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for leadership and service THE CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK


“The Center has taught me the value of action and fostered within me a sense of duty and responsibility.” Sergio Galeano

“The access I’ve had has been essential to building my understanding of policy issues.” Humaira Hansrod

“Participating in the leadership seminars has helped me shape the issue I am passionate about.” Simone Gordon

Colin Powell fellows, left to right, from top: Sergio Galeano, Mouiri Siddique, Alen Sajan-Malliath; Augustine Gnalian, Arielle Elmaleh-Sachs, Isatou Sanneh, Humaira Hansrod; Hector Velez, Simone Gordon; Moyosore Ayodele, and Daniel Asemota.

Contents 2 4 6

12 16


Messages 2011–2012 Highlights Colin Powell Program in Leadership and Public Service Partners for Change Fellowship Program Community Engagement Fellowship Program Service-Learning Programs


Community-Based Research Program


Looking Ahead

The Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service at the City College of New York is a nonpartisan educational, training, and research center named for its founder, one of CCNY’s most distinguished graduates.

Message from the Founder

and worked in the White House. They launched careers in the New York attorney general’s office and in the New York Public Service Corps. Our service-learning programs continue to expand; they passed an important milestone this spring when service-learning students rendered their 10,000th hour of service. Each year, Colin Powell Center students engage in programs with such national organizations as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for a New American Security, as well as local groups like West Harlem Group Assistance. This year, we conducted joint programming with the Eisenhower Fellowships and City Limits magazine, and we will soon inaugurate a new lecture series with the Hariri Middle East Center at the Atlantic Council. We now maintain more than 80 similar partnerships. Dear Friends and Supporters,

I’m pleased to present the 2011–2012 annual report of

Finally, our search to secure permanent facilities for the

the Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service.

Colin Powell Center took an unexpected and welcome

This year we introduced several new programs and

neighborhood immediately north of CCNY became avail-

expanded others, all designed to recruit and prepare

able to us. The building is a historic structure known as

a diverse group of leaders at one of America’s most

the CCNY Alumni House. Together with expansions to

influential public institutions: the City College of New

our current Shepard Hall facilities, it will provide us with

York. Since 1847, CCNY has provided educational

space to expand our programs for years to come.

opportunity to “the whole people”–young men and women from every walk of life and social background. CCNY remains today what it was at its founding: a fundamental engine of American democracy. I’m pleased

turn this summer when a brownstone townhouse in the

There is much more to tell about our work, presented in the following pages. Our work would not be possible without your support, and I’m deeply grateful to those

that my Center is so deeply involved in its mission.

of you who have helped out. I invite you all to visit the

The Colin Powell Center advances this mission through

support this extraordinary organization.

leadership training, scholarship support, service-based teaching, and other programs described in this report.

Center, learn more about our work, and find ways to


We continue to grow because the needs and opportunities confronting us are dynamic and compelling. This year, our scholarship programs will support nearly 100 students, all through private donations. In 2011–2012, Colin Powell Center students received Fulbright awards

2 — Colin Powell Center

General Colin L. Powell Founder and Chair Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership And Service

Message from the Director Greetings from the Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Center’s current program of activity, a milestone that, honestly, crept up and caught me unawares. In 2002, we began by recruiting seven students into a three-year program, the first of whom graduated in 2005. Last spring, 47 students participated in the Colin Powell Program in Leadership and Public Service, and this year we have still more. Since our first program year, we have opened three additional scholarship lines, including our new Partners for Change program, described in this year’s annual report. In 2011–2012, 85 students participated in Colin Powell Center scholarship programs, and in 2012–2013, almost 100 will do so. Our quantitative expansion, however, tells only part of the story. As we have developed and refined our programs, we have worked to establish a vision of a more engaged mode of public education, tailored to the remarkable democratic laboratory that CCNY has always been. A growing service-learning program embeds teaching directly into the life of our surrounding community, and we have made great strides in sustaining and expanding community partnerships. A series of programs for faculty now stand alongside our student leadership programs, encouraging academics—often working with students—to speak more directly to public concerns, even drawing community partners invested in those concerns into the research process. Across these programs, I hope you see and are pleased by our coherent and compelling set of goals, and our vision of education as a profoundly public resource, responsive to important social concerns and to the demands of a changing and challenging world. Thank you for your support.


Director Colin Powell Center

2011­–2012 Highlights

Defeating Disease in New York City n



Produced the Heart-2-Heart conference, bringing together health professionals and committed citizens to reduce heart disease in New York City. Fought hypertension in Harlem through high blood pressure screenings, education, and field research. Raised more than $1 million for lupus research.

The Colin Powell Center builds leaders for the common good and creates positive change through publicly engaged scholarship and community–campus collaborations. Here, highlights of the work we supported in 2011–2012: How We Help

The Center supports the meaningful work of affiliated faculty, community partners, and students through the following programs:


Colin Powell Program in Leadership and

Public Service

Fighting for Environmental Justice n


Recommended best-practice guidelines for New York State’s hydraulic fracturing policies. Assessed the primary environmental concerns of Latino residents of Washington Heights.

4 — Colin Powell Center


Community-Based Research Program


Community Engagement Fellowship Program


Edward I. Koch Fellowships for Community Service


Partners for Change Fellowship Program


Public Scholarship Program


Service-Learning Engaged Department Grants


Service-Learning Faculty Fellowship Program

Creating Just Communities n




Evaluated the potential of community land trusts to combat homelessness. Broadened support for participatory budgeting, enhancing the role of citizens in fiscal decision making. Surveyed 1,100 residents of Harlem’s District 9 to assess community needs and guide decision making. Examined how the spirituality of veterans returning to Harlem affects their readjustment to civilian life and counseling needs.

