Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) Celebrates its 39th Commencement – 500 Students to Graduate

Distinguished Community Leaders and Advocates for Social Change Address Graduates

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 11, 2016   Today, Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY), one of the city’s most ethnically diverse institutions, celebrated its 39th annual commencement.  Five hundred students were awarded degrees at the ceremony which was held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.  MCNY’s President Vinton Thompson presided over the ceremony, while Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, delivered the keynote address. Brian Silva, MCNY Alumnus and Executive Director of Marriage Equity USA (MEUSA), and Dr. Melvin Douglass, MCNY Trustee and Co-Founder of YOUniversity Bound, received honorary doctorates.

“Today marks a new beginning for our graduates and our college,” said Dr. Vinton Thompson, President of Metropolitan College of New York. “We celebrate the commitment that our students have made as they have earned the tools they need to help move our fellow citizens, our country, and our world forward.  We also celebrate our new Manhattan campus, which officially opened this week and will help us better serve students and our community at large.”

Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters were bestowed upon Jennifer Jones Austin, Brian Silva and Dr. Melvin Douglass.

jennifer-jones-austin headshotJennifer Jones Austin delivered the commencement keynote address to MCNY’s undergraduate and graduate candidates.  Jones Austin is the CEO and Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA), a prominent New York City social policy and advocacy organization with over 200 member human services agencies operating throughout New York City.  Prior to joining FPWA, Ms. Jones Austin served as Senior Vice President of United Way of New York City.

brian silva headshotBrian Silva, Executive Director of MEUSA, was recently named Director of Grassroots Engagement for the National Equality Action Team for Freedom for All Americans (FFAA) and is also an alumnus of MCNY.  Under Silva’s leadership, MEUSA is credited with galvanizing support around the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision affirming marriage equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.  At FFAA, Brian is overseeing the transition of MEUSA/NEAT and other initiatives to bring volunteer, grassroots participation into the national campaign for LGBTQ non‑discrimination.

mel headshot croppedDr. Melvin Douglass, Co-Founder of YOUniversity Bound, is an expert in K-12 education, urban education, organizational administration and supervision.  As MCNY Trustee, Dr. Douglass oversees the Academic Affairs Committee. Civic-minded and deeply dedicated to New York’s educational community, Dr. Douglass has been described as “one of America’s most profound, insightful, engaging, sensitive and accomplished instructional leaders on the scene today.”

About Metropolitan College of New York

Audrey Cohen, educational visionary and activist, founded the Women’s Talent Corps in 1964. Through development and training for new professional positions, the Talent Corps created employment for thousands of people. It became The College for Human Services, later Audrey Cohen College, and today Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY).  For over 50 years, MCNY has continued the tradition of offering highly motivated learners an education that combines applied skills with professional knowledge to effect personal transformation and positive change in the workplace and community.  MCNY is a not-for-profit, accredited, independent college. Full year-round offerings accelerate degree completion, and a unique approach to learning permits close integration of workplace activities and study. MCNY locations are in the Financial District at 60 West Street, New York, NY 10006 and in the Bronx at 529 Courtlandt Ave., Bronx, NY 10451.  For more information on MCNY, visit www.mcny.edu or call 800.33.THINK.

 

Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) Officially Opens New State-of-the-Art Manhattan Campus

Manhattan Campus Will Transform College and Local Communities

New York, N.Y. (June 8, 2016) – Today, in a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by College officials, students, alumni, community leaders and elected officials, Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) officially opened its new Manhattan campus. The new campus, located in Manhattan’s Financial District, marks a stunning transformation for the college with an enhanced public presence, improved facilities for students and staff, and enormously strengthened possibilities for community outreach.

“Our new Manhattan campus represents a major community investment which will strengthen the long-term institutional and financial stability of the College and support cultural outreach and engagement with local businesses and community groups,” said MCNY President Dr. Vinton Thompson.

