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This series highlights prominent researchers and advocates from a range of disciplinary backgrounds relevant to Steinhardt program areas representing the most critical of social issues in the United States and abroad.  The goal of the speaker series is to bring critical issues of under-served communities to the forefront of discussion for the Steinhardt community. Each academic year, topics such as immigration policy; disability rights; special education; Stop and Frisk; the historical assessment of progress on the 400th anniversary of arrival of the first Africans in Virginia, and more.

Distinguished Speakers

From Behind the Bridge to The Impossible Dream

Hosted by the NYU Steinhardt Office of Faculty Diversity & Development and NYU Steinhardt Music Education program, Music Education alumnus Akini Gill (’14) discusses his memoir, From Behind the Bridge to the Impossible Dream. Mr. Gill chronicles his journey from Trinidad and Tobago to academic excellence at New York University as an individual with multiple learning disabilities. A gifted steel pan player, he tells a story of love, unyielding grit, faith, and hope.

Of The White Lion and The Mayflower:Two Ships that Shaped 400 Years of Race Relations in America

On the 400th anniversary of people of African descent in America (1619-2019), few people know the name of the ship that brought the first Africans to what would become the United States of America. In this lecture, Dr. Chris Span names and details the wayward journey of this ship to colonial America. It illustrates how the introduction of Africans in America shaped and reshaped race relations in the United States.

Motherhood Across Borders

While we have an incredible amount of statistical information about immigrants coming in and out of the United States, we know very little about how migrant families stay together and raise their children. Focusing on Mexican women who migrate to New York City and leave children behind, Gabrielle Oliviera examines parenting from afar, as well as the ways in which separated siblings cope with different experiences across borders. In She uncovers the far-reaching effects of maternal migration that influences both the children who accompany their mothers to New York City, and those who remain in Mexico.