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About this discussion and film screening

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The history of how Black and Puerto Rican youth movements led the transformation of CUNY’s admissions and curricula which contains lessons for public education/city struggles nationwide. Tami Gold, Pam Sporn, and Gisely Colón López will share their new film MAKING THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE, about how Black and Puerto Rican student-led struggles won Puerto Rican Studies at Brooklyn College in the late 1960s. Ricardo Gabriel will speak about the historical and geopolitical context that led to the Puerto Rican student movement and the demand for Puerto Rican studies at CUNY from 1969 through the early 1970s. Amaka Okechukwu will present about the 1970 creation and 1999 termination of the Open Admissions policyat CUNY, detailed in her new book To Fulfill These Rights: Political Struggle Over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions. Anna Zeemont will discuss gender justice and intersectionality in 1990s CUNY activist/arts publications and movements.

*Also please SAVE THE DATE to join us Friday, January 29th at 6:00 PM for the related and final event of this series, Decolonize CUNY and NYC!.


Production of the Alliance for Puerto Rican Education and Empowerment (APREE)
Directed by Tami Gold and Pam Sporn
Produced by Gisely Colón López, Tami Gold, Pam Sporn
Edited by Sonia González-Martínez and Pam Sporn
Featuring music by Arturo O’Farrill and Oscar Hernández

To Fulfill These Rights: Political Struggle Over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions was published by Columbia University Press in 2020. Bonus! Use coupon code CUP30 to save 30% on the book purchase.

This event is organized as part of Conor Tomás Reed's residency at Wendy's Subway, Radiating Black~Puerto Rican~Feminist Studies from the City University of New York to the Americas and the Caribbean, and is co-sponsored by Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative from the Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY.

About the speakers

Gisely Colón López
was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, and raised in New York City. As an educator and activist her work fuses her lived experiences. Gisely is an alum of Brooklyn College and currently a Ph.D student in Urban Education at the CUNY graduate school. She is also a member of the Alliance for Puerto Rican Education and Empowerment, APREE.

Tami Gold is a Hunter College professor and filmmaker. Her films have consistently been at the forefront of social justice, focusing on issues of race, gender, sexual identity, labor and police brutality and screened at the MOMA, Whitney, Chicago Arts Institute, The Kennedy Center, Sundance, Tribeca and The New York Film Festival. She is a recipient of Rockefeller, Guggenheim, and Fulbright fellowships.

Pam Sporn is an award-winning filmmaker who taught in NYC high schools for 28 years. Her films have screened on PBS and at US and International film festivals. Some of her films include Detroit 48202, Cuban Roots/Bronx Stories, and With a Stroke of the Chaveta. Pam is a member of New Day Films and the Bronx Filmmakers Collective and New York Women in Film and Televisions.

Ricardo Gabriel was born on the ancestral lands of the Lenape people, in what is now known as Brooklyn, New York, to working-class parents from Yauco and Arecibo, Puerto Rico. He is a PhD candidate in sociology at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies at Hunter College,where he was also an active member of the Student Liberation Action Movement (SLAM). His research interests include social movements, decolonial education, and climate justice. His work focuses on the role of education in struggles for decolonization and radical social change. Ricardo’s dissertation examines the movement for Puerto Rican Studies at The City University of New York during the 1960s and 1970s, and focuses on how movement participants challenged colonial discourses in higher education and sought to advance emancipatory knowledge and practices. He has taught at Fordham University and The City University of New York.

Amaka Okechukwu is an interdisciplinary scholar engaged in research on social movements, race, Black communities and urban politics. She is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at George Mason University. Okechukwu completed her Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University. She formerly served as the oral historian and associate archivist at Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. and as the project coordinator of the Voices of Crown Heights oral history collection and affiliated public engagement at Brooklyn Historical Society. She is the author of the award-winning To Fulfill These Rights: Political Struggle Over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions (Columbia University Press, 2019). She has been a member of, or worked closely with, organizations such as Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, The Brecht Forum, Brooklyn Movement Center, the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, and more.

Anna Zeemont is an English PhD candidate and Gittell Urban Studies Dissertation Fellow at CUNY Graduate Center, where she studies Composition-Rhetoric and American Studies. Across CUNY, she’s served as a composition instructor, Writing Across the Curriculum Fellow, writing center consultant, and New Media Lab research fellow. Anna’s research draws on queer-feminist, decolonial, and abolitionist frameworks to interrogate the politics, rhetorics, and movement of literacy across educational institutions and urban geographies. Her dissertation traces 1990s CUNY activist literacies as interventions into neoliberal racial capitalism and intersecting oppression within and beyond the university. Before starting her PhD, Anna worked in secondary education in the Bay Area, where she grew up.


Sobre el evento
Este es un evento en línea y se llevará a cabo en Zoom.
Regístrese aquí para asistir.
Este evento incluirá subtítulos inglésen vivo.
Transmisión en vivo también se realizará en Youtube.

La historia de cómo los movimientos juveniles afro-descendientes y puertorriqueños lideraron la transformación de las admisiones y los planes de estudio de CUNY contiene lecciones para la educación pública y las ciudades en todo el país. Tami Gold, Pam Sporn y Gisely Colón López compartirán su nueva película MAKING THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE, sobre cómo las luchas dirigidas por estudiantes negros y puertorriqueños ganaron los estudios puertorriqueños en Brooklyn College a fines de la década de 1960. Ricardo Gabriel hablará sobre el contexto histórico y geopolítico que llevó al movimiento estudiantil puertorriqueño y la demanda de estudios puertorriqueños en CUNY desde 1969 hasta principios de la década de 1970. Amaka Okechukwu presentará sobre la creación en 1970 y la terminación en 1999 de la política de Admisiones Abiertas en CUNY, detallada en su nuevo libro To Fulfill These Rights: Political Struggle Over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions. Anna Zeemont discutirá la justicia de género y la interseccionalidad en las publicaciones y movimientos de artes y activistas de CUNY de la década de 1990.


Producción de la Alianza para la Educación y el Empoderamiento de Puerto Rico (APREE)
Dirigida por Tami Gold y Pam Sporn
Producida por Gisely Colón López, Tami Gold, Pam Sporn
Editado por Sonia González-Martínez y Pam Sporn
Con música de Arturo O’Farrill y Oscar Hernández

To Fulfill These Rights: Political Struggle Over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions fue publicado por Columbia University Press en 2020. ¡Bono! Use el código de cupón CUP30 para ahorrar un 30% en la compra del libro.

Este evento se organiza como parte de la residencia de Conor Tomás Reed en Wendy's Subway, Radiando Estudios Afro-descendientes~Puertorriqueñxs~Feministas de la Universidad Pública de Nueva York a las Américas y el Caribe