MCNY purchased a commercial condominium at 40 Rector Street in Manhattan with 110,000 square feet of space and a prominent, dedicated entrance at 60 West Street, three blocks south of the World Trade Center. The campus is located in the midst of a large concentration of mass transit lines in the city and gives students nearly twice as many transportation options as they had at the previous location.

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MCNY Learning Commons Study Lounge

The new campus offers MCNY expanded capacity to accommodate additional students and enables current students to take advantage of up-to-date technology and spaces specifically configured to serve changing college needs. A grand feature of the new space is The Learning Commons that unites the Library with Academic Support. This centerpiece of the 7th floor features expanded computer resources and workstations, a lounge area for collaboration, and the college’s tutoring, mentoring and other academic support programs.

To facilitate collaboration with the wide range of nearby non-profit organizations, state and local government offices and businesses, the new campus features a publicly accessible first floor multipurpose space that allows the college to offer expanded service programs, including symposiums, workshops and community gatherings.

“The opening of our new Manhattan campus positions MCNY favorably in a highly competitive market, and ushers in a new era of community engagement and opportunities for our students,” Thompson added.

CONTACT:

Brian Franklin,  The Wakeman Agency,  703-201-3875  

About Metropolitan College of New York

Audrey Cohen, educational visionary and activist, founded the Women’s Talent Corps in 1964. Through development and training for new professional positions, the Talent Corps created employment for thousands of people. It became The College for Human Services, later Audrey Cohen College, and today Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY). For over 50 years, MCNY has continued the tradition of offering highly motivated learners an education that combines applied skills with professional knowledge to effect personal transformation and positive change in the workplace and community. MCNY is a not-for-profit, accredited, independent college. Full year-round offerings accelerate degree completion, and a unique approach to learning permits close integration of workplace activities and study. MCNY locations are in the Financial District at 60 West Street, New York, NY 10006 and in the Bronx at 529 Courtlandt Ave., Bronx, NY 10451.  For more information on MCNY, visit www.mcny.edu or call 800.33.THINK.

Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) Celebrates its 39th Commencement – 550 Students to Graduate

MEDIA ADVISORY – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 31, 2016

Contact: Brian Franklin, 703-201-3875, 

 

WHAT:  Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) will hold its 39th  Commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 11th at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Five hundred and fifty students will be awarded undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Audrey Cohen School for Human Services and Education, School for Business, and School for Public Affairs & Administration programs.

WHO:  MCNY President Vinton Thompson will preside over the ceremony

Keynote Address:jennifer-jones-austin headshot

  • Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies

Jennifer Jones Austin is the CEO and Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA), a prominent New York City social policy and advocacy organization with over 200 member human services agencies operating throughout New York City.  Prior to joining FPWA, Ms. Jones Austin served as Senior Vice President of United Way of New York City.

Honorary Degrees:

  • Brian Silva, Executive Director, Marriage Equity USA and MCNY Alumnus

Brian Silva serves as Executive Director of Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA), and Director of Grassroots Engagement and the National Equality Action Team for brian silva headshotFreedom for All Americans (FFAA).  MEUSA is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots organization dedicated to achieving civil marriage equality in all 50 states and at the federal level.  Under Silva’s leadership, MEUSA is credited with galvanizing support around the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision affirming marriage equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.  At FFAA, Brian is overseeing the transition of MEUSA/NEAT and other initiatives to bring volunteer, grassroots participation into t
he national campaign for LGBTQ non-discrimination.

Dr. Douglass Photo

  • Melvin Douglass, Co-Founder, YOUniversity Bound and MCNY Trustee

Dr. Melvin Douglass is an expert in K-12 education, urban education, organizational administration and supervision.  As an MCNY Trustee, Dr. Douglass oversees the Academic Affairs Committee.   Civic-minded and deeply dedicated to New York’s educational community, Dr. Douglass has been described as “one of America’s most profound, insightful, engaging, sensitive and accomplished instructional leaders on the scene today.”W HEN:  Saturday, June 11, 2016 –  Doors open to guests at 3pm, Ceremony begins at 4pm

