Eyes on Her Future, a Fellow Reflects on an Inspirational Trip

Recent Center graduate Emie Lomba writes about a past trip to meet General Colin Powell and her plans for a future in education.

emie-lomba-colin-powell-fellow-center
Emie Lomba at a meeting with General Powell. Photo: Sirin Samman

In October, 32 fellows of the Colin Powell Program in Leadership and Public Service traveled to Washington, D.C. There, they met with General Colin L. Powell and attended presentations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Center for a New American Security. Afterward, fellow Emie Lomba reflected on what she learned during the trip, and how to apply it to her life. Today, she is drawing on those lessons as she prepares for a future beyond the Center.

November 2011 – The road to success is bumpy, so we have to hold on tight, develop a sense of discipline, and keep persevering. These were the words of General Colin L. Powell’s that I took to heart during our small group conversation with him. Drawing from his life stories, General Powell demonstrated that aspiring leaders have to be ambitious, open to new experiences, hungry for knowledge, and most important, humble. We must always remember, he told us, that success needs to be shared. Continue reading “Eyes on Her Future, a Fellow Reflects on an Inspirational Trip”

Service-Learning Students Compete in an “Apprentice”-Themed Showdown

“The Client Pitch” was a celebratory and competitive event, the culmination of the the final course in the Advertising and Public Relations (Ad/PR) program at City College.

ccny-powell-center-hic-client-pitch
The teams field questions from the judges after their presentations. Photo: Alex Davies

“It’s like ‘The Apprentice’,” explained Nancy Tag, chair of the Media & Communication Arts Department at City College—except for the lack of cameras and Donald Trump. “The Client Pitch” on May 16 was a celebratory and competitive event, the culmination of the capstone course in CCNY’s Advertising and Public Relations (Ad/PR) program, a service-learning course sponsored by the Colin Powell Center. Continue reading “Service-Learning Students Compete in an “Apprentice”-Themed Showdown”

General Powell Visits CCNY to Promote His New Book

For the first signing of his new book, General Colin Powell came home to the university that educated him.

colin powell worked for me book signing
General Colin Powell came to CCNY to sign his new book, It Worked for Me. Photo: Tito Nandi

On Tuesday, General Colin L. Powell, founder of the Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service, visited City College for a signing of his new book, It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership. The signing drew City College students, faculty, alumni and community members.

In the book, a follow up to Powell’s My American Journey (1995), the former Secretary of State recounts meetings with foreign leaders, his time in the military, childhood moments and other life lessons and stories. These parables- by turns funny, touching, and inspiring- tell the story behind Powell’s “13 Rules”.

Continue reading “General Powell Visits CCNY to Promote His New Book”

Mara Salva-Truce-A: El Salvadoran Gangs Broker Tentative Peace

The most significant story in Central America right now is also the most underreported. El Salvador, the tiniest country in the land belt connecting North and South America, has long suffered socioeconomic violence—first in its civil war during the 1980s, then in the period of organized crime’s rising power in the 1990s, and most recently under the mano dura years of conservative authoritarianism—largely in answer to the growing influence of transnational criminal gangs in the 2000s. But since the start of May, El Salvador’s murder rate—by some estimates, the highest in the world in 2011—has dropped by nearly 66 percent, the result of a truce between the country’s two leading gangs (or maras, as they are popularly known) that was brokered in March by religious and government representatives and deepened by gang leaders on May 2.

A member of the Mara Salvatrucha gang displays his tattoos inside the Chelatenango prision in El Salvador. Photo by Moisen Saman, courtesy of Sony World Photograpy Award 2008
A Mara Salvatrucha gang member displays his tattoos inside the Chelatenango prison in El Salvador. Photo by Moisen Saman, courtesy of Sony World Photography Award 2008/Creative Commons

The most significant story in Central America right now is also the most underreported. El Salvador, the tiniest country in the land belt connecting North and South America, has long suffered socioeconomic violence—first in its civil war during the 1980s, then in the period of organized crime’s rising power in the 1990s, and most recently under the mano dura years of conservative authoritarianism—largely in answer to the growing influence of transnational criminal gangs in the 2000s. But since the start of May, El Salvador’s murder rate—by some estimates, the highest in the world in 2011has dropped by nearly 66 percent, the result of a truce between the country’s two leading gangs (or maras, as they are popularly known) that was brokered in March by religious and government representatives and deepened by gang leaders on May 2.

