Understanding

ClassAction Student Group

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What is the ClassAction Student Group?

ClassAction Student Group is a student-based, community organizing, grassroots movement started here on Lehman College. It is the collaborative effort of Lehman College students of various disciplines who are committed to utilizing our education in ways that best serve and improve the conditions in our communities. In keeping with our belief that it will take a collaborative effort to improve our communities, we wish to work with not only other student groups/organizations but, also with the various departments and faculty-led organizations of Lehman College. The goal is to afford students and faculty the opportunity to discuss and agree on the issues, research, and develop concrete and realistic solutions to these problems.

We believe that the proposed student activities described below keys to achieving our goal. By adhering to the Theory of Collective Action the activities discussed demonstrate our commitment to our communities and our belief that Lehman College must lead in showing how all CUNY students can effectively use their education to bring about positive and concrete social change.

Theory #1: Raising Social Consciousness

We who make up ClassAction believe that in order to raise the social consciousness of our communities we must first raise the social consciousness of ourselves and fellow students. Because we are students we firmly believe that education and awareness are the two fundamental elements in raising social consciousness.  

            ClassAction Student Lecture Series:

The Lehman College Student Lecture Series is designed to develop faculty-student community based research. The Student Lecture Series is envisioned as the bridge that links Lehman College students with faculty (who may be of differing disciplines) who may wish to research the same issue(s) but from different perspectives. The hope is students will learn how to think critically and creatively about how to identify and create solutions for many of the problems facing our communities.

Another outcome we anticipate is greater awareness of and participation in other research opportunities being offered here at Lehman College. By participating in other opportunities available on campus, students can develop the creativity that is needed to tackle issues of concern. This will force students to think critically and outside of the box in order to use research to develop concrete and realistic solutions that will produce results.

ClassAction Guest Speaker Series

What are the risks and rewards involved in community organizing? For any movement to be successful, it is our belief that the wisdom and knowledge of those who have walked this road long before us be heard and used as our guide to achieving our goal of developing concrete and realistic solutions for our communities. Right here at Lehman College, we have in abundance, a wealth of wisdom and knowledge within our grasp. We have among us faculty who if their stories were told, would only add fuel to the fire burning within all of us who are truly committed to the goal of this student group. Along with Lehman College faculty, we will also highlight Lehman students, individuals within our communities and others guest speakers who will all stress the importance and relevance of what we now embarking on.

Theory #2: Organizing People with Similar Interests

We who make up ClassAction believe that while collaboration is important in achieving our goal of developing concrete and realistic solutions to issues facing our communities, all members of this group must be committed and passionate about working for our communities as organizers. ClassAction is more than just a line on a student’s academic resume, as the name implies this is a group of ACTION! This is not for the weary or faint of heart… our communities deserve much more than that. 

ClassAction Web-Site and Newsletter

 Lehman College is a commuter college and it does become hard for students to be aware of everything that is happening on campus. Students who take evening classes are sometimes out of the loop when it comes to activities that occur during the day sessions. We also have students who work on campus and their schedules do not allow them to attend many of the events and activities that they would like to. We feel that the ClassAction is something that all Lehman College students should know about and we believe that the creation of a website and newsletter will definitely make sure that every student on campus is aware of this very important student group.

I) Concept behind the ClassAction Web-Site

We believe that this web-site should operate as an interactive-social media site that allows the whole Lehman College community to be up-to-date on group activities and events. The Lehman college community will be allowed the chance to get to know the ClassAction founding members and their individual motivations for coming together to form this group.

II) Concept behind the ClassAction Newsletter

The development of a newsletter addresses the fact that there are students who once they step foot off of this campus, they do not have internet access. Not all students have smart phones, iPods, Kindles etc. So, the main purpose of the newsletter is to be a print version of the website with the same purpose – keeping the Lehman College community involved and up-to-date with the activities of ClassAction.

Theory #3: Mobilizing Resources for Collective Action

We who make up ClassAction. recognize Resource Mobilization as a sociological theory that forms part of the study of social movements. We believe that it stresses the ability of any movement’s members to acquire resources and mobilize people towards our goal of developing concrete and realistic solutions to problems within our communities.

So… how exactly does ClassAction plan on implementing Resource Mobilization?  We understand that a program of this magnitude requires collaboration and that is why this we stress the point that we are all students of various fields of study. We stress the importance of working with the various departments, students groups and organizations that are right here on campus. By everyone coming together we’ll be able to:

  • formulate a resource mobilization strategy (funding and in-kind resources)
  • identify potential sources of funding
  • actively solicit pledges
  • follow up on pledges to obtain funds
  • deposit funds and record transactions and any restrictions on our use of funds

Once this is done we will be able to plan the following events:

  • Hip-Hop Educational Summits
  • Student Featured Talent Showcases
  • Hip-Hop Cultural Festivals

Theory #4: Strategizing a Series of Increasingly Decisive Collective Actions

We who make up ClassAction believe that in order to bring about change in our communities, we must be the change we wish to see. In order to be that change, the members of ClassAction Student Group believe that a consensus among the students of Lehman College is of great importance… As agents for change, we must be able to come to an agreement on exactly what issue(s) must be addressed and in which manner and order.