WHERE:  Jacob J. Javits Convention Center, 655 West 34th Street, NYC

WHEN:  Saturday, June 11, 2016, Doors open to guests at 3pm, Cermony begins at 4pm

Editor’s Note:  To attend and/or arrange coverage of MCNY’s Commencement, for student stories, or for further assistance, please contact: Tina Georgiou, or 646-648-0694

About Metropolitan College of New York

Audrey Cohen, educational visionary and activist, founded the Women’s Talent Corps in 1964. Through development and training for new professional positions, the Talent Corps created employment for thousands of people. It became The College for Human Services, later Audrey Cohen College, and today Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY).  For over 50 years, MCNY has continued the tradition of offering highly motivated learners an education that combines applied skills with professional knowledge to effect personal transformation and positive change in the workplace and community.  MCNY is a not-for-profit, accredited, independent college. Full year-round offerings accelerate degree completion, and a unique approach to learning permits close integration of workplace activities and study. MCNY locations are in the Financial District at 60 West Street, New York, NY 10006 and in the Bronx at 529 Courtlandt Ave., Bronx, NY 10451.  For more information on MCNY, visit www.mcny.edu or call 800.33.THINK.

 

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to Mark Official Opening of New Manhattan Campus for Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY)


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WHAT:  
Grand Opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for MCNY’s new Manhattan campus 

WHO:  Vinton Thompson, President, MCNY,  Elected Officials TBD

WHEN:  Wednesday, June 8th, 9:30am

WHERE:  Metropolitan College of New York, 60 West Street, New York, NY 10006  Community Commons, 1st Floor

WHY:  MCNY’s new campus in downtown Manhattan’s Financial District represents a major community investment which will strengthen the long-term institutional and financial stability of MCNY and provide expanded capacity to accommodate additional students.

For the new campus, MCNY purchased a commercial condominium at 40 Rector Street, with 110,000 sq. ft. of space and a prominent, dedicated entrance at 60 West Street, three blocks south of the World Trade Center. The new space offers significant advantages including greatly improved transportation options for students and a better location to partner with local businesses and community groups. 

INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES: 

Along with MCNY President Vinton Thompson, current members of the faculty and student body will be on site. Tours of the new campus will also be available.

About Metropolitan College of New York

Audrey Cohen, educational visionary and activist, founded the Women’s Talent Corps in 1964. Through development and training for new professional positions, the Talent Corps created employment for thousands of people. It became The College for Human Services, later Audrey Cohen College, and today Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY). For over 50 years, MCNY has continued the tradition of offering highly motivated learners an education that combines applied skills with professional knowledge to effect personal transformation and positive change in the workplace and community. MCNY is a not-for-profit, accredited, independent college. Full year-round offerings accelerate degree completion, and a unique approach to learning permits close integration of workplace activities and study.

Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) to Open New Bronx Location

New Multipurpose Space to Expand Capacity and Program Offerings and Revitalize South Bronx’s Hub Shopping Area

Triangle Metropolitan College Board Presentation 5-23-2013New York, N.Y. (April 6, 2016) – Beginning in the late summer 2016, Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) will grow its footprint in the Bronx with the opening of a 26,000 sq. ft. state of the art facility with the capacity to serve over 500 students. Located at 463 East 149th Street, the new site is part of the development of Triangle Plaza Hub, a mixed commercial project that is a centerpiece of redevelopment in the Hub shopping area at the second busiest subway stop in the Bronx.

MCNY Bronx will feature seventeen classrooms, three computer labs and a multipurpose conference space that will allow the college to host large events to make it an integral part of the local community. The new facility will include public assembly spaces that will allow the college to host unique programs on site and provide unprecedented opportunities for MCNY students to interact with the community.

Dr. Vinton Thompson, President of Metropolitan College of New York
Dr. Vinton Thompson, President of Metropolitan College of New York

“MCNY Bronx is designed with students and the greater community in mind,” said MCNY President Dr. Vinton Thompson. “It is my hope that our Bronx site will serve as a magnet to the community that will benefit both the community at large and students.

