Civil Rights Day: Contemporary Struggles for Obama’s Second Term

Civil Rights Day: 

Contemporary Struggles for Obama’s Second Term

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013: Civil Rights Day

“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

What are some of the major civil rights issues that must be addressed during the next four years of Barack Obama’s presidency? From the movement for immigrant rights to the defense of voter rights in communities of color, from gay and lesbian marriage to gender equality in the workplace, today’s civil rights agenda is broader than its ever been. Join the Center for Civic Engagement for a series of panels, workshops and screenings addressing these and other issues, and find out ways students can get involved in local campaigns.

All sessions will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room East, Hofstra University Student Center, unless otherwise noted.


10:10-11:05am 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

11:15-12:40pm Immigrant Rights as Civil Rights
During the 2012 presidential election, Latinos and immigrants emerged as a key voting demographic, leading to widespread public discussion of immigration reform. This panel will explore the civil rights struggles facing the Spanish-speaking immigrant community in the local area, examining 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)
  • Moderator: Mario A. Murillo, Professor and Chair of Radio, Television, Film, and Co-director, Center for Civic Engagement, Hofstra University

2:10-3:45pm What Is (Gay) Marriage Equality and Where Might It Come From?  Faculty Lounge, Maurice A. Deane School of Law, South Campus
Eric Freedman outlining the two cases involving gay marriage currently before the Supreme Court and their possible outcomes, Dan Greenwood explaining why “marriage” should not be a government matter (left to religion) though perhaps “unions” could be, and all three of us commenting on what any this means for the issue in the second Obama administration.

  • Daniel J.H. Greenwood, Professor of Law, Hofstra University
  • Eric M. Freedman, Maurice A. Dean Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law, Hofstra University
  • Moderator: Robin Charlow, Professor of Law, Hofstra University

4:30-5:55pm      The Invisible War: Sexual Assault in the Military

  • Helen Benedict, Columbia University Professor and Author of The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Irag, and the novel Sand Queen
  • Moderator: Paige Gordon, CCE Fellow and Hofstra University Class of 2013

7:00pm Cultural Center Theater

“Let fury have the hour/
Anger can be power/
Do you know that you can use it?”
– “The Clampdown,” The Clash

Rough, raw and unapologetically inspirational, LET FURY HAVE THE HOUR 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 unites 50 powerful, of-the-moment voices –from street artist Shepard Fairey to rapper Chuck D to playwright Eve Ensler to musicians Tom Morello and Billy Bragg to novelist Edwidge Danticat to filmmaker John Sayles to comic Lewis Black – who share personal and powerful tales of how they transformed anger and angst into provocative art and ideas.  Mix-mastered with historical footage, animation and performances, D’Ambrosio presents a visceral portrait of a generation looking to re-jigger a system that has failed to address the most pressing problems of our times . . . or human potential.


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