Encouraging Peaceful International Relations n


Produced a five-volume collection of Kofi Annan’s papers, highlighting the former U.N. secretary-general’s role in conflict resolution. Advocated for important international policy changes to reduce civilian casualties in warfare.

Opening Education to All n


Advocated for reducing barriers to girls’ education in Cambodia through improved implementation of the United Nations’ “Right to Education” program. Developed a citywide database of college access support organizations for youth and their families.

Improving Long-Term Health Outcomes n



Recommended policy changes to improve access to affordable dental care for New York City seniors. Studied the mental health challenges of African immigrants and refugees in Washington Heights. Explored innovative solutions to encourage the sale of fresh produce in under-resourced communities.

CCNY — 5


Building Tomorrow’s Leaders Six weeks into the 2011–2012 academic year, the

personalized approach, can be life changing for

fellows of the Colin Powell Program in Leadership and

our fellows, who come from every corner of society,

Public Service found themselves in Washington, D.C.,

are new Americans or the children of immigrants, and

having a long conversation with General Powell and

often are the first in their families to attend college.

sharing their stories and aspirations with him. In the course of a two-day Washington experience, they traversed the capital, going to policy centers such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Center for a New American Security, meeting with recent Powell Center alumni and other young achievers, and, through this, reconceptualizing

“Despite their tremendous capacity and potential, some of our best students still doubt that they have a claim to a life of substance,” says Colin Powell Center Director Vince Boudreau. “Everything we do at the Center asks them to trust in a simple proposition: If you’re smart, inspired, and dedicated, you can advance. For

their own sense of the possible.

someone trying to figure out his or her prospects in the

Such opportunities are integral to the Colin Powell

the Washington trip or a

leadership program. “My experience at the Center

high-powered internship

wouldn’t be the same without having General Powell

are huge. Our fellows

speak to us and seeing firsthand that he cares about

return believing that this

what we do and what we think, and knowing that he

vision is viable.”

world, experiences such as

wants to see us grow into great leaders,” said Fellow

The Center has become a source of constant inspiration for me.

Jatnna Ramirez. Reflecting on a meeting with a group

Making an Impact

of alumni who work at the U.S. State Department, the

The transformation is

U.S.– India Business Council, and similar organizations,

palpable. We see it when

Fellow Sergio Galeano added, “To see alumni who are

our students deliver

that successful was great. Every person said, ‘you can

accomplished capstone

have our card; call us.’ ”

presentations at the end of the fellowship. We hear

Striving for Achievement

The Colin Powell leadership program is an intensive two-year experience designed to provide CCNY’s most outstanding and motivated students with the skills, knowledge, and experience they need to fully embrace lives of leadership, public service, and civic engagement. (New York Life graduate fellows, a key cohort of the larger program, take part in a one-year experience tailored specifically to their needs.)

— Jatnna Ramirez

it from service and internship supervisors who offer our fellows jobs and cajole them to extend their internships. We recognize it in the achievements of our alumni, who are making a meaningful impact at organizations such as the Center for Peace and Security Studies and IntraHealth International just a few scant years after leaving CCNY. We celebrate it in their acceptance to highly prestigious graduate programs such as Columbia University’s


School of International and Public Affairs. We also


In 2011–2012, the program supported 47 fellows

find our fellows’ transformation in their unwavering

Emie Lomba

with $553,000 in scholarship and internship support.

commitment to civic issues. Savanna Washington,

with General

This funding, along with our programming and

a New York Life graduate fellow of 2009–2010 and

Colin L. Powell.

CCNY — 7


filmmaker, exemplifies this dedication. Not only has


she produced documentaries such as Greening


of the Bronx, but Center programs opened her


eyes to the humanitarian crisis in North Korea.


She embraced the issue and is now wrapping up a feature devoted to the plight of North Koreans. Learning from One Another

The demanding program includes formal leadership training and an in-depth examination of the diverse ways one can create social change (through policymaking, advocacy, direct service, and research). Fellows learn not only from program staff and special instructors, but also from one

advisement and mentoring. Center staff meet with

“It doesn’t take a lot to achieve real benefits.”

students regularly, ensuring that they are on track

— Ken Missbrenner

another, an aspect that led Fellow Ramirez to note, “The Center has become a source of constant inspiration to me.” The leadership program also includes extensive

both with the program and with their coursework. Staff members also help fellows articulate and develop their post-graduation plans, and ensure that Center-supported internships and service experiences dovetail with those goals. This support is one reason fellows tell us the Center is a home for them


on campus.

Reducing Water Pollution and Creating Green Space

Additionally, in 2011–2012, the program included the following components: n

The Center’s new “Conversations with Leaders” series. These discussions with local, state, and national public figures such as Fatima Shama, New York City commissioner of immigrant affairs, and Jeffrey Laurenti, senior fellow at the Century Foundation, provided an intensive focus on leadership and policymaking through the eyes of experienced policymakers and opinion leaders. Separately, the Center hosted talks by other notable public figures, including former U.S. Ambassador John Price.


