Ten Ways the Black Community and Their Allies Can Transmute Pain Into Power

In the coming days after the Zimmerman not guilty verdict, many will cry, some will wallow in despair and disbelief while others will take to the streets.

Million Hoodies protest in NYC, Union Square
Million Hoodies protest in NYC, Union Square

by Kanene Holder 

[Former Colin Powell Fellow and activist Kanene Holder wrote the following piece for the Huffington Post days after the George Zimmerman verdict was handed down. It can be read as both a manifesto and a balm for wounds that run deep through many Americans.] 

“You were born into a society which spelled out with brutal clarity and in as many ways as possible that you were a worthless human being.” — James Baldwin

Hang onto the world as it spins around
Just don’t let the spin get you down…..
Keep on walking tall, hold your head up high
And lay your dreams right up to the sky……. 
Donny Hathaway

In the coming days after the Zimmerman not guilty verdict, many will cry, some will wallow in despair and disbelief while others will take to the streets. In each instance, we are forming a more perfect union as we realize that #ajmia — American Justice is MISSING in Action. We realize we can no longer satiate our humanity in the trivialities of Twitter followers and Instagram likes. We are searching for justice, as we pursue happiness.

Continue reading “Ten Ways the Black Community and Their Allies Can Transmute Pain Into Power”

Soldier or Civilian, I’m Living a Life of Service

Ed. Note: This summer, we launched the Powell Center in Washington program. Ten CCNY students are sharing housing in Washington, D.C., as they intern at organizations like the Center for American Progress, Powell Tate, the Washington Center, and in government offices such as the U.S. Department of State and the Office of Legislative Affairs. We’ve asked them to give us updates on their experiences and consider their own personal stake in the work. We will be posting their responses throughout the coming weeks. Our first post comes from Samuel Innocent, who is interning at the National Disability Rights Network. ]

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by Samuel Innocent, president of the City College Veterans Association and a Colin Powell Fellow (as told to and edited by Amanda Krupman)

[Ed. Note: This summer, we launched the Powell Semester in Washington program. Ten CCNY students are sharing housing in Washington, D.C., as they intern at organizations including the Center for American Progress, Powell Tate, and the Washington Center, and in government offices such as the U.S. Department of State and the Office of Legislative Affairs. We’ve asked them to give us updates on their experiences and consider their personal stake in the work. We will be posting their responses throughout the coming weeks. Our first post comes from Samuel Innocent, who is interning at the National Disability Rights Network. ]

Interning with the National Disability Rights Network [NDRN] this summer is an opportunity to expand my involvement with veteran rights, as the organization seeks to expand its veteran outreach program. As a veteran myself, helping disabled vets come back from war and the service is a near and dear topic: These are alpha males and females, once in the best shape of their lives, who now have to adapt their lives to their disabilities.

Continue reading “Soldier or Civilian, I’m Living a Life of Service”

The Case for Public-Private Partnerships

Rockefeller State Park is a diamond hidden to most New Yorkers who either forget it is there or who have never heard of it. In this way, it’s a lot like City College. And, like City College, Rockefeller State Park offers each person who enters it an experience unique to him or her.

Park trail. Courtesy Creative Commons. Photo by SeeAnnarun

by Dee Dee Mozeleski, Director of Development, Colin L. Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership

I went for a five mile run on Sunday.

As someone who has worked in education or philanthropy for over twenty years, I’ve learned to listen to the call of my feet hitting the pavement when I need to go out and think. I am a slow runner, in fact, I assume that when I run, I see more than the faster runners do. On Sunday I saw chipmunks, toads, a swan and her babies, a turtle on a rock, and, and when I stopped for a breather, two cows Suzie and Belle—IDed by their ear tags.

Where can someone who lives in Yonkers, New York’s fourth largest city, run and not see a single car or hear the wailing of a siren? Rockefeller State Park in Westchester County. Continue reading “The Case for Public-Private Partnerships”