MCNY will be part of the ongoing economic development in the South Bronx, an economically distressed area that is rebounding after decades of decline. With MCNY Bronx serving as an anchor, the Triangle Plaza Hub facility has already attracted a grocery store and a restaurant. Other businesses will be eager to locate nearby to take advantage of hundreds of students coming and going on a daily basis.

MCNY Bronx will create permanent jobs for faculty members, administrators and support staff.   It will also help to contribute to the development of the South Bronx workforce as graduates from neighboring areas work in and invest in their own community.

“The opening of MCNY Bronx demonstrates our long-term commitment to the South Bronx Community and its renaissance. The new space establishes a strong community presence that is truly transformational for a college of our size and history,” Dr. Thompson added.

CONTACT:   Brian Franklin, The Wakeman Agency — 703-201-3875  

About Metropolitan College of New York

Audrey Cohen, educational visionary and activist, founded the Women’s Talent Corps in 1964. Through development and training for new professional positions, the Talent Corps created employment for thousands of people. It became The College for Human Services, later Audrey Cohen College, and today Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY).  For over 50 years, MCNY has continued the tradition of offering highly motivated learners an education that combines applied skills with professional knowledge to effect personal transformation and positive change in the workplace and community.  MCNY is a not-for-profit, accredited, independent college. Full year-round offerings accelerate degree completion, and a unique approach to learning permits close integration of workplace activities and study. MCNY locations are in Soho/Tribeca at 431 Canal Street, New York, NY 10013 and in the Bronx at 529 Courtlandt Ave., Bronx, NY 10451.  For more information on MCNY, visit www.mcny.edu or call 800.33.THINK.

Statement on New York’s New $15 Minimum Wage and Fairness for Work-Study Students

Dr. Vinton Thompson, President of Metropolitan College of New York
Dr. Vinton Thompson, President of Metropolitan College of New York

Vinton Thompson, President of Metropolitan College of New York
New York State has committed to phase in a $15 minimum wage, for 2018 in New York City, and a bit more slowly in the rest of the state.  Nobody deserves the benefits of a $15 minimum wage more than hardworking college students with financial need.  Work-study students are employed by their colleges and universities with student aid funds provided by the Federal Government, often at Federal or local minimum wage, whichever is higher.

Funding is determined by a formula that allocates a fixed total amount to each college to divide among qualifying students, based on local needs and federal guidelines.  Here’s the conundrum colleges face going forward.  Absent a proportional increase in federal funding, they will have to cut the hours of individual students or employ fewer students.  In either case, colleges will have students working fewer hours in support of their educational mission.   And, to the extent colleges employ fewer students at higher pay, eligible students who will no longer receive employment will face the prospect of making up the difference with student loans.

Across the political spectrum, there is wide agreement that student loan debt is already undesirably high.  No one really wants to boost the minimum wage at the expense of low income students.  It’s unlikely that the federal government will increase work-study funds to defray the increased costs.  Meeting shifting minimum wage differentials across the country would be logistically difficult and politically unfeasible.

As an alternative, the State of New York should commit to supplement the Federal Work-Study programs at New York public and independent, non-profit colleges and universities, so that neither students nor institutions suffer unintended negative consequences, just as it has committed in principle to cover the wage increase for state-contracted non-profit organizations.  Increasing the pay of work-study students is good thing.  Increasing it at the expense of other deserving students is not.

Vinton Thompson is President of Metropolitan College of New York

 

About Metropolitan College of New York

Audrey Cohen, educational visionary and activist, founded the Women’s Talent Corps in 1964. Through development and training for new professional positions, the Talent Corps created employment for thousands of people. It became The College for Human Services, later Audrey Cohen College, and today Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY).  For over 50 years, MCNY has continued the tradition of offering highly motivated learners an education that combines applied skills with professional knowledge to effect personal transformation and positive change in the workplace and community.  MCNY is a not-for-profit, accredited, independent college. Full year-round offerings accelerate degree completion, and a unique approach to learning permits close integration of workplace activities and study. MCNY locations are in Soho/Tribeca at 431 Canal Street, New York, NY 10013 and in the Bronx at 529 Courtlandt Ave., Bronx, NY 10451.  For more information on MCNY, visit www.mcny.edu or call 800.33.THINK.

Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) to Move to Two New Campuses

New Bronx and Manhattan Campuses Will Transform College and Local Communities

New York, N.Y. (March 17, 2016) – Beginning in May 2016, Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) will make a stunning transformation, moving the entire college of 1,200 students into two new quarters which the college has purchased. MCNY’s new facilities in the South Bronx and downtown Manhattan’s Financial District will replace existing rented properties and permit the College to improve service to both its students and its communities.

“These moves represent major community investments which will strengthen the long-term institutional and financial stability of the College and support cultural outreach and engagement with local community groups,” said MCNY President Dr. Vinton Thompson.

Scheduled to open in May 2016, the new Manhattan and Bronx locations will provide MCNY with expanded capacity to accommodate additional students and enable current students to take advantage of up-to-date technology and spaces specifically configured to serve changing college needs.

In Manhattan, MCNY has purchased a commercial condominium at 40 Rector Street, with 110,000 sq. ft. of space and a prominent, dedicated entrance on West Street, three blocks south of the World Trade Center. The new space will provide significant advantages including greatly improved transportation options for students and a better location to partner with local businesses and community groups.

The new campus in the Bronx, located at 463 East 149th Street, is part of Triangle Plaza hub, a mixed commercial project that is a centerpiece of new development in the Hub shopping area, the second busiest subway stop in the Bronx.  Having outgrown its existing extension center, MCNY will turn this new 26,000 sq. ft. space into a full branch campus with student and academic support services and library services with the capacity to serve up to 500 students.

The Bronx site will feature seventeen classrooms, 3 computer labs and a multipurpose conference space that will allow the college to host large events and to build neighborhood partnerships; the campus will be an integral part of the local community.

“The completion of our new facilities will help transform MCNY and the communities we serve,” Thompson added, “giving the college enhanced public presence, improved facilities for students and staff, and enormously strengthened possibilities for community outreach and service.”

About Metropolitan College of New York

Audrey Cohen, educational visionary and activist, founded the Women’s Talent Corps in 1964. Through development and training for new professional positions, the Talent Corps created employment for thousands of people. It became The College for Human Services, later Audrey Cohen College, and today Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY). For over 50 years, MCNY has continued the tradition of offering highly motivated learners an education that combines applied skills with professional knowledge to effect personal transformation and positive change in the workplace and community. MCNY is a not-for-profit, accredited, independent college. Full year-round offerings accelerate degree completion, and a unique approach to learning permits close integration of workplace activities and study. MCNY locations are in Soho/Tribeca at 431 Canal Street, New York, NY 10013 and in the Bronx at 529 Courtlandt Ave., Bronx, NY 10451.  For more information on MCNY, visit www.mcny.edu or call 800.33.THINK.

CONTACT:   Brian Franklin, The Wakeman Agency, 703-201-3875, 

MCNY Receives $1.25-Million Grant from State of New York

Funds to be Used for Purchase and Installation of Equipment for its New Manhattan Campus and Bronx Location

New York, N.Y. (February 23, 2016) – Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) has received $1.25 million in a capital grant to complete the equipping of two new locations from the New York State Higher Education Capital (HECap) Matching Grant Program. Funds from the grant will furnish new classrooms, computer labs, libraries, and student supportive services with computers and audiovisual systems.

MCNY’s new facilities in the South Bronx and downtown Manhattan Financial District will replace existing rented properties and permit the College to improve service to both its students and its communities. These moves represent major community investments which will strengthen the long-term institutional and financial stability of the College and support cultural outreach and engagement with local community groups.