Exposure to leading policy experts through the Council on Foreign Relations’ invitation-only teleconferences, such as “The United States and Iran on the Brink,” and “Energy Dependency.” Continued on Page 10

8 — Colin Powell Center

New York City’s aging drainage system is designed to handle both storm water and sewage. But in many areas, even minor rainstorms quickly overwhelm the system. Then a polluted stew of storm water, domestic sewage, and industrial runoff pours into the city’s open waterways. In response, the city is rolling out an innovative green infrastructure plan. Green infrastructure includes planned ditches, expansive tree pits, vegetative areas, and porous pavements that let storm water soak into the ground rather than flood the system. New York Life Graduate Fellow Ken Missbrenner, a 2012 master’s degree graduate in landscape design, investigated whether the plan could also address the lack of green spaces in under-resourced neighborhoods. He found the city could implement its plan to create pocket-sized parks in green-deprived areas of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. He says, “It doesn’t take a lot to achieve real positive benefits for the community in terms of open space.”

“The result is ‘racial battle fatigue.’”


— Hannah Wallerstein

“Secure Communities creates a climate of fear.”

HANNAH WALLERSTEIN The Psychological Impact of “Stop and Frisk”

In 2011, New York City’s Stop and Frisk program led to a record 684,000 stops, primarily in the city’s underresourced communities. What’s harder to quantify is the program’s psychological impact. New York Life Graduate Fellow Hannah Wallerstein, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology, set out to try. She found officers regularly treat their primary targets—young black and Hispanic men and women—in a racially derogatory way, or subject them to racially tinged slights, insults, or acts of aggression. The result of living under the constant threat of Stop and Frisk, Wallerstein says, is what William A. Smith, Ph.D., has termed “racial battle fatigue,” which mimics battlefield stress. Its effects include feelings of pervasive anxiety, intrusive thoughts, ulcers, loss of appetite and sleep, and loss of self-confidence. Additionally, being stopped and treated like a criminal suspect can lead to disengagement and feelings of shame, she adds. Shame, Wallerstein notes, is a feeling that researchers have linked to violence. All the more reason, she says, to implement policy alternatives to the program.

— Ezra Christopher

EZRA CHRISTOPHER How “Secure Communities” Misses the Mark

The U.S. government launched Secure Communities in 2008 primarily to identify and deport dangerous non-resident criminals. Yet the vast majority of the 162,000 individuals deported under the program in 2011 committed only minor offenses. New York Life Graduate Fellow Ezra Christopher, a 2012 master’s degree graduate in public administration, analyzed the program and found widespread extended detentions, wrongful arrests, separated families, and due process violations. Secure Communities also creates a climate of distrust and fear, she says. Under the program, once an immigrant enters the criminal justice system—whether as a witness, victim, or perpetrator—officers must notify the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, putting that person at risk of deportation: “This undermines community–police relations and makes immigrants afraid to report crimes,” Christopher says. States are required to implement Secure Communities in 2013. But first, Christopher says, ICE must address the program’s flaws. Most important, she adds, “Secure Communities should stick to its original mandate of focusing on dangerous criminal aliens.”

CCNY — 9


Continued from Page 8



Capstone projects that emphasized working in


teams to research and address pressing public


problems. This year’s projects were “fracking” in New York State, the implementation of the U.N.’s Right to Education program in Cambodia, doctor– patient relations in poor urban neighborhoods, and ways to combat urban fresh-food “deserts.” n

Skills development workshops in areas such as networking, resume writing, and interviewing techniques.


Sixty hours of dedicated service at a nonprofit

“We need artists to be provocative, to question.”

institution, such as the International Rescue Committee, designed as a hands-on examination of organizational culture and leadership practice. n

Substantive summer internships that were carefully designed and vetted to provide formative

— Kanene Holder

leadership and service experiences. Daniela Parra, for instance, served as a mediator with the New York State Attorney General’s Office, acting as a consumer advocate. Stepping into the Future

For the program’s 26 second-year and graduate


fellows, the 2011–2012 closing celebration on May 8

Turning Art into Advocacy

represented a truly significant milestone. Each program graduate received not only recognition, but also a special book, which Program Director Kamilah Briscoe chose to honor his or her unique achievements, goals, and character. For Humaira Hansrod, winner of a Fulbright Scholarship to examine the country of Oman’s supportive economic policies for women, Briscoe chose Paradise Beneath Her Feet by Isobel Coleman. For Ed Martinez, a graduate fellow focused on urban education and director of multisite after-school programs in the Bronx, she selected There Are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz. At the close of the ceremony, Jill Iscol, noted philanthropist and coauthor of Hearts on Fire: Twelve Stories of Today’s Visionaries Igniting Idealism into Action, stepped to the podium. “I’m incredibly moved by what you are doing,” Iscol said, looking out at the graduating fellows. “You are part of what makes me and my generation feel optimistic about the future.”

10 — Colin Powell Center

Whether she is satirizing American “blonde and blind” injustice in a one-woman show, delivering a presentation on “culturally responsive pedagogy” at an education conference in Baeza, Spain, or using Notorious B.I.G.’s hip-hop song “Mo Money, Mo Problems” to enrich a lesson on the Great Depression, Kanene Holder, an award-winning educator, performance artist, and activist, works tirelessly on behalf of her commitment to social justice. Master of curriculum at the Urban Arts Partnership’s Fresh Prep Program, Holder pairs her work in the classroom with advocacy in the larger world. She is a participant in and national spokesperson for the Occupy Wall Street movement, and says the understanding of policy she gained at the Center informs her message. The former New York Life graduate fellow (2007– 2008) confronts economic injustice constructively in her current performance piece, “$earching for American Justice: The Pursuit of Happiness.” She says, “We need artists to be provocative, to question, to excite, as well as to entertain.”

