Welcome back to a new year filled with many civic engagement initiatives.
The Center for Civic Engagement is working in multiple capacities to forge connections between the university and local, national, and global communities, and to bring opportunities for civic literacy to the campus and local community.
Center for Civic Engagement staff and fellows are currently gearing up for our annual Day of Dialogue on October 26, a daylong event of concurrent presentations, conversations, and film screenings and discussions. This year’s theme is F*** News! Deliberations on Truth, Citizenship, and Democracy, and will feature a number of sessions that explore public discourse around a fundamental democratic institution. Panels and sessions will examine public demand to take down historic statues (“Statues Must be Taken Down, Places Renamed”), the impact of digital literacy on truth in the news (“Fake News, Digital Literacies”) and subjective takes on science (“Your Science, My Science, and to Hell With Our Science”).
Next week, CCE launches the Hempstead High School Initiative along with the Hofstra University Honors College, bringing Hofstra university tutors to Hempstead High School four times per week for a total of eight hours of weekly tutoring in math, science, English, and history. The Initiative has grown since its inception in Spring 2016 and now enrolls more than 45 tutors. In addition, the Initiative is working with the New York State Mentoring Program to connect more than 20 volunteers with mentees in the Barack Obama Elementary School in Hempstead. All told, close to 70 volunteers are working hundreds of hours in Hempstead School District each week in an attempt to move the needle on graduation rates.
Center for Civic Engagement fellows, interns, and volunteers are working with additional community partners including Herstory Writers Workshop, a nonprofit that offers memoir writing workshops in Long Island communities, schools, and jails; the Greater Uniondale Area Action Coalition, a grassroots community group that addresses issues facing the Uniondale community; and Homecoming Farms, an organic farm run by the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville.
Our school year has gotten off to a challenging start with the passing of our leader, Dr. Greg Maney, professor of sociology and CCE Director of Active Citizenship and Community Partnerships. Dr. Maney has led the Center for Civic Engagement for many years, broadening its focus to initiatives off campus and in the local community.
Most notably, Dr. Maney led the anti-bullying effort, I Support Roosevelt Youth initiative, and worked with the Greater Uniondale Area Action Coalition to win the battle against the East Garden City initiative, which sought to divide the hamlet of Uniondale. Dr. Maney launched the Hempstead High School Initiative that brings Hofstra University students into the high school for tutoring four times per week with an effort to move the needle on graduation rates, currently at 38%.
Dr. Maney’s legacy stretches long and the gap he leaves in university and community life is large. We hope all who are inspired by his work and his memory will reach out to CCE to continue the noble objectives that he so diligently pursued.
Dr. Yvonne Teems
Acting Director for Active Citizenship and Community Partnerships
Center for Civic Engagement