“The HECap grant is perfectly timed for the completion of our new facilities which will help transform MCNY and the communities we serve,” said MCNY President Dr. Vinton Thompson, “We are deeply grateful to the State of New York for selecting us for this transformational grant – this award will ensure our new facilities meet the needs of our growing student body.”

Scheduled to open in May 2016, the new Manhattan and Bronx locations will provide MCNY with expanded capacity to accommodate additional students and enable current students to take advantage of up-to-date technology and spaces specifically configured to serve changing college needs. Academic programs have been consolidated and the College will be able to offer full support services and a branch library in the Bronx for the first time.

CONTACT:

Brian Franklin/The Wakeman Agency –  703-201-3875

About Metropolitan College of New York

Audrey Cohen, educational visionary and activist, founded the Women’s Talent Corps in 1964. Through development and training for new professional positions, the Talent Corps created employment for thousands of people. It became The College for Human Services, later Audrey Cohen College, and today Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY). For over 50 years, MCNY has continued the tradition of offering highly motivated learners an education that combines applied skills with professional knowledge to effect personal transformation and positive change in the workplace and community. MCNY is a not-for-profit, accredited, independent college. Full year-round offerings accelerate degree completion, and a unique approach to learning permits close integration of workplace activities and study. MCNY locations are in Soho/Tribeca at 431 Canal Street, New York, NY 10013 and in the Bronx at 529 Courtlandt Ave., Bronx, NY 10451.  For more information on MCNY, visit www.mcny.edu or call 800.33.THINK.

About New York State Higher Education Capital (HECap) Matching Grant Program

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced $35.3 million in grants for capital projects at higher education institutions across the state. This funding is from the Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program (HECap), which provides matching grants to private colleges and universities for the construction, rehabilitation or repair of classrooms, laboratories and other facilities. The program requires grantees to match approximately three dollars for every dollar provided by New York State.  More information can be found here.

Women of Power and Purpose: Public Advocate Letitia James and ABC-TV’s Saundra Thomas Discuss Importance of Higher Ed and Women in Public Service

New York, Tuesday, February 23, 2016— On Thursday, February 25th Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) presents “Women with Power and Purpose,” an MCNY Graduate Info Session featuring guest speakers NYC Public Advocate, Letitia James and Vice President of Community Affairs for ABC-TV, Saundra Thomas. Topics covered during this forum will include: the power of women in public service, the importance of higher education in today’s changing job landscape and finding your purpose within your field of study, career and beyond.

Humphrey Crookendale J.D., Dean of the MCNY School for Public Affairs and Administration
Humphrey Crookendale J.D., Dean of the MCNY School for Public Affairs and Administration

“We are honored to have Saundra Thomas speak, and excited to have Tish James return to MCNY.  These are the kinds of speakers that inspire students.  We look forward to some powerful discussions as both James and Thomas have been serving the community, through government and media, throughout their careers,” says Dean Humphrey Crookendale.

“Women of Power and Purpose” Graduate Info Session will include introductions by MCNY’s President, Dr. Vinton Thompson and Director of Admissions Stephen Ostenorff. The Host Interviewers are Humphrey Crookendale, Dean of MCNY’s School for Public Affairs and Administration and Multi-Media expert and MCNY Professor, Walter Tucker.

Multi-media Expert and Professor, MCNY
Walter Tucker, Multi-media Expert and Professor, MCNY

The event kicks-off promptly at 6pm at MCNY’s Manhattan Campus, 431 Canal Street, NY, NY. Dinner and refreshments will be served.

This event is sponsored by City & State (http://cityandstateny.com).

Media please RSVP to:

Tina Georgiou 646-648-0694

Graduate Applicants please RSVP to:

http://www.whatsyourpurpose.nyc/events/grad-info-session/

About Letitia James

Letitia James, NYC Public Advocate
Letitia James, NYC Public Advocate

Letitia James is the Public Advocate for the City of New York, the second highest ranking elected office in the City. As Public Advocate, she serves as a direct link between New Yorkers and their government, acts as a watchdog over City agencies, and investigates complaints about City services.