“Nuanced understandings can be tricky to achieve.”


— Ethan Frisch

“Stable governments are a prerequisite for peace.”

ETHAN FRISCH Contributing to Development in Afghanistan

Based in Kabul with the Aga Khan Foundation, a humanitarian organization, Ethan Frisch regularly travels throughout five Afghan provinces. As national program coordinator for engineering, he helps administer engineering and infrastructure projects vital to the lives of countless Afghans. Deeply committed to the foundation’s large-scale approach, Frisch also aims to effect change in small ways— despite logistical, linguistic, and cultural boundaries. “Afghans’ opinions of the United States are often suspicious at best,” says Frisch, a Colin Powell fellow from 2006 to 2008. “Through my behavior, I hope I can at least encourage people to reconsider.” For now, Frisch says his primary goal is to learn. “Especially in policy, push yourselves to understand not just what people’s opinions are, but why they have them,” he advises. “Nuanced understandings can be tricky to achieve and even trickier to work with, but at the very least they’re more interesting, and they’re usually more accurate.”

International Development/ Policy



Policy/ Public Service



Fields of Work and Study of Powell Center Alumni

— Michelle M. Muita

MICHELLE M. MUITA Building Stability in Africa

Michelle Mendi Muita calls 2012 her “year of experiments.” After traveling to China, the former New York Life leadership fellow (2009–2011) relocated to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s vibrant capital and the continent’s political hub. There, Muita, a native of Kenya, joined the recently established Institute for Peace and Security Studies of Addis Ababa University as a communications officer. Thoroughly dedicated to issues of governance and human rights, Muita works to promote the institute’s peace and security initiatives, and has helped organize high-level forums on African security issues. What motivates Muita is a core belief that “a stable, accountable government is a prerequisite for peace and economic prosperity.” Her dream, she adds, “is to work towards building a continent that is integrated in a political, economic, and cultural sense.” Muita says her Powell fellowship helped her develop key professional and communication skills. It also led to an internship with the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City and spurred a capstone project on the International Criminal Courts’ intervention in Kenya, knowledge she finds “essential” to her work today.

CCNY — 11


Tackling College Access, Heart Health Listening—to real community needs; collaborating—

health education, providing one-on-one college guid-

with visionary professionals; discovering—root causes

ance, or conducting focus groups, our students took

and issues; and implementing—creative, sustainable

ownership of numerous projects and programs that

solutions. These are the essential components of the

deeply impacted many community members,” says

Center’s exciting new community-directed fellowship

Program Coordinator Sophie Gray.

program, Partners for Change.

Barriers to Entry

In 2011–2012, the program’s inaugural year, we tackled

The college access fellows launched their year with

two compelling issues: hypertension in Harlem and

an in-depth literature review of the obstacles that keep

college access and success. Community leaders

first-generation and other disadvantaged students

identified these areas as ones in which the Center

out of college, or that limit their success if they gain

could make a measurable difference by, respectively:

admission. Among the barriers, they identified a lack of


Working with community partners to target devastatingly high rates of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and hypertension.


resources such as Internet access and trained guidance counselors, overwhelming

Helping more young people open the doors to higher

financial constraints, and

education and thrive in potentially daunting college

family obligations.

environments. This year, we selected two remarkable New York Life leaders-in-residence to guide our efforts: Allison Palmer, director of the New Settlement College Access Center, and Alwyn Cohall, M.D., director of the Harlem Health Promotion Center. Through Partners for Change, they mentored and guided eight students whom we chose to be program fellows. Cyndi Gonzalez, Stephanie Guzman, Whitley Jackson, and Shodan Rodney focused on college access; Elbert Greenaway Jr., Rebecca Moore, Rammiya Nallainathan, and Lynette Peguero focused on heart health. taking ownership

Each student, supported with a $5,000 scholarship, devoted hundreds of hours to executing issue-oriented

Informed of these obstacles, the fellows teamed up with Graduate NYC, a city initiative

The fellows touched the lives of many Harlem residents.

— Alwyn Cohall, M.D.

funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foun-

dation, which aims to substantially increase graduation rates at City University schools. Together they worked on a Web-based database and guide to college access resources and organizations for students and their families. To sharpen the site’s effectiveness, the fellows conducted five focus groups with high school students, gathering an abundance of data and developing clear insights about what would draw teenagers to a searchable site and database—and keep them coming back.

tasks. They gained familiarity with their issue area

The fellows also worked many hours at their service

through service placements, and they clarified their

sites. Volunteering in the college office of Health

advocacy work through research and discussion.

Opportunities High School in the Bronx, Cyndi

“Whether it was facilitating workshops, promoting

Gonzales brought “passion, honesty, and empathy for CCNY — 13

Fellow Whitley Jackson leads a focus group on online college access resources.


the students she has worked with,” says her supervi-


sor, Gerald Thompson. He adds, “Cyndi’s persistence


has allowed me time to assist more students, handle


logistical work, and contribute more to the college process for my students.” At Harlem RBI, an organization that harnesses the power of teams on behalf of youth, Fellow Shodan Rodney discovered a level of dedication that altered his view of what work can be. “It wasn’t just a job for the staff,” said Rodney. “They love what they do, and it was refreshing to see that.” Targeting a “Silent Killer”

Our four health fellows also immersed themselves in tremendously important work: Project SHARE, an initiative of the Harlem Health Promotion Center intended to increase the number of local residents who know whether they have hypertension—and how to control it if they do. Known as the “silent killer,” hypertension is the red flag of deadly cardiovascular diseases that are devastating the Harlem population. Working under the guidance of Dr. Cohall, and in cooperation with local churches, the Harlem YMCA, and other organizations, the fellows offered blood pressure checks, resources, and education at outreach events. They also conducted extensive field research on hypertension-related knowledge gaps, attitudes, and belief systems. Their data and research are now providing Project SHARE with valuable findings about the fears and fundamental misconceptions regarding blood pressure screenings. “The fellows made significant contributions to our project and touched the lives of

I was able to see what students need to get through the doors of college and come out the other side successfully.

