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.”
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.
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.
Metropolitan College of New York was founded by Audrey Cohen, educational visionary and activist who established 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 adult learners an education that combines applied skills and 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