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DOES THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM DISCRIMINATE AGAINST PEOPLE OF COLOR AND THE WORKING CLASS?

AN OPEN PANEL DISCUSSION PRESENTED BY
THE HOSTOS CRIMINAL JUSTICE CLUB, THE BLACK MALE INITIATIVE,
AND THE BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE DEPARTMENT

Monday, April 16, 2012 (Bronx, NY) – On Wednesday, April 18th the Hostos Criminal Justice Club, the Black Male Initiative, and the Behavioral and Social Science Department of Hostos Community College will host a panel discussion titled, Does The Criminal Justice System Discriminate Against People Of Color And The Working Class? The discussion will be moderated by Assistant Professor Howard Jordan, who will speak with distinguished guest panelists Calvin Smiley, Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Hostos Professor Hector Soto.

The panel discussionwill take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the C-Building room C-39.

Assistant Professor Howard Jordan says, “The criminal justice system is a barometer of the condition of our democracy.  Our panel of experts will seek to examine ‘stop and frisk’ policies, mass prison incarceration of Black and/or Latinos, and violence in today's schools towards understanding the race and class biases of the structure.  Maybe through a cross-fertilization of ideas between students and faculty we can help our communities put the word justice back in the criminal justice system.” Jordan added, “We are thrilled to be partnering up once again with the Behavioral and Social Science Department, and The Black Male Initiative at our college and with John Jay College of Criminal Justice with the goal of informing our college community how pivotal it is for us to rise as one. It’s time for us to take a stand and discuss this reality we read and hear about in the news.”

Calvin Smiley, Criminology Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said, “I'm thrilled to be partnering with Hostos for this initiative. A criminal justice system and more specifically a prison system speaks a lot about the culture of that society.”

Harry Copson, President of the Hostos Criminal Justice Club, and Avery Toledo, Vice President of the Hostos Criminal Justice Club, worked arduously to bring the panel discussionto the Hostos campus.

Harry Copson, a student at Hostos Community College, is majoring in public administration and recently made the Dean’s List. Copson is also the president of the Criminal Justice Club at the College. His community service includes volunteering at the City Council. Copson is a resident of the Bronx.

Avery Toledo is a student at Hostos Community College majoring in criminal justice. Avery is an ASAP student who recently made the Dean’s List. Toledo is the vice president of the Criminal Justice Club. Avery is a resident of the Bronx.

About the Panelists

Howard Jordan is an Assistant Professor for the City University of New York at Hostos Community College where he teaches courses concerning the law, policing-law enforcement within the United States, and the US criminal justice system.  He is also the host of the Jordan Journal on WBAI radio, a current event driven program that is committed to a cross-fertilization of ideas between people of color and the progressive community in the United States.

Calvin John Smiley is a 3rd year doctoral candidate in the sociology department of The Graduate Center-CUNY. His academic interests are: race, crime, communities, and citizenship. He holds a B.A. in Africana studies & political science as well as an M.A. in political science, both from Lehigh University. He also has an M. Phil. in sociology from the Graduate Center. Calvin is currently working on his dissertation proposal, which explores the effects of civil death on communities of color. Beyond academic interests, Calvin was a Division I swimmer in college and is a member of the prestigious historically Black fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Inc. Professor Smiley is a resident of New York.

Hector W. Soto is Substitute Assistant Professor for the City University of New York at Hostos Community College where he teaches courses concerning the law, policing-law enforcement within the United States, and the US criminal justice system. Soto was the first Director of New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board after its re-invention as an all civilian, non-NYPD agency in 1993. He was also the first Latino Director of Philadelphia’s police department oversight agency, the Police Advisory Commission, where he served for more than six years. Professor Soto is a resident of the Bronx.

Contact Information
Harry Copson
Email: hcjclub@gmail.com

Avery Toledo
Email: averytoledo@hotmail.com

Howard Jordan
hjordan@hostos.cuny.edu

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, part of The City University of New York (CUNY) system, was founded in 1968.  In addition to associate degree programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions, Hostos also has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies that offers courses for professional development and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. In four decades, Hostos has grown from a class of 623 in the fall of 1970 to the spring 2012 enrollment of over 7,000 students.  The college also serves an additional 10,000 students through its Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies. For more news and stories about Hostos Community College, visit www.hostos.cuny.edu.

Media Contact:
Soldanela Rivera - srlopez@hostos.cuny.edu
Phone: 718-518-6872 or 917-627-9097

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