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'Keeping the Dream Alive' Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., Scheduled for Feb. 22

February 17, 2010

Drawing of Martin Luther King, Jr. Reaching Others

Dr. Divine Pryor, cofounder and executive director of the Center for Nu Leadership on Urban Solutions at Medgar Evers College, will be the keynote speaker at Lehman's annual tribute to the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event was originally scheduled for February 10, but due to the snowstorm on that day, it was rescheduled for Monday, February 22. The entire campus community is invited to the free event, which will take place from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the Lovinger Theatre.

Included in the program will be a variety of musical selections, as well as remarks by Lehman President Ricardo R. Fernández; Dr. James Jervis, chair of the African and African American Studies Department; Professor Michael Deas, director of the College's Urban Male Leadership Program; and student Keith Lewis.

Called "Keeping the Dream Alive," the program is sponsored by the Department of African and African American Studies, the Office of the President, the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of the Dean of Arts and Humanities, and the Urban Male Leadership Program. Dr. Pryor, who also teaches criminal justice at Medgar Evers College, has served on the National Re-entry Policy Council for the Council of State Governors and numerous other national criminal justice boards. The center that he directs is the first and only public policy, research, training, advocacy, and academic center designed and developed by formerly incarcerated professionals. It aims to create new paradigms for solving community development-related criminal justice challenges in communities of color.

Its current projects include:

  • Full Employment Opportunities Campaign, which works to remove barriers to full employment opportunities for people with criminal convictions.
  • NuLeadership National Training Institute, which provides training, program design and evaluation, and technical assistance for individuals and organizations seeking Federal and State contracts, foundation, and other private resources to work with currently or formerly incarcerated populations.
  • NuUrban Marshall Plan, which identifies vacant or underused city and state properties for community development and job creation; provides local residents recently released from prison—along with other hard-to-employ populations—with the opportunity to train and work on construction, public works, community service, and special interest projects in their home communities.
  • Black Judicial Forums, which organizes a series of discussions that explore the creation of a new justice paradigm from the perspective of those most impacted.
  • Building Bridges, which provides a pre- and post-release transitional service model for access to health, social services, and employment for those who are coming out of prison and returning to urban communities.