Messages to the Community

Constitution Day – 2022

In President McBride’s community message regarding the Dobbs decision, he announced a series to commence on Friday, September 16th to mark Constitution Day that will critically examine the United States Constitution through a lens of inclusion and human rights. Grounded within the responsibility of higher education institutions to uphold and advance democracy and democratic values, this educational and engagement series combines The New School’s scholarship, research, partnerships, and creative practices to advance The New School’s mission.

Drawing upon the notable James Baldwin quote offered by President McBride, “If one really wishes to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class. One goes to the unprotected – those, precisely, who need the law’s protection most! – and listens to their testimony”, The Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice, Government and External Affairs, and The Institute of Race, Power, and Political Economy will take the occasion of Constitution Day to collaborate with external experts, as well as faculty, staff, alumni, and students to launch a year-long series to interrogate the impact upon and interaction between the United States Constitution and America’s structurally marginalized and racialized communities.

The United States Constitution codifies the foundational legal and social contract that the United States government has with its states and citizens. And yet the idea of citizenship, and the rights, access and protections thereunder remain deeply contested. In honor of each of the identity months that recognize communities who were not contemplated as full citizens upon the drafting and ratification of the Constitution, we will offer programming that interrogates not only the status and impact of the legal rights provided under the constitution, but the concomitant economic, political, social and cultural rights and creative freedom and practices that are essential for communities to access, exercise, and protect their rights and the rights of all who reside in the United States. 

This series will launch with our celebration of Hispanic (LatinX) Heritage Month. Please join us for the following program:

10:00am – 10:10am: Welcome 

10:10am – 10:30am: Opening Remarks – President Dwight A. McBride, PhD 

10:30am – 11:15am: Legal Rights – Lourdes M. Rosado, JD, President and General Counsel, Latino Justice PRLDF 

11:15am – 12:00pm: Economic, Political, and Social rights – Alan A. Aja, PhD Public and Urban Policy ’08, Professor and Chair in the Department of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies, Brooklyn College  

12:00pm – 12:20pm: Liberation in Creative Expression – Performance by Arturo O’Farrill, New School faculty, pianist, composer, educator, Professor of Global Jazz Studies and Assistant Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, University of California, Los Angeles 

12:20pm – 1:00pm: The Personal is political – examining the role of identity – Discussion between RenĂ©e T. White, PhD, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs; and Lorenley Baez, Associate Provost, Academic Advising and Career Development

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