Press
Press

New York State Observes MLK, Jr. Day With “Community Conversations”

Over 85 Discussions Happening in Communities Across the State

Jan 14 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Sara Ogger
(212) 233-1131 x30
ogger@nyhumanities.org

January 2011. In over 85 classrooms, museums, libraries and other community gathering spots around the state New Yorkers will mark the 2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service by holding a Community Conversation.

These “do-it-yourself” discussions are sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities, which is providing interested groups with an online tool kit (found at www.nyhumanities.org/conversations) containing all the materials necessary to hold thought-provoking conversations that use Dr. King’s writings as a jumping-off point to explore the personal and social importance of public service and civic engagement.

“To complement MLK, Jr. Day events that focus on commemoration and volunteerism,” says Council Executive Director Sara Ogger, “Community Conversations provide New Yorkers with an opportunity to reflect on Dr. King’s legacy of service and its meaning in today’s world.” Three types of these conversations will be happening around New York throughout January and February:

Community Conversations for adults will be sponsored by a wide range of groups, including:
• Adriance Public Library in Poughkeepsie – January 19 at 7 p.m.
• Buffalo Museum of Science – January 17 at 11 a.m.
• Freeport Memorial Library on Long Island – January 16 at 2 p.m.
• Galway Public Library in the North Country – February 1 at 7 p.m.
• Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center in Corona, Queens – January 14 at 7 p.m.
• SUNY Cortland: Institute for Civic Engagement in Central New York – January 17 at 2:30 p.m.

Community Conversations for Families will be held at libraries including:
• Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch – January 15 at 1 p.m.
• Mt. Kisco Library in Westchester – January 22 at 1:30 p.m.
• Morris-Jumel Mansion in Harlem – February 19 at 1 p.m.
• The Pelham Library in Westchester – February 7 at 7 p.m.

Classroom Conversations for students will happen at schools around the state including:
• Eagle Point Elementary School in Albany
• Immaculate Conception School in Wellsville in the Chautauqua-Allegheny Region
• Jasper-Troupsburg Elementary in the Finger Lakes Region
• Mannsville Manor Elementary in the North Country
• PS 30M - Hernandez/Hughes Learning Academy in Harlem
• School of the Holy Child in Westchester
• The Convent of the Sacred Heart in Manhattan
Sorry, these events are open only to students and school personnel.

A full list of organizations hosting conversation events is attached along with a contact person for each organization.

EDITORS NOTE: Event coordinators and New York Council for the Humanities executives are available for in-studio, interview and photo opportunities upon request. Please call Sara