March For Science

On earth day, Saturday April 22nd, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people took to the streets around the world to protest U.S President, Donald Trump’s stance on climate change and the environment. People of all ages came out dressed as everything from the rising sea level to zombie plant life. A few of the most creative and funny NY protest signs, where Hofstra students were protesting we wanted to capture and share. So for anyone who wasn’t there, can share in the magic.

The NYC protest, which went past Trump towers even had a special appearance by President Trump.

Though the DC march may have had more numbers, the NY march definitely did not lack in heart or creativity.

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Earth Week Kick-Off Festival

CCE hosted its Earth Day Festival 2017 during common hour on April 19th to celebrate our planet and help advocate for its protection. Both the Hofstra and local communities participated by coming out to perform, sing, recite poetry, sign petitions, even meditate and perform magic tricks! We were very happy to welcome student clubs including Amnesty International, Peace Action Matters, the Hofstra Rock Climbing Club, the Campus Feminist Collective, the Sustainability Club, and others. Community organizations also joined together at Hofstra, including Food and Water Watch, the Uniondale Community Land Trust, Herstory Writers Workshop, and Nostrand Gardens.

The attendees at the festival represented activism beyond just concern for the environment. Students and community partners came together to raise awareness of the need to advocate for animal rights, peace in global affairs, Uniondale beautification, and more. Performances throughout the day included poetry, singing, and a meditation led by the Hofstra Buddhism Club.

All of the Earth Week events led up to the March for Science in New York City on Saturday, April 23rd taking place all over the country in support of “robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity,” as stated on the official website. This effort aligns with efforts by climate scientists and concerned citizens to acknowledge and act upon climate change. Hofstra students, faculty, and others traveled to the New York March.

Pray the Devil Back to Hell

Peace Action Matters and the NAACP held a screening of  “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” this past week, which chronicles the remarkable story of the Liberian women who came together to end a bloody civil war and bring peace to their country.

Thousands of women of all ages,, both Christian and Muslim came together to pray for peace and then staged a silent protest outside of the Presidential Palace. The women were armed only with white T-shirts and the courage of their convictions as they demanded a resolution to the country’s civil war. Their actions were a critical element in bringing about a agreement during a series of stalled peace talks.

Their story is one of sacrifice, unity and transcendence. “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” honours the strength and perseverance of women and especially that of the phenomenal women of Liberia. It truly is a compelling testimony of how grassroots activism can alter the history of nations. A must watch, particularly when so many nations in this time are going through such hardships. There is alight at the end of the tunnel.

 

Legacy of Civil Rights & Discussions on Campus

Thursday, April 13, 2017 was the final day of the Danny Lyon: Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement Exhibit in the Hofstra Museum.  It was also the day that CCE hosted a series of discussions led by CCE Fellows about what these photographs signify and what they mean today. At the “Let’s Talk Activism” Sessions, three themed small group sessions were held throughout the day, focusing on Freedom, Activism, and Resilience. Students reflected on the photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, as described by the Hofstra Museum:

“Based upon Danny Lyon’s memoir, this exhibition brings together the photographs he took from 1962 to 1964 while traveling through the United States documenting the Civil Rights Movement. Lyon began his photographic career as the first staff photographer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a national group of college students who joined together in 1960 after the first sit-in by four African American college students at a North Carolina lunch counter. With this body of work, Danny Lyon helped define a form of photojournalism in which the image maker is deeply and personally embedded in his subject matter.”

Danny Lyon’s work as a college student from years ago lined the walls of the Hofstra Museum as today’s college students contemplated the scenes he captured. Hofstra students from different walks of life on campus, from Greek life to social-politically active student clubs, sat down together to talk about their interpretations of the photographs. The students drew parallels of inequality and police brutality from the past to the present, discussing where they see this in their own lives. The conversations touched on struggle, privilege, and the small changes we can make in our own lives. It is one of many events that CCE hosts on campus to get students talking about today’s issues, and we are very thankful to those who participated and helped organize the day’s discussions.