The Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College (CLSJ) is New York State’s only racial justice law center with an explicit mandate to advocate on behalf of New Yorkers of African descent and the disenfranchised. As part of our racial justice advocacy initiatives, CLSJ worked in conjunction with Educated Voter, the Medgar Evers College Public Administration Department (ranked 8th in the nation!) and the DuBois Bunche Center for Public Policy at Medgar Evers College to develop a training program for newly elected leaders in the New York City Council to understand how to more effectively represent the specific needs and concerns of Black New Yorkers.
This 2-day session is designed to ensure that newly elected NYC Council Members are aware of how structural inequities can be managed such that the most vulnerable New Yorkers are equitably represented.
The February 4th Session will cover the following topics:
- Session A: The NYC Racial Justice Commission Explained: Cultivating a Racial Justice Lens for Leadership
- Presenter: Lurie Daniel Favors, Executive Director, Center for Law and Social Justice & Commissioner, NYC Racial Justice Commission
- Session B: Culturally Responsive Constituent Services & Agency Oversight
- Presenter: Nicole Yearwood, Founder Educated Voter
- Session C: People of African Descent in New York City: A Communities of Interest Report
- Presenter: Zulema Blair, PhD, Chair, Public Administration Department, Medgar Evers College
- Session D: Council Finance and City Budgeting
- Presenter: John H. Banks, REBNY President Emeritus
For many New Yorkers, the legislative process is one that contains the promise of effective governance forging a path towards a more just and equitable distribution of resources and political power.
Unfortunately, as noted by the New York City Racial Justice Commission, for Black New Yorkers, the legislative process is also replete with “…structural and institutional laws, regulations, policies, and practices that by design, implementation, or impact, enable and perpetuate inequitable power, access and opportunity.”
The “inequitable power, access and opportunity” noted by the Racial Justice Commission, is distributed or withheld based on race.
For Black New Yorkers, it does not matter if this City Council is one of the most diverse or representative in history. Unless city council members are specifically prepared to navigate the inherent structural inequities built into the legislative process, the diversity of the council – and the potential it represents – will fail to translate into meaningful and substantive change for the New Yorkers who need it most. Legislators must understand the institutional and structural challenges facing Black New Yorkers and other communities of color in order to effectively mitigate these factors in their work. This 2-day program is designed to do just that. For more information, visit the eventbrite link here.