— Stephanie Guzman

many Harlem residents,” Dr. Cohall says. “They also learned a tremendous amount about health disparities, chronic diseases, and health communication.” Additionally, the fellows discovered how a community fundamentally impacts individual health decisions. “Before having the opportunity to be a health fellow, I had never truly recognized the health crisis facing the Harlem community,” notes Health Fellow Rebecca Moore. “I knew it existed, but... I did not know how complex and deep-rooted these issues are.” They also discovered the project’s impact on themselves personally: “In trying to learn about community,” says Fellow Lynette Peguero, “I became part of one.”

14 — Colin Powell Center


Number of students served by organizations the college access fellows supported.

You want students to have success.


— Allison Palmer


“We envision a Harlem of health equity, not disparity.”

Creating a Bridge to College Success

In her 10 years as director of New Settlement’s College Access Center in the Bronx, Allison Palmer has helped hundreds of young people get into college. Now, she is helping them thrive there. As a New York Life leader-in-residence, Palmer collaborated with the Options program of Goddard Riverside Community Center to launch a new program to increase college retention rates, especially at community colleges, where most of her students enroll. Palmer enlisted major players in New York’s world of college access and gained funding to build an “extensive and intensive college success program” for 250 students, geared toward those without a college graduate in the family. Modeled on the work of On Point for College, an award-winning nonprofit organization in Syracuse, Palmer’s program will include workshops on adjusting to campus life and succeeding academically. The program will help students navigate the financial aid labyrinth and will provide a small clothing allowance. Palmer says her leader-in-residence appointment spurred her to act on an issue she cares deeply about. “You want to send students into an environment where they are going to have success,” she says.


Number of blood pressure screenings conducted through Project SHARE.

— Alwyn Cohall, M.D.

ALWYN COHALL, M.D. Targeting “an Epidemic of Broken Hearts”

On May 2, the Center issued an urgent call to action through its 2012 New York Life Symposium, “Heart-2Heart: Improving Heart Health in Harlem and Winning the Million Hearts Campaign.” Conceived under the leadership of Alwyn Cohall, M.D., a New York Life leaderin-residence, this centerpiece event marked the Harlem launch of the Million Hearts Campaign, a nationwide effort by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in five years. Presenters urged health-care providers and other participants to join together to promote change in their families, organizations, and neighborhoods. Speakers also presented innovative approaches to improving cardiovascular care and outcomes. A highlight: Hip Hop Stroke, an effective new program that uses hiphop to teach kids the signs of stroke—and through them, reaches their parents and grandparents. The goal: to get more stroke victims to emergency rooms in less than four hours, when powerful clot-busting drugs are still effective. CCNY — 15


Shaping Justice on Many Fronts While heading home from a few hours of basketball,

pressing social need, and build that vision into a project

Felix Navarro had a breakthrough with Ledane, a

they can implement in a sustainable way. The program

13-year-old he had been mentoring for several months.

provides $5,000 in funding, office space, leadership

Ledane’s parents are incarcerated, and he’d been

training, and guidance from Center staff.

happy to talk hoops, but skirted personal issues. That day, Navarro asked about Ledane’s dream of playing in college. The middle-schooler revealed he hoped to avoid the “guys on the block” and to focus on basketball and school. Navarro, a May 2012 CCNY graduate, shared that he had passed through similar struggles when he was Ledane’s age. The disclosures, Navarro says, “opened a gate for honesty, understanding,

Our talk opened a gate for honesty and understanding.

and strong advice.” About three years ago, Navarro casually accepted an invitation to

— Felix Navarro

attend a fund-raiser for the Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals. What he heard that night changed his future.

In 2011–2012, LASI brought 15 speakers to campus to raise awareness on issues such as the rights of women prisoners and the dangers of wrongful convictions. With Colin Powell Center support, the group expanded to 74 members, five of whom took positions as mentors alongside Navarro. As mentors, each committed himself or herself to easing the pain inflicted by incarceration and guiding kids like Ledane onto paths that lead toward successful, enriched lives, and away from prison. Helping underserved students

In 2011–2012, the Center also awarded Community Engagement Fellowships to Moya Brown and Victoria King. Brown launched Health Education for Youth, which trained 40 CCNY students to provide health education workshops in underserved city schools. King created Faces of America with the American Field Service to increase the number of high school students of color who have the opportunity to explore the world through study abroad programs.

Navarro, then studying political science and pre-law, com-

Over the long term, Navarro plans to turn the research

mitted himself to fighting prison injustice and mass incar-

arm of LASI into a think tank dedicated to addressing

ceration, and to alleviating their consequences. In 2010, he

issues such as wrongful convictions. Such convictions,

formed a CCNY group that evolved into Leaders Against

he notes, “result from prejudiced policing and faulty

Systemic Injustice (LASI), which focuses on research,

legal practices, not coincidence.” Eradicating systemic

advocacy, and the mentoring of children like Ledane.

problems will never be easy, Navarro understands.

