Addressing the growing social, economic, and political inequality gaps in the United States’ most impoverished urban communities, Rutgers–Camden will host the free public Symposia on Urban Poverty and Inequality series February through April.
The symposia series, which are free of charge and open to the general public, will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room on the main level of the Campus Center, located on Third Street, between Cooper Street and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on the Rutgers–Camden campus.
This series will bring together scholars, policymakers, and practitioners to address the problem of growing inequality and its serious ramifications in the United States.
“America is at a crossroads and how it addresses these issues will determine its future domestically and globally,” says Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Rutgers–Camden. “The four symposia in this series will each address a particular element of this critical issue.”The first installment, “Inequality, and The Achievement Gap: Challenges in Higher Education,” will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4.
Felix Matos Rodriguez, president of Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, will lead a discussion on the social and educational challenges facing higher education, including one of its most urgent issues – how to improve educational outcomes for Latino and African American students so that the population of college graduates is more closely aligned to changing demographic trends. Rodriguez will pay particular attention to Latino and African-American access and the existing frames of diversity, deﬁcit, and equity.
President of Hostos since 2009, Rodriguez also serves as a professor of Black and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies at Hunter College, teaching courses on Caribbean, Latin American, and Latino history. He has also served as director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter, one of the largest and most important Latino research centers in the nation. Rodriguez has received a number of awards for his excellence in educational leadership and community service.
Trained as a social scientist, Rodriguez previously held leadership positions in foundations, universities, policy centers, and branches of government, in which he combined his scholarship with social policy, advocacy, and change. A former Secretary of the Department of the Family for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Rodriguez formulated public policy and administered service delivery in the following programs: Child Support Enforcement, Adoption and Foster Care, Child and Elderly Protection, Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Child Care, and Head Start.
The remaining symposia are as follows:
“Poverty, Race and Educational Inequality: Implications for Policy and Practice” will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Feb. 19. This symposium will address poverty, race, and educational inequality, as a panel discusses the implications for policy and practice in the K-12 sector.
Speakers will be Arcelio Aponte, president of the New Jersey State Board of Education; Eric Lerum, vice president of national policy for Students First; and James Jennings, a professor in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University.
“Youth, Civil Unrest, and the Fate of Urban America: Addressing Urban Violence” will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, April 2. This symposium will look at urban violence and youth, as the panel discusses how the Cradle to Prison and Grave paradigm can be shifted to one that leads to college, career, and prosperity.
Speakers will be Heather Thompson, an associate professor in the departments of African American Studies and History at Temple University; Scott P. Charles, MAPP director and trauma outreach coordinator for Cradle to Grave at Temple University Hospital; and Amy Goldberg, section chief of trauma and surgical critical care at Temple University Hospital.
“Immigration Policy and Reform: The Imperative for Creating Pathways to Citizenship and Prosperity” will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, April 22. This final symposium will address immigration reform and the policy imperatives to providing pathways for citizenships for thousands of undocumented residents.
Speakers will be Clarissa Martinez, director of civic engagement and immigration for the National Council of La Raza; Linda S. Bosniak, a distinguished professor at Rutgers School of Law–Camden; and Marisol Conde-Hernandez, co-founder of the New Jersey DREAM Act Coalition at Rutgers–Newark.
The symposia series is co-sponsored by the Community Leadership Center and the Department Of Public Policy and Administration at Rutgers–Camden. Registration is required. To register, contact Ana Rivera at 856-225-6348.
For directions to Rutgers–Camden, visit camden.rutgers.edu/resources/getting-to-campus.