A nice story about the forum was recently published on the Teachers College website. Click the headline or the link below for the full story.
“Today I sentenced five young men, ages 14 to 15, who had committed some serious, gun-related offenses. With permission from the defense counsel, I spoke with one young man about personal things, like the fact that his best friend had been shot and killed. His father was there as well. So when I adjudicate to protect the community, that means not only protecting victims of gun violence, but also including the voices of people like this young man and his father, who also are victims.”
Edwina Richardson-Mendelson, Judge for the New York County Criminal Supreme Term and Bronx County Family Court, was addressing a rapt audience at “Youth and Wellbeing in an Age of Mass Incarceration,” a forum held in late August by Teachers College’s Civic Participation Project (CPP).
CPP was created by three TC professors – Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Laura Smith and Lalitha Vasudevan – to, in their words, “provide safe and brave spaces to discuss issues related to social justice and equity for young people in schools, address the palpable effects of social exclusion and the need for increased opportunities for democratic and civic participation” and “resonate with calls to action raised by the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.” But its broader agenda, said Sealey-Ruiz, Associate Professor of English Education, is “to disrupt the academy by opening up a space for people to be who they are and want to be, and to look each other in the eye and affirm one another’s humanity.”