12 Years a Slave and The Roots of Institutional Oppression

Dear  BMI colleagues,

In his article, How Slavery Feeds Today’s Racism, from today’s online edition of THE ROOT, Tufts University History Professor Peniel Jospeh explains how the film 12 Years a Slave exposes why the stubborn roots of institutional oppression refuse to die.  You may remember that Professor Joseph was one of the keynote speakers at our Fifth Annual CUNY BMI Conference, The Politics of Progress from Abolitionist Frederick Douglass to President Barack Obama, held at LaGuardia Community College in October 2010. 

To read Professor Joseph’s article, please visit:



The College-to-Career Path: Top 7 Ways to Make It Happen by Dr. Cantarella

Far too many college students think that preparing for a career starts the second semester of their senior year with a trip to their career services office. Many others never even make use of this crucial campus resource, believing that good grades are all they need to get a job after graduation.


Although earning a high GPA in a major that suits your strengths and interests is a good start on the college-to-career pathway, in today’s tough economy, good grades are not enough. Here are some steps that you should be taking as early as your freshman year to ensure that your job search will be successful:


Visit the career office.
Ideally, you should start tapping into the resources offered by your career office as a freshman or sophomore. This will help you discover a career path that you will enjoy and give you time to build your resume with experiences that support that path. The career office will also review your resume and cover letter, so when the time comes, you can be ready to submit applications.

Do your research.
Don’t wait until after graduation to begin your job search. Researching career options throughout your college career will help you to understand what is expected of you within various careers, determine which jobs are in high demand, and learn about industry trends, such as which business firms are strong and which are faltering. Use the library for books, articles, publications, blogs, and websites on various career paths.
When the time comes to begin applying for jobs, keep an eye on all kinds of websites, want ads, and job boards. Use the job boards on campus or online and the listings your school offers. They can help you target your search and be more knowledgeable for your interviews, which will be essential to getting that job.

It has been said that up to 85 percent of jobs are found through personal contacts. So whenever you get a chance to talk to someone about your career interests, do it. Talk to your instructors or administrators who know you. Have conversations with a regular customer at your part-time Dunkin’ Donuts job who works in your field of interest, or make more formal contacts through social networking sites such as LinkedIn. Reach out in whatever ways you can.

Engage in extracurricular activities.
Extracurriculars reveal you as a leader—a caring, thoughtful, creative, and engaged person. If you can manage to keep a high GPA, hold a job or internship, and be involved in clubs or activities, that shows that you know how to manage time and multitask. It is also another route to building connections and supporters.

Attend campus events.
Watch for Career Week events, job fairs, and other special presentations on campus given by alumni or others in your field of interest. They can offer valuable information on what it’s like to be in various fields and provide opportunities to network.

Get an internship.
Evidence shows that internships are key to career readiness. They allow you to test the waters in a field of interest, build a resume, and build your networks. The career office can help you find internships, and you may also find opportunities through campus organizations and members of your department.

Request informational interviews.
Look for an alumni network or mentor program on campus that facilitates networking and informational interviews. Contact local businesses and organizations, and ask if someone in your area of interest would be willing to meet with you. Informational interviews give you the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about a career path from people actually working in the industry. This type of interview is specifically meant to gain information and broaden your network, so you can make better career choices and be better prepared when it’s time for actual job interviews.


Getting a job after college involves work and planning. You need to make it part of your entire college experience and build toward it as you go. Every experience and every encounter matters. You might not start out at your dream job right away, but if you follow the steps above, you will have a much greater chance of finding yourself on the path to a career you will love.

– See more at: http://www.collegecountdown.com/blog/college/the-college-to-career-path-top-7-ways-to-make-it-happen.html#sthash.60xnF4sb.dpuf

Academic Support Tools by Lerone Savage

Black Male Initiative (BMI)

Academic Support Tools

 Scholarship Information:

 Home Depot Orange Scholars:


 White House Internship Program:


CUNY CAPhttp://www.cuny.edu/employment/student-jobs/jobs/counsel-assist-prog.html
For students who are enrolled or will be enrolled as matriculated students in a CUNY graduate program. Student must have received a bachelor’s degree from a CUNY college. Students will work from 15-20 hours at a CUNY college, and will receive a salary of $10/hr. and are eligible for a tuition waiver of up to six graduate credits per semester.


Helpful application for storing data:

 https://www.dropbox.com/ A website that allows you have a USB that is available on the internet and your local computer.

 http://www.google.com/  Once you create a Gmail account then you can use Google drive to store documents, files, etc.


Helpful applications for working on projects:

 http://www.teamviewer.com/en/index.aspx    Teamviewer allows you have remote access of another computer; this is useful for group projects

 http://www.gflashcards.com/  Gflash cards allows you to create digital flash cards to use to study. You can also share them with your friends


Location of some Helpful Locations at Hunter:

 Writing Center Located on 4 Fl of Thomas Hunter RM 416

Math Center  Located on 3 Fl of West Building RM 300

IT TECH Help Located 10 Fl of North Building RM 1001

Language Center Located 2 Fl West Building  RM 209


Also check out this link for additional Hunter resources and their locations: http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/studentservices/fao/resources

The Eighth Annual CUNY Black Male Initiative BMI Conference

York College hosted the eighth annual CUNY Black Male Initiative Conference on Friday, October 4, 2013. With more than 1,000 students, faculty, and guests attending the daylong conference, the theme was Race, Law and Justice and featured morning and afternoon keynote lectures as well as panel discussions. This year’s conference was dedicated to exposing CUNY BMI members to the racial history of the struggle for equality and the manifestation of that ongoing struggle in contemporary American society.

