Thursday, October 18, 9:30am
Welcoming Remarks by David Olan, Bret Eynon, Cathy Davidson, Joy Connolly, and Kaysi Holman

Thursday, October 18, 10-11am
Keynote: Dr. Lourdes Dolores Follins

Like many in the United States, Dr. Lourdes Dolores Follins has had a number of careers over the past 25 years. However, her work has always been guided by a mantra she learned as a teen: Meliora (Latin: Always better). At this stage of her life, Lourdes Dolores is a psychotherapist, writer, and a Yoruba/Lukumi priest. Born and raised in New York City, she earned her M.S.W. and Ph. D. in Clinical Social Work from New York University. Lourdes Dolores has worked with and advocated for marginalized children, adolescents, and adults for over 25 years in a variety of settings—including CUNY. During the 14 years that she taught at Kingsborough Community College, she conducted a federally-funded research study about decision-making in Black and Latino gay male emerging adults. Lourdes Dolores also received several awards and fellowships which allowed her and her colleagues to conduct two higher education studies: (1) “Equity and Excellence: Exploring Facilitators and Barriers to Student Success” and (2) “Experiences and Perceptions of Historically Underrepresented Faculty at Three CUNY Community Colleges”. At the time that she departed CUNY in Spring 2018, Lourdes Dolores was a tenured Associate Professor.

Thursday, October 18, 4:00-5:00pm
Featuring Community College Student Work

LaGuardia Community College students who were in classes with CUNY Humanities Alliance Graduate Teaching Fellows will talk about their work in those classes, and answer questions about their work in Humanities Alliance classes, their student experience, and their own aspirations.

Friday, October 19, 5:30-6:30pm
Keynote: Saeed Jones

Saeed Jones is a powerful voice in the world of literary activism and his writing often takes on questions of identity. As the executive editor of culture at BuzzFeed, he has shaped his platform into a tool for social awareness. Saeed Jones was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up in Lewisville, Texas. His debut collection, Prelude to Bruise, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and was awarded the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry. The collection also received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, which described the book as, “a fever dream, something akin to magic.” His poems engage themes of intimacy, race and power, and often incorporate elements of mythology. In a 2014 interview for PEN America, Jones stated, “I’m obsessed with manhood as a brutal and artful performance. My mind always finds its way back to the crossroad where sex, race, and power collide. Journeys, transformation as well as dashed attempts to transform, fascinate me as well.” Jones has received a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from Cave Canem and Queer Art Mentorship. He lives in New York City where he’s working on his memoir, How We Fight For Their Lives. Set to release in the spring of 2018, the memoir captures Saeed’s experience growing up as a queer, black male in southern America.