Implementing a vision Felix Navarro

This year, the Colin Powell Center awarded Navarro a

opens a LASI

2011–2012 Community Engagement Fellowship to


expand LASI and extend its impact. Community

on the

Engagement Fellowships enable three or more CCNY

carceral state.

students a year to imagine how they might address a

16 — Colin Powell Center

But with children like Ledane hanging in the balance— alongside countless others—it’s impossible not to try.


Number of hours members of Leaders Against Systemic Injustice (LASI) volunteered.


Reimagining Service-Learning This past January, the National Task Force on Civic

The Center’s service-learning program enables

Learning and Democratic Engagement issued its

faculty to leverage an expansive network of community

game-changing report, A Crucible Moment: College

connections, an understanding of pedagogy, and

Learning and Democracy’s Future. Released by the

financial and technical support to tackle the issues

White House and commissioned by the U.S. Depart-

they care most about. Whether helping to bring

ment of Education, the report calls for building a new

farmers’ markets to fresh-food “deserts,” expanding

ethic of public-spiritedness at institutions of higher

micro-financing opportunities for immigrant

education across the United States.

entrepreneurs, or addressing health disparities, faculty

It directs academia and the community to shatter traditional boundaries and forge new creative alliances in which higher education is truly “part of the community—whether the community is local, national, or global.” The report urges cultivating in each student “an open and curious mind, critical acumen, public voice, ethical and moral judgment, and the commitment to act collectively in public to achieve shared purposes.” Socially Responsible Teaching

At the Colin Powell Center, we have long embraced these principles. Since our founding, our goal has been to promote civic engagement among City College faculty in ways that:

are exploring new realms of what they and their students can accomplish through meaningful projects. Enabling Students to Flourish

In 2011–2012, the Center supported 22 servicelearning courses, reaching more than 600 CCNY students. In an art education course, Marit Dewhurst’s graduate students developed and offered a free after-school arts program. The project provided urban

There is absolute clarity in my syllabus now.


Address authentic community needs.


Are strongly collaborative with students and

an opportunity to explore their own creativity. It also

community partners.

offered the graduate students a chance to go beyond

Guide faculty toward socially responsible teaching

the typical arts curricula and create more memorable

and scholarship.

lessons, said Dewhurst, an assistant professor of art


Service-learning is our most established and farreaching effort to promote civic engagement. Faculty who embrace this dynamic teaching approach embed

— Vanessa Valdés

teens in local schools

education, adding, “They gained a more expansive view of what young people are able to achieve in a setting where they are able to flourish.”

opportunities for service into their curriculum, enriching

This year, the Center expanded its emphasis on

the material and their students’ experience. At the

student development. We provided in-class sessions

Colin Powell Center, service-learning stands as one

on skills that faculty identified as relevant to their

of a triumvirate of programs—along with community-

projects, such as public speaking and collection of

based research and public scholarship—designed to

oral histories. We also began offering faculty more

to middle-

support CCNY’s exceptionally engaged faculty.

individualized support. We met one-on-one with faculty


CCNY — 19

Servicelearners bring Afro-Latino culture


as they reconceptualized their curriculum to


incorporate significant service opportunities. “There


is absolute clarity in my syllabus now in terms of course design, my learning outcomes, and what I can assess,” notes Vanessa Valdés, an assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese. Like-Minded Colleagues

We also expanded opportunities for faculty members’ professional growth, adding options for them to travel to national service-learning conferences or publish related research in the Center’s new working paper series, Issues in Engaged Scholarship: An Exploration of Community–Campus Collaborations. Launched in March 2012, the series enables Center-affiliated faculty to contribute to the national conversation through rigorously developed papers. Most important, we are linking civically engaged faculty with like-minded colleagues across the disciplines. “The greatest benefit,” Dewhurst says, “is being connected with a community of faculty who are interested in this kind of teaching.” Welcoming Community Partners

In 2011–2012, the Center also deepened its support for community partners. We welcomed them to exploratory meetings, professional development workshops, and our recognition celebration. We provided resources and technical support, and, through our regional network, the New York Metro Area Partnership for Service-Learning (NYMAPS), offered connections to fellow organizations with model partnerships.

The impact of service-learning is immeasurable — extending from me, to my students, to the organizations, to every individual those organizations touch.

NYMAPS, a Center-led alliance of community-based

— Elena Romero, Adjunct Lecturer, Center for Worker Education

organizations and 18 area colleges and universities, continually challenges its members to “set the bar

higher,” in the words of Tania Mitchell, Ed.D., keynote speaker of the 2012 NYMAPS Symposium, “Ethics and Service-Learning.” Stretch beyond surface solutions, urged Mitchell, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota and a national leader in service-learning. See projects through to their true completion and delve deeper to uncover the paths to sustainable change. At the Colin Powell Center, we are ready to meet these challenges, as we join with faculty, partners, and students to create our reimagined landscape of civic engagement.

20 — Colin Powell Center


Number of CCNY service-learning community partners.


Number of servicelearning courses offered in 2011–2012.

“Latinas Forward creates a safe space for young women at risk.”