The conference featured the following three (3) outstanding keynote speakers:

Juan Cartagena, one of the nation’s leading civil rights lawyers, President and General Counsel of Latino Justice/PRLDEF, and former Puerto Rican Legal Defense

Paul Butler, one of the nation’s leading critical race theorists and a professor at Georgetown University Law Center

Ron Daniels, the former leader of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a distinguished lecturer at York College/CUNY

BMI’s 1st Community Service Event for Fall 2013

On Saturday, September 28, BMI participated in our first community service event of the semester. Founded in 2011, Harlem Grown is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to create a network of neighborhood farms and spread its produce and social benefits through Harlem. Harlem Grown increases access and knowledge of healthy food for Harlem residents and provides garden-based youth development programs to Harlem youth.
BMI helped Harlem Grown by tilling, harvesting and planting. Tony Hillery of Harlem Grown was great to us as he guided us through the day. It was a great experience that the participating BMI members will never forget.

For Obama, A Lot is Riding on Congress’ decision on Syria

WASHINGTON — The White House faces the strong possibility of a defeat over Syria that could seriously damage the president for the rest of his tenure, a peril the administration will battle this week as members of Congress return to work and open a decisive chapter of the Obama presidency.

Administration efforts to seek support from lawmakers, including personal phone calls by the president, so far appear to have changed few minds.

Nor has the support of top Republican and Democratic congressional leaders in both houses, who have lined up behind President Obama’s plan to punish the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad for what U.S. officials say was a poison gas attack last month near Damascus that killed more than 1,400 people.

Administration officials say they remain optimistic about winning a vote in the Senate, expected later this week. Vice President Joe Biden hosted Obama and six GOP senators for dinner at the vice presidential residence Sunday night.

But even in the Senate, the result remains in doubt and may require Biden to break a tie vote. And in the House, the support of Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) has not swayed an impromptu liberal-conservative alliance that opposes the Syria plan.

The president faces a potent dual threat — Republicans who don’t trust and won’t support him despite the urgings of their leadership and a sizable antiwar contingent of Democrats who oppose military action except for national self-defense. Public opposition to the proposed cruise missile strikes against Syria has bolstered those lawmakers.

Congressional and White House aides cautioned against drawing “premature” tallies of the votes, because many lawmakers are just considering the issue as they return from the month-long summer recess.

But the nature of the White House lobbying, heavily focused on groups who are ordinarily among the president’s strongest supporters, highlights how difficult Obama’s position has become. Officials plan to bus members of the Congressional Black Caucus to the White House on Monday so national security advisor Susan Rice can personally urge them to support military action in Syria. Several members of the caucus already have publicly opposed a military strike.

Pelosi has nudged her troops almost daily. A letter Saturday suggested they consider the work of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), a liberal ally, who voted to approve the Syria resolution in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The White House is well accustomed to losing legislative battles because of Republican opposition. But large-scale defections among Democrats would create a high-profile, bipartisan rebuke of a president’s foreign policy wishes, a move that has little precedent.

To try to avoid that, Obama plans to step up his personal efforts, blanketing the airwaves with a series of television interviews Monday and a speech to the nation and a visit to Capitol Hill to meet Senate Democrats on Tuesday.

Obama plans to emphasize several key points, according to a senior administration official who requested anonymity in discussing White House strategy: Officials have no doubt Assad is responsible for the sarin gas attack, a military strike would be limited, the U.S. has exhausted all diplomatic channels, and it is up to the U.S. to act.

The messaging blitz might not move poll numbers, the official said. But it is aimed in part at lawmakers who have wanted the president to own the case for action.

Meantime, Assad, in a rare interview, sent his own message, warning against military involvement by the United States.

CBS News said Sunday that in the interview Assad threatened that “people aligned with him” would retaliate against the U.S. for any attack and denied using chemical weapons. The network plans to air the interview Monday; interviewer Charlie Rose previewed its contents Sunday on “Face the Nation.”

Administration officials said that they had spoken to at least 85 senators and more than 165 House members in the last two weeks, an unusual accounting of its behind-the-scenes lobbying that implicitly acknowledged the stakes of the fight that none of Obama’s advisors expected and some argued against having.

But the conversations so far have had limited effect. One undecided House Democrat from a moderate district entered the week wary but looking for a reason to support the president, said an aide who asked for anonymity in discussing the lawmaker’s thinking.

A week of briefings and a review of the administration’s case left the lawmaker only more convinced that the administration could not promise the “limited” intervention Obama has described.


Reference: http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-obama-syria-20130909,0,3898599.story