Continue reading “Mara Salva-Truce-A: El Salvadoran Gangs Broker Tentative Peace”

College Access Advocacy: the Bridge Builders Forum at John Jay College

Partners for Change Coordinator Sophie Gray attended the Bridge Builders Forum at John Jay College of Criminal Justice to support the Partners for Change fellows in their College Access and Success advocacy event. Listening to the panelists of one workshop, “Envisioning my future: Panel of Professionals,” Sophie saw the theme of the benefits of volunteering emerging as the panelists spoke about their career trajectories. The day was also a testimony to the College Access Fellows’ upbeat attitude and the possibility of concrete solutions to the problems and root causes of a lack of equitable college access for all.

The 2012 College Access Fellows of the Center's Partners for Change program
The Center’s 2011-2012 College Access Fellows (from left): Shodan Rodney, Cyndi Gonzalez, Whitley Jackson, and Stephanie Guzmán.

Last Saturday, I attended the second annual Bridge Builders Forum at John Jay College of Criminal Justice to support the Partners for Change Fellows in their College Access and Success advocacy event. As I entered the sun-soaked new building at John Jay, I was pleased to see two bright-eyed and smiling Partners for Change Fellows registering and welcoming students and families to the event. During their eight month tenure with Partners for Change, the College Access and Success Fellows studied and provided service to local nonprofit organizations that tackle issues of low academic achievement, lack of college information, retention and attrition rates, and insufficient advising, among other root causes. Continue reading “College Access Advocacy: the Bridge Builders Forum at John Jay College”

Powell Leadership Fellow Wins Fulbright Scholarship

Leadership Fellow Humaira Hansrod, a native of native of Maurititus who moved to Queens as a young teenager, has won a Fulbright Scholarship for 2012–2013, which will enable her to examine support for women’s economic empowerment in the Middle East country of Oman. Here she discusses her Fulbright project and its evolution.

Humaira Hansrod, Fulbright Scholarship winner
Humaira Hansrod at the Powell Fellowship end-of-year ceremony. Photo: Joshua P. Kristal

Winning a Fulbright Scholarship for 2012–2013 will enable Humaira Hansrod to examine support for women’s economic empowerment in the Middle East country of Oman. Humaira, a native of Maurititus who moved to Queens as a young teenager, will graduate from the Macaulay Honors College at CCNY in May with a double major in political science and economics. The Center spoke with her recently about her project and its evolution. Continue reading “Powell Leadership Fellow Wins Fulbright Scholarship”

8 Presentations on Improving Heart Health in Harlem

Heart-2-Heart, a conference that brought together medical practitioners, educators, community members and others to work on reducing the devastating rates of heart attacks and strokes in Harlem and New York City. Here are seven presentations from the day’s events.

harlem-heart-health-women-heart-attack-symptoms
Patricia Butts, first lady of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church a co-presenter describe the symptoms of hearts attacks in women with a memorable song. Photo: Joshua P. Kristal

On May 2, the Colin Powell Center hosted Heart-2-Heart: Improving Heart Health in Harlem and Winning the Million Hearts Campaign. The conference brought together medical practitioners, educators, community professionals and other influencers in Upper Manhattan to work on reducing the devastating rates of heart attacks and strokes in Harlem and New York City. Alwyn Cohall, M.D., director of the Harlem Health Promotion Center and a New York Life leader in residence, conceived and co-planned the event, working closely with Center deputy director Nora Heaphy. Partners included regional administrators at Health and Human Services. For those who couldn’t make it or it would like to take a look back at the conference, we’ve compiled eight presentations from the day’s events. Continue reading “8 Presentations on Improving Heart Health in Harlem”

Coming to Terms with Calderón’s Crackdown on Cartels

To claim that Mexico faces a stark choice between acquiescence, on the one hand, and a continuation of Calderón’s mano dura (“tough hand”) militarism, on the other, is wrong.

felipe calderon president mexico war drugs
Some claim that Mexico must choose between acquiescence to drug cartles and a continuation the “tough hand” militarism of Mexican president Felipe Calderón (left). Photo: Agencia Brasilia / Creative Commons

This article was originally published by Dissent magazine on May 11, 2012.

With Mexico’s presidential elections just around the corner, questions about the country’s future—and its bloody war on drugs—hang heavy in the air. The new issue of Foreign Affairs features a brief argument from Robert Bonner addressing this uncertainty, and offers a spirited defense of Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s fight against the country’s narcotraffickers. Bonner, former administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency and commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is hardly a stranger to the drug-fueled violence and corruption ravaging Mexico. The effects have been devastating: anywhere between 45,000 and 67,000 people have been murdered since Calderón’s efforts began; the country’s alphabet soup of local, state, and federal security and judicial organs have been largely crippled by graft; and the power of the so-called “Mexican cartels” seems to have metastasized within and beyond Mexico’s borders. Continue reading “Coming to Terms with Calderón’s Crackdown on Cartels”