— Judith Escalona

JUDITH ESCALONA Preventing Latina Suicide

Young Latinas have the highest attempted suicide rate of any population group. “When I learned this, it was really alarming to me,” says Judith Escalona, founder of MediaNoche, an East Harlem–based new media exhibition space. “My response as a filmmaker and being grounded in the community was to conceive Latinas Forward. “Latinas Forward creates a safe space for young women at risk to discuss the issues they are dealing with, and to use new media techniques to create public works,” Escalona adds. Escalona, who is also a faculty member in CCNY’s Department of Media and Communication Arts, invited service-learning students in Lynn Appelbaum’s PR Writing course to develop marketing and public relations campaigns for Latinas Forward. “The students were highly motivated,” Escalona says. “They felt they were contributing to something bigger than themselves. They came up with very original ideas and tapped into their backgrounds—especially the Latino students. They understood, ‘This is a real cry for help, and I can use the knowledge I’ve gained at City College to make a real impact.’”


Number of CCNY students who participated in service-learning courses in 2011–2012.

“This gives neighbors a way to communicate their concerns.” — Mary Lutz

MARY LUTZ Expanding Community Input

What do you really care about? For Mary Lutz, a professor of interdisciplinary studies at CCNY’s Center for Worker Education, the answer includes giving Harlem’s community members a greater voice in local decision making. To link her passion to meaningful change, Lutz incorporated service-learning into her Community Needs Assessment course. Her students, working in pairs, canvassed randomly selected pedestrians on the streets of West Harlem about local community needs. The group collected 1,117 responses, analyzed their data, and presented their results to members of Community Board 9, which encompasses West Harlem. Housing and unemployment issues dominated residents’ concerns, students found. A perceived lack of recreational programs also ranked high. For Reverend Georgette Morgan-Thomas, chair of the community board, the project has been of “tremendous help” in supporting requests for services and in better positioning community resources.

CCNY — 21


Assessing a Promising Housing Solution Boarded-up vacant buildings are part of almost every

nationwide survey of community land trusts that

New York City neighborhood. In fact, there’s enough

provide housing affordable to people with extremely low

unused space in the city to house 199,981 people,

incomes. Now Krinsky and Picture the Homeless have

according to a study by Picture the Homeless, a

formed a larger working group to develop a community

grassroots housing activist organization staffed by

land trust as a nonprofit entity to renovate and preserve

homeless or formerly homeless members. “There’s no

vacant and troubled housing. Says Krinsky, “This is

need for anyone to sleep on the street,” says Kendall

among the most exciting things I’ve done in 10 years at

Jackman, a Picture the Homeless campaign leader.

City College as a faculty member.”

This knowledge drives John Krinsky’s partnership with

Krinsky joins three other CCNY faculty invested in equally

Picture the Homeless. Easing homelessness must

challenging and rewarding

begin with providing dependable, affordable housing for

community-based research

those most likely to lose their homes, says Krinsky, an

projects. Adeyinka M.

associate professor of political science at City College.

Akinsulure-Smith, an

One promising approach centers on community land

assistant professor of psy-

trusts, member-run nonprofit organizations that own property and lease it as affordable housing. EXPANDING THE CONVERSATION

With the help of a Community-Based Research Fellowship from the Center, Krinsky and Picture the Homeless are spearheading an investigation into the potential of community land trusts to provide the stability needed to

chology, is examining the mental health challenges faced by local African immigrants and refugees, in partnership with the African Hope Committee. Glen Milstein, an associate

It brings those most affected by a problem into the conversation.

— John Krinsky

prevent homelessness. The fellowships, which include

professor of psychology,

guidance and funding of up to $8,000, support faculty

is collaborating with the Harlem Vet Center to assess

who partner with community groups on research and

the spiritual needs of Harlem’s returning veterans to

policy formation. “It brings the experience and knowledge

ease their readjustment to civilian life. Ana Motta-Moss,

of those most affected by a problem into the conversation

director of evaluation and research at the Sophie Davis

that shapes potential solutions,” Krinsky says.

School of Biomedical Education, has joined forces with the Washington Heights “Y” and WeACT for Environ-

To launch the investigation, Krinsky invited members of

mental Justice to assess Latino residents’ environmental

Picture the Homeless into his service-learning course

concerns related to asthma and other health issues.

on affordable housing policy. Their unique perspectives played off the students’ points of view, ignited discus-

All are looking deeply into constructive solutions to endur-

sion, and built trust and collegiality. Together the groups

ing problems. For Krinsky, this encompasses addressing

took on service projects mapping Central Harlem,

not only what to do with vacant properties, but also the

Bedford-Stuyvesant, Central Brooklyn, and the

larger question of how to stabilize neighborhoods. Through

South Bronx to locate properties that could benefit

their community-based research partnership, he and

from being in a land trust. They also conducted a

members of Picture the Homeless hope to find the answer. CCNY — 23

Kendall Jackman (right) and John Krinsky lead a housing forum.

Looking Ahead to a Welcome Vision We never designed—and never intended—the Colin Powell Center as a stand-alone entity. From the first, we sought to fully embed the Center in City College’s life and traditions. We seek to connect our mission to CCNY’s core values, elevating our community’s “strivers and doers,” to borrow the apt words of CCNY President Lisa S. Coico. Ten years into our current slate of activity, our scholar-

events and lectures. Center affiliation status will repre-

ship and fellowship programs are flourishing, and our

sent an invitation to reconceiving the scholarly profession

service-learning initiatives support remarkable levels

in ways that more actively link teaching, research,

of innovative civic engagement activities across campus.

and public discussion to public purposes, community

We have grown to this point by expanding these

partnerships, and civic engagement.

programs, carefully assessing our outcomes, and continually refining our strategies. We now stand ready to take the next steps in the Colin Powell Center’s evolution. Our foremost goal is to more extensively and intentionally integrate Center activities with the life of the broader campus.