Public Advocate James made history in 2014, by becoming the first woman of color to hold citywide office in New York City. In less than two years, Letitia James has transformed the Office of the Public Advocate to deliver real results and reforms for all New Yorkers. Public Advocate James is a strong advocate for criminal justice reform, and led the push for police body-worn cameras in the NYPD. She was one of the first to call for special prosecutors to be used in all cases of police misconduct. Currently, Public Advocate James is leading the fight to reform the grand jury process through litigation to unseal the Eric Garner grand jury minutes.

Whether it’s through her Worst Landlords list, legal action, or pushing for legislation, Public Advocate James is working to protect tenants and affordable housing. She released the Worst Landlords List in October 2014, with significant improvements. She has sued landlords and the City in several cases where tenants were being harassed. And she has been a leading voice in the fight for rent regulation laws at the State level.

Public Advocate James is a graduate of CUNY’s Lehman College and Howard University Law School. She previously served as an Assistant Attorney General, and a public defender. She currently resides in Brooklyn.

About Saundra Thomas

V.P. of Community Affairs, ABC-TV
Saundra Thomas, V.P. of Community Affairs, ABC-TV

Saundra Thomas, Vice-President of Community Affairs at WABC-TV since 2001, has made community service the center of her life. Thomas is nearing her 3rd decade at Channel 7. In her role as Community Affairs director, Saundra Thomas oversees all on-air public service announcements, community outreach and station community projects for the tri-state. As liaison between the public and the station, Thomas recommends news and programming coverage of important local topics, and is responsible for philanthropic endeavors on behalf of the television station.

Thomas has been instrumental in brokering station community-related partnerships with organizations including BRIC (Celebrate Brooklyn), World Science Festival, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Thomas’ leadership has resulted in among other things, the stations commitment to holding town hall style community forums around the tri-state throughout the year. A recent candidate for City Council and an active board member, Thomas has served as a member of Jazz Reach, Global Action Project and Dancewave, is currently a board member of New York Women in Communications, Open House New York, Brooklyn Book Festival and board chair of the Council for Unity. Thomas also sits on the advisory boards of The Grace Institute, Services for the Underserved and the Young Men’s Initiative.

Thomas holds a B.A. in Journalism from Rutgers University and an M.A. in Media Studies from the New School. She is a proud and enthusiastic resident of Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, where she lives with her family.

About Metropolitan College of New York

Audrey Cohen, educational visionary and activist, founded the Women’s Talent Corps in 1964. Through development and training for new professional positions, the Talent Corps created employment for thousands of people. It became The College for Human Services, later Audrey Cohen College, and today Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY). For over 50 years, MCNY has continued the tradition of offering highly motivated learners an education that combines applied skills with professional knowledge to effect personal transformation and positive change in the workplace and community. MCNY is a not-for-profit, accredited, independent college. Full year-round offerings accelerate degree completion, and a unique approach to learning permits close integration of workplace activities and study. MCNY locations are in Soho/Tribeca at 431 Canal Street, New York, NY 10013 and in the Bronx at 529 Courtlandt Ave., Bronx, NY 10451.  For more information on MCNY, visit www.mcny.edu or call 800.333.THINK.

Senator Parker and Assemblymember Wright Address Challenges and Issues Facing the New York City Community

Parker & Wright MCNY Urban Dialogue MCNY Urban Dialogue Forum Sparks Unification

New York, Thursday, November 12 2015 — On Tuesday, November 10, Metropolitan College of New York’s School for Public Affairs and Administration hosted a fall session of the popular speakers’ forum, Urban Dialogues, hosted by Dean Humphrey Crookendale, J.D. featuring New York State Senator Kevin S. Parker and New York State Assemblymember Keith L.T. Wright. The session, titled “Challenges and Issues Facing the New York City Community,” examined topics such as affordable housing, community policing and mass incarceration, gang violence and job creation in local communities.

