Students” under the Community Partnerships Tab on CCE’s website—

A Timely Discussion on Immigration


In the wake of President Obama’s sweeping executive action on immigration reform, and the recent setbacks since its announcement in November, Long Island Wins and the Center for Civic Engagement at Hofstra University will be hosting Long Island at a Turning Point: A Summit on Immigration. Students are welcome to attend the on-campus event this Thursday, February 26th, alongside the nearly 300 local community members expected to be in attendance.

The event will begin with a welcome and opening panel in the Student Center Theater from 9:30 am – 10:30 am, followed by a wide range of breakout sessions starting around 10:45 am and ending at noon. Breakout sessions will be led by local experts on the subjects of immigration and healthcare, media, education, law, governance, community organizing, and economy. These informative discussions will allow attendees to dig deeper into the topics they are most concerned about, whether it be the place of immigrant families in public education or the changing legal policies of citizenship status.

Long Island at a Turning Point: A Summit on Immigration, is meant to start a conversation about the current state of immigrants on Long Island, and what the future holds. Following the breakout sessions and a recess for lunch, a concluding discussion will be held in the Student Center Theater starting at 12:30 pm. Here a panel of national, state, and local experts on immigration will look to develop action steps based on the ideas generated in the breakout sessions. This timely event is expected to bring to light many of the concerns facing Long Islanders and the local immigrant community.

To learn more about Long Island at a Turning Point please visit

Les Payne Talks with Hofstra Students about Two of America’s Strongest Leaders

Greeted by a knowledge-hungry audience at the Guthart Cultural Center Theater was a journalist well-skilled in his craft: Pulitzer Prize-winning former Newsday columnist Les Payne. Payne was welcomed by Hofstra students and faculty alike this past Wednesday, February 11th, otherwise known as Civil Rights Day. Both the Center for Civic Engagement and the International Science Lecture invited those who were interested to attend Fifty Years after Selma: What Would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X Say about Race Matters Today?
Picture for blog

To any in the audience unfamiliar with the work of Payne, Co-Director Linda Longmire was quick to make his achievements known to everyone. The journalist was introduced as a “voice for creative opposition”, whose published works have the power to “pump up powerless victims” and “embod[y] the spirit of investigative journalism.”

Born and raised in Alabama, Payne had gained popularity in his career as a Newsday columnist. One of his major investigations focused on heroin smuggling in New York back in 1974. Payne, a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists, eventually became an editor at Newsday, before ending his career there in 2006.

With his powerful voice, Payne discussed how he believed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X would respond to the more questionable, race-oriented events of today – which have caused words like “Ferguson” and “Cleveland” to be said with slight hesitation. Throughout the lecture, Payne expressed his belief that Dr. King and Malcolm X would have varying opinions on the shootings in both these cities, as well as the entire United States’ criminal justice system in 2015, and Barack Obama’s election as the first African-American president.

Payne feels Dr. King would be both astounded and honored upon learning about the nonviolent protests carried out by multicultural individuals within this country. Malcolm X, on the other hand, would say nothing on the subject, for he was not only a firm supporter of self-defense, but he , according to Payne, would think the act of simply repeating the phrase “Don’t Shoot” would be too weak of an action.

The journalist’s lecture was followed by questions from a student panel, in which the CCE’s very own Denisse Girón and Natalia Orozco joined other Hofstra students in discussing the future of journalism in an increasingly media-obsessed world. With the involvement of multiple audience members, Payne commented on journalists’ ability to control the media, on the thought of students following through with President Obama’s national dialogue on race, and even on getting at the root of dealing with racism today.

Crisis for Mexico Democracy Situation

Since these days I am in Mexico, I saw many protest activities for the 43 students. People are really angry about the corruptions and the scary activities from the government. Ironically, the national palace which is an attraction was closed for many days. Because president do not want to see the protesters get together in the Constitution Square.


I really have interests on that, so I did interviews for many local people. They are artists, directors, students, publish people and so forth. They told me that these kind of things happens all the time. But nobody really take care of it. First, the government will still do whatever they want. Corruptions, Killings anything. Second, only small number of people in mexico do really care about the political stuffs. The majority people just get used to it, or we could say they feel not bad during this situation which the general salary standard is only $5-$6 dollar per day. What`s going on? The reason may because of the poor education system. Not too many people have a clear idea about democracy and high level living standard. Many of them live in a house with their parents or even grandparents. 10 people live in a small apartment, can you imagine that? They still feel good on that, if they can purchase a big TV.  It`s a bad circle. The government foolish the citizens through the bad education system.

The most worry thing for mexico democracy supporters is the people are lazy there and they are too easy to be satisfy. They don`t have mind of the outside world. Many of them never get out of Mexico City during the whole life. They don`t have strong mind to make progress. Even the number of the protesters are around 20 thousands of people, if you consider that the population of the Mexico City is around 9 millions of people it`s still not a big deal.

The protest activities did not change the democracy situation much but bring bad effects to Mexico. For instance, the currency rate and the stock market went down these days. The whole tourism industry was running bad during this time period too.

It`s really a democracy dilemma for Mexico. But maybe it`s also a start point for democracy itself. Good luck!