Community partnerships, more robust and multifaceted than they previously were, represent the third element of our emerging vision. These partnerships enabled our service-learning and student leadership programs to move forward, and many organizations grew as stable

extending Options for Students

collaborators in various Colin Powell Center initiatives.

New programs for students will supplement existing

In the coming years, we will deepen these partner-

intensive, scholarship-driven programs, such as the

ships, adopting, in some cases, a problem-focused and

Colin Powell leadership program, with shorter leader-

sustained vision for service-learning. A powerful step

ship and service training opportunities, designed around

forward, that vision will enable interdisciplinary collabora-

the needs of specific majors, particular issue areas, or

tion across campuses, and draw those collaborations

selected career trajectories. Some programming will con-

into the service of communities in need. As a first step

tinue to target students enrolled in Colin Powell Center

in this process, we will soon offer training programs to

programs, but more and more, we will engage the cam-

community organizations to help them more effectively

pus at large in a mission of leadership development and

engage the resources of the university to advance their

service that will shape generations of CCNY students.

social missions.

Creating New Faculty Affiliations

Together, these changes mark an exciting new phase of

For CCNY faculty, we are developing a new designa-

development for the Colin Powell Center, during which

tion, signifying deep and continuing affiliation with the

it will seek to become a more vibrant home for, and

Colin Powell Center. CCNY faculty currently engage the

partner to, some of the most exciting, civically engaged

Center as professors teaching service-learning classes,

activities and projects happening at the City College

as participants in our community-based research fellow-

of New York. It’s a vision we’re committed to, and it’s

ships and public scholarship programs, and at our public

launching in 2012–2013.

24 — Colin Powell Center

Donors On behalf of our students, faculty, and community partners, we thank each and every contributor for joining General Colin L. Powell in supporting the Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service at the City College of New York. $1 million+ Donors

Annenberg Foundation

New York Life Insurance Co.


General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.)*

Marc and Lynne Benioff

Jack and Susan Rudin*

Thomas L. Blair

May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc.

Fulvio V. Dobrich*

Jin Roy Ryu

Martin J. and Perry Granoff

Stephen A. and Christine H. Schwarzman*

Charles B. and Ann Johnson

Sy and Laurie Sternberg*

Korea Foundation

UnitedHealth Group

Editorial/Project Management: Maura Christopher

Design: Leslie Kameny

Ambassador Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder

Randy and Susan Andrews

Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Peter O’Malley

Bernard Herold & Co., Inc.

Richard N. Haass*

Barry and Pamela Ostrager, Esqs.

Lloyd Blankfein

Harris Connect, Inc.

Maurice Paprin

Carnegie Corporation of New York

Margaret Holen

Kevin A. Planck


Robert B. and Joan Catell*

Daniel & Eleanor Kane Family Foundation, Inc.

Ambassador John and Marcia Price

Commercial Mortgage Securities Association

Ann Ramsay-Jenkins

Stanley Kane

John F. W. Rogers


Linda F. Kaplan Thaler*

Salesforce Foundation

Margaret Crow

William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust

Eric and Wendy Schmidt

Ambassador John J. and Irene Danilovich

John G. Kester

Peter Jay Sharp Foundation

In-soon Kim

Joseph Spallina

Joseph Drown Foundation

David H. Koch

Tupperware Brands

Kenneth M. and Jacqueline Duberstein

Michael Koester

Barbara Walters*

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co.

Lt. General Samuel E. Ebbesen, USA (Ret.)

Charles B. Wang*

Korea Society

John Whitehead

Colleen Foster

Howard H. and Gretchen Leach

John S. Williams

Allan and Karen Levine

Stephen A. and Elaine Wynn

Howard Gilman Foundation

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Katsuhiko Yoshida

Rick and Susan Goings

Sybil V. McCarthy

Lester Crown

Ford Foundation

Bernard L. and Irene Schwartz

* Advisory Council Member

Donations as of 6/30/12

Advisory Council Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service Madeleine K. Albright

Vernon E. Jordan , Jr.

Sy Sternberg

Former Secretary of State

Senior Managing Director Lazard Freres and Co., LLC

Retired Chairman and CEO New York Life Insurance Company

Henry A. Kissinger

Linda Kaplan Thaler

Former Secretary of State

CEO and Chief Creative Officer The Kaplan Thaler Group, Ltd.

James A. Baker, III Former Secretary of State

Tom Brokaw Special Correspondent, NBC

Robert B. Catell Chairman AERTC, Stony Brook University

Fulvio V. Dobrich

Lois Pope LIFE Foundation

Colin L. Powell (Chair ) Former Secretary of State

President and CEO Galileo Asset Management, LLC

Linda Powell

Harold M. Evans

Lisa Quiroz

Former President and Publisher Random House

Senior Vice President Time Warner, Inc.

Carly Fiorina

Jack Rudin

Former Chairman and CEO Hewlett-Packard

May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc.

Vartan Gregorian

Stephen Schwarzman

President Carnegie Corporation of New York

Chairman and CEO The Blackstone Group

Richard N. Haass

Lisa S. Coico

President Council on Foreign Relations

President The City College of New York


160 Convent Avenue Shepard Hall, Suite 550 New York, NY 10031 212-650-8551 phone 212-650-8535 fax


Barbara Walters ABC News

Elie Wiesel Charles B. Wang Fareed Zakaria Editor at Large Time, Inc.

2011–2012 Colin Powell Center Annual Report  
2011–2012 Colin Powell Center Annual Report  

The 2011–2012 annual report of the Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service at the City College of New York