There is no question that violence in our communities weighs heavily on the thoughts of these leaders. In a pivotal moment during the session, Senator Parker said, “We are in the midst of an epidemic of violence; we are being killed by our children. We need to use the crisis as a jumping‑off point to transform our community. We have to engage our young people in and out of school. We cannot serve young people outside of their families.”

A large part of the discussion centered on mobilizing the community to make a change. The underlying message was “Unification.” Senator Parker advised, “Organize, organize, organize!   You need to see your local elected officials. If you want something to be a priority you need to get others involved and advocate for it.” Assemblymember Wright emphasized that in Albany, they are “working on issues that impact you [constituent
s] every day. You need to know who your representatives are and advocate for your community.”

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Larry Scott Blackmon moderates speakers’ forum with Senator Parker and Assemblymember Wright

 

In the crowded conference center, Larry Scott Blackmon, MCNY MPA alumnus, Professor for the School for Public Affairs and Administration and Vice President of Community and Government Affairs at FreshDirect, addressed students, alumni, faculty and guests while wrapping up the discussion: “If you are mad at your elected officials – it’s your fault; you need to be involved. MCNY expects its graduates to be change agents,” referring to MCNY’s educational philosophy that students understand the purpose for their learning and see the connection between what they are learning in the classroom and their ability to change their lives and the lives of others in a positive way.

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Urban Dialogue is hosted by Humphrey Crookendale, J.D., Dean of the MCNY School for Public Affairs and Administration

Urban Dialogues is a forum in which scholars, legislators, policy makers, students, and citizens exchange ideas and discuss issues and trends that affect New York City and other urban centers across the nation. Topics cover
a spectrum of ideas, theories, and viewpoints that inform and/or influence urban policy.

State Senator Kevin S. Parker was elected to the New York State Senate in 2002. A lifelong resident of Brooklyn, Senator Parker represents the diverse 21st Senatorial District which includes Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace and Park Slope. The five-term Senator is Ranking Member of the Committee on Energy & Telecommunications, and the Committee on Alcoholism & Substance Abuse, and former Chairman of the Legislative Commission on Science and Technology. He is also Chair of the Democratic Task Force on New Americans, a founding member of the New York Caucus of Environmental Legislators, a member of the Bi-Partisan Pro Choice Legislative Caucus, and a member of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus.

State Assemblymember Keith L.T. Wright was first elected to the 70th Assembly District in 1992. Since then, he has earned a reputation for getting results for his constituents and for improving the quality of life for New Yorkers. Over the years, he has chaired several standing committees in the Assembly among them; election law, social services, labor and his current chairmanship, of the housing committee. He is a true champion for civil rights and social justice having also sponsored key legislation including bills to: create affordable housing; raise the minimum wage and to strengthen the state’s wage and hour laws to provide essential protections for hardworking New Yorkers. As chair of the Harlem Community Development Corporation (CDC), Assemblymember Wright has leveraged limited resources to make a substantial, tangible impact on economic development in Harlem, developing and renovating properties to create affordable housing, grow small businesses, increase services for children and seniors and expand cultural venues.

About Metropolitan College of New York

Audrey Cohen, educational visionary and activist, founded the Women’s Talent Corps in 1964. Through development and training for new professional positions, the Talent Corps created employment for thousands of people. It became The College for Human Services, later Audrey Cohen College, and today Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY).  For over 50 years, MCNY has continued the tradition of offering highly motivated learners an education that combines applied skills with professional knowledge to effect personal transformation and positive change in the workplace and community. MCNY is a not-for-profit, accredited, independent college. Full year-round offerings accelerate degree completion, and a unique approach to learning permits close integration of workplace activities and study. MCNY is conveniently located in Soho/Tribeca at 431 Canal Street, New York, NY 10013 and in the Bronx at 529 Courtlandt Ave Bronx, NY 10451.  For more information on MCNY, visit www.mcny.edu or call 800.33.THINK.

CONTACT:  Tina Georgiou 646-648-0694 or