Faculty Attending BCC’s “Faculty Day” Explore the Issues and Challenges of Social Justice
Every year the faculty of BCC devote a day to exploring the issues, challenges and techniques of their craft. The theme of the 2019 Faculty Day, held on Friday, April 12, was “Social Justice and the Community College.” An array of panels and presentations and workshops considered the questions of how to incorporate social justice into teaching, research and service and how social justice initiatives can best be implemented at BCC.
The day began at Meister Hall’s Schwendler Auditorium with words of greeting from President Thomas A. Isekenegbe. “The heart and soul of any educational institution is its faculty. Day in, day out, you are in the trenches, working with our students. To have a faculty day in which we all come together to share ideas makes BCC even better.”
The keynote speaker was Cheryl Wilkins, Senior Director of Education and Programs at Columbia University’s Center for Justice, where she works to reduce the nation’s reliance on incarceration. Following a shirt film featuring formerly incarcerated men and women who transformed their lives through education, Ms. Williams’ moving address drew on both her experiences as an educator and her own time behind bars. She grew up blocks from Bronx Community College and attended BCC, leading her to observe “What does the word community mean? Yes, it’s a place that we come from. But it’s also a place we can become. A family. BCC is a family to me. And we all have a shared responsibility as a family to take care of one another.” The assembled faculty then left to discuss just how to do that in the classrooms of North Hall and Library.