Panel discussion on "Race in the Everyday" for the Rostrum series during Bard College's Language and Thinking Program.
How do we understand race in contemporary America, not only in light of the violence that has (finally) caught national headlines, but in terms of our own communities? What can 'change-making' or political action look like in our own neighborhood and local institutions? And how do we understand our own participation in relation to larger movements that are focused on racially-motivated violence, police brutality, and widespread social injustice? This panel of community leaders and experts from the region will address these questions with an emphasis on practical activity and student involvement.
ANGELA ARMSTRONG is an assistant principal at Kingston High School. She received her undergraduate degree in education with a concentration in special education from Michigan State University. She holds a Masters in Human Resource Development from American International College and a license in Administration from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She is certified as a School District Administrator. She was an adjunct professor at SUNY New Paltz for 5 years in the Department of Black Studies. This September she will begin her 32nd year in education. She is the single mother of one son, Jurrel.
MICAH BLUMENTHAL, born of an African American mother and Jewish father in 1975 and raised in Mt. Vernon, NY, has called Kingston home for the past 6 years of his 40 years on this planet. In this time he has grounded himself in the community both personally and professionally as being co-owner of CIXdesigns, a web and graphic design company that works primarily with local businesses and organizations, as well as being a yoga teacher at Mudita Yoga Center, a board member of CCE (Center for Creative Education) working with youth and drumming in P.O.O.K. (Percussion Orchestra of Kingston), a helping hand at the Uptown Farmers Market for Freebird Farms (come say “Hi!” on Saturdays), Rocket Scientist for the O+ Festival, and organizer of Day 1 - an annual New Years Day walk celebrating what unites us, as a response to the current discord - he is dedicated to creating positive change in his community. Most of all though, he is a happy father of two. This all plays a part in his political views and social activism.
ALEXANDRA COX is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at SUNY New Paltz, where she runs the department’s concentration in criminology. She received her Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Cambridge. Her research is about the governance of youth crime, racism and mass incarceration, and rural imprisonment. She is currently writing a book, to be published by Rutgers University Press, about a group of young people making their way through New York’s criminal justice system. Prior to receiving her Ph.D., she worked at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem as a sentencing mitigation specialist and at the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of Legal Affairs. She is a former Gates Cambridge scholar and a Soros Justice Advocacy fellow. She also serves on the board of Literacy for Incarcerated Teens (which builds libraries and supports author visits in juvenile facilities), Drama Club (which conducts theater workshops inside of juvenile facilities) and is a member of the Prison Voices Project media collective.
CEDRIC FULTON is the Deputy Director of the Staley B. Keith Social Justice Center, a grassroots, non-profit organization leading a movement for racial justice in Hudson, NY. Cedrick is a lifelong resident of Hudson, dedicated to empowering young black men and women to resist the marginalization of their communities. He is also an organizer, educator, writer, speaker and a devoted father of two. Formerly incarcerated, his work comes from his own lived experiences of systemic injustice with an intimate understanding of the institutions most impacting peoples' lives. He holds an A.A.S. from Bronx Community College, and a degree in Political Science from Framingham State. In addition to his work with the Staley B. Keith Social Justice Center, Cedrick has worked with ReEntry Columbia, Kite's Nest, the Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood, and a wide range of individuals and organizations working together to create long-term, transformative change.
NINA DAWSON, was born and raised in Kingston, NY. She attended the University at Albany and SUNY New Paltz where she studied political science. She has worked extensively in the field of healthcare and is presently the Credentials Coordinator for HealthAlliance Hospitals. She serves locally on the boards of Community Development, Human Rights, and Kingston Recreation and is currently running for Alderwoman in Kingston’s 4th Ward.