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As New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives, Dr. J. Phillip Thompson’s portfolio runneth over. It includes the Department of Youth and Community Development; the Department of Small Business Services; the Commission on Human Rights; the Department of Veterans’ Services; the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. He also oversees New York City’s signature Pre-K for All program, its investment in minority and women-owned businesses and the Mayor’s comprehensive strategy to improve the way the city carries out elections.

In addition to all of that, his bailiwick now encompasses The City University of New York, which is what brought the Deputy Mayor to BCC on a very brisk March 12.He met with President Thomas A. Isekenegbe to build a relationship with the BCC leadership team and discuss opportunities for partnership.

Dr. Thompson shared some of his thoughts with ON CAMPUS:

“I came hoping to better understand the mission of Bronx Community College and I really learned a lot about what BCC is doing, both in training people for vocational careers and training people for an academic degree. I think there’s a great team here and students who represent the diversity of not only the city but the world.”

“We’re on the verge of two revolutions. One is a revolution in technology, which is going to affect all work and how we live, and the other is climate change, in which we are going to have to retrofit and rebuild much of New York. We must prepare the workforce in the city for this future and BCC can and should be a leader in that.”

“I taught at MIT for 18 years and one of things I think people misunderstand about technology is that it is only as good as the inventiveness of its creators.”

“Black people, Latino people, Asian people and women missed the Industrial revolution. We were either on a plantation or locked in the kitchen doing dishes. We can’t afford to miss the green revolution or the technological revolution. We have to make sure that the people of the Bronx are right in the middle of everything.”

A tour of the historic campus concluded the visit, the first step in what promises to be a productive collaboration.

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