ClassAction Student Action Forum

The goal of the ClassAction Student Action Forum is to get all students more involved with Class Action as well as Lehman College by offering a student only venue for issues to be discussed. But, as stated earlier, ClassAction is not about just discussing the issues… we take action! We encourage all students to not only vent, but come with solutions and ideas. Once we are all in agreement, then a plan of action can come about.

Theory #5: Take a Decisive Political Action

We who make up ClassAction believe that once a consensus is made, a plan of action can be forged. We believe that all plans of action must be concrete, well developed and planned. Decisive, brave and bold decisions are what our communities need not only in our outreach to them but in our role as leaders and decision makers.

Theory #6: Repeat!!!

We who make up ClassAction believe that once we have come together and formulated a plan of action we don’t stop… we keep going! ClassAction is sincere in its commitment to our communities and will continue to recruit and retain the best, brightest and strongest from Lehman College. We see this student group as not just a club located here on the Lehman College campus, but, one that will eventually prove to be the kind of program that CUNY embraces and sees the value of. The end goal is to become a CUNY wide organization because we understand the importance of all students who have worked hard enough to reach their goal of achieving higher education giving back, raising up, and setting the example for generations of students to follow.  

https://www.facebook.com/ClassActionLehman

https://www.facebook.com/groups/525915397494284/

http://classactioninc.org

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The Universal Zulu Nation

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First, we acknowledge and say thank you to Hip-Hop’s first international awareness organization – The Universal Zulu Nation.

Formed and headed by Hip-Hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa, it arose in 1973 in the South Bronx and began to organize cultural events for youths combining local dance and music movements into what would become known as the various elements of Hip- Hop Culture. By the 1980s, Hip-Hop had spread globally, and the Universal Zulu Nation has since established chapters in Japan, France, the UK, Australia, South Korea, Cape Town South Africa and other locations all over the planet so-called Earth.

The 1st Annual Hip-Hop History Month Celebration: Elements of Culture: Hip-Hop Educational Summit also acknowledges the debt owed to The Universal Zulu Nation.

How can there be a Hip-Hop History Month Celebration anywhere that does not acknowledge and reach out to the Universal Zulu Nation. With chapters all over the world, The UZN has made manifest its vision of Planet Rock. Hip-Hop’s global reach and influence is in large part due to the UZN. The bridging of Cultures: Black, Brown, Red, Yellow and White worldwide. The awakening of Higher Consciousness, Self Expression and Creativity that like the Knowledge of our Ancient Ancestors, told us who we were, who we are and who we could be – Knowledge of Self, of our Communities, our People… The Universal Zulu Nation is the Foundation of Hip-Hop. And as we bear witness to Hip-Hop entering institutions of Higher Learning… So must its Foundation. The Universal Zulu Nation and all Pioneers of the Culture we claim identifies who we are.

Erykah Badu & Big Boi – The Healer

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While working on this Summit, this song has been key to keeping me focused. This song speaks to my Soul and communicates my love for Hip-Hop Culture… Let this song inspire you as much as it has inspired me… Peace

– Natisha Jordan (Founding President and Program Coordinator – ClassAction Student Group)

Lehman College Alumni Association

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The Lehman College Office of Alumni Relations welcomes you, our alumni, to remain connected with us and to help us establish networks mutually beneficial to our 65,000 + alumni, the Lehman College community and its future alumni. We invite you to participate in alumni as well as college events and activities. Visit the Events page for information. We hope you will return to the beautiful Lehman campus often and take advantage of the services and programs available to you with a validated Alumni I.D. See the Benefits and Services page for more information about what is available to you.

Obtaining/Validating your Lehman College Alumni ID

All Lehman College Graduates become members of the Lehman College Alumni Association automatically upon graduation. As an alumnus/a, you can take advantage of several on-campus services with a valid Lehman College Alumni I.D. The Lehman College Alumni I.D. Validation/Benefits & Services fee is $25.00/year (from September to August). For new graduates, the fee is waived for the first year. Please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 718-960-6918 or alumni@lehman.cuny.edu for more information about how to obtain your Alumni I.D. If you already have an alumni I.D. and need to validate it, you can also pay online.

Alumni on Social Media

The Lehman College Alumni social media initiative is meant to facilitate the development of these networks for our current and future Lehman College Alumni and provide forums for discussion, networking, sharing of information, events and activities invitations, exchanging of ideas, mentoring, getting back in touch.  Please join the Lehman College Alumni Facebook page and LinkedIn group and help develop a supportive, informative and enriching online community among our diverse alumni population.

The Blogs @ Lehman provides opportunities for alumni to share their stories about their Lehman College experience: the programs and student organizations that shaped their future, the professors and mentors who touched their lives, the friendships, the memories and any special connections to their alma mater. Please share your alumni stories to help tell the overall Lehman College story in a unique, inspiring blend of voices and experiences.

Office of Alumni Relations
Shuster Hall, Room 301
718-960-6918
fax: 718-960-8977
E-mail: alumni@lehman.cuny.edu

http://www.lehman.edu/alumni/

Department of African & African American Studies

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The Department of African and African American Studies is in the School of Arts and Humanities with such departments as History, Music, Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies, English, and Philosophy. Courses taken in African and African American studies can fulfill the College’s distribution requirement in historical studies, comparative culture, the arts and literature. Students can take courses in African and African American studies for elective credits. Students may also elect to major or minor in African and African American studies.

African and African American Studies is a body of knowledge that records, describes, and analyzes the experience of Black people in all parts of the world, but especially in America, the Caribbean and Africa. African and African American Studies appraises the past, examines the present, and seeks to shape the future. The African and African American Studies Department offers an interdisciplinary major leading to a B.A. degree. The courses are grouped into five sequences: African-American, community and urban, Afro-Caribbean, African, and arts and languages. The Department also participates in the interdisciplinary programs in Latin American and Caribbean studies and women’s studies.

Dr.MarkChristian-FacultyPhoto-MiamiUniversity-October21-2009

Mark Christian received his B.A. (Hons.) in Sociology & American Studies from Liverpool Hope University, his M.A. in African & African American Studies from The Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. in Sociology from The University of Sheffield, England. He is a senior Fulbright scholar recipient, a former research fellow at the University of London’s Institute of Commonwealth Studies, and is currently a visiting fellow at the Department of Sociology, The University of Liverpool. He arrives at Lehman after spending eleven years at Miami University of Ohio, where he taught courses in African Diaspora Studies with a comparative analysis of the UK and US; and courses in sociology, such as social stratification and race and ethnic relations. His research interests primarily stem from a historical/cultural lens taking into account the social construction of knowledge and social identities. Currently, he is the book review editor for the Journal of African American Studies. His latest interdisciplinary research interests include the Liverpool Black Atlantic, African American music influences on The Beatles, and the development and struggle of African & African American Studies as a field/discipline in the 21st Century.

Selected Publications:

  • Christian, M. (Ed.). (2012). Integrated but unequal: Black faculty in predominately white space. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.
  • Mark Christian. (Ed.) Integrated but Unequal: Black Faculty in Predominately White Space (Africa World Press, 2012)
  • Mark Christian. (Ed.) Black Identity in the 20th Century: Expressions of the US and UK African Diaspora (Hansib, 2002)
  • Mark Christian. Multiracial Identity: An International Perspective (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press/s, 2000)
  • Mark Christian (with Stephanie Y. Evans, Guest Editors) ‘Africana/Black Studies at the Graduate Level: A Twenty-First Century Perspective’ Western Journal of Black Studies. 34. (2) (Summer 2010)
  • Mark Christian. (Guest Editor) ‘Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association: New Perspectives on Philosophy, Religion, Micro-Studies, Unity and Practice’ Journal of Black Studies 39 (2) (November 2008)

MC K~Swift

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MC K~Swift

M.C. K~Swift (New Rap Order/ Universal Zulu Nation) is the Director of Youth Services for the Universal Zulu Nation. He is a Hip-Hop artist and educator, who has been recording and performing since 1994. He’s been a published poet since the age of 17, and appears in HBO’s “Brave New Voices” series. M.C. K~Swift has conducted creative writing and performance workshops in hundreds of high schools in NYC and throughout the tri-state area since 1999, as well as in institutions including: CUNY Grad Center, The New School, NYU, Wesleyan University and Columbia University. He has also trained educators at numerous schools, non-profit organizations and community centers on cultivating creativity in their classrooms.  A founding member of the progressive Hip-Hop collective, New  Rap Order, and a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, M.C. K~Swift is among both the vanguard and the old guard of True School Hip-Hop Culture.

M.C. K~Swift has been very instrumental as a co- coordinate for the 1st Annual Hip-Hop History Month Celebration: Elements of Culture Hip-Hop Educational Summit. Over a chance meeting and brief converstaion, he threw his total support and heart into making this Summit a success. ClassAction Student Group thanks you M.C. K~Swift, for sharing our vision for the future of Hip-Hop Education… 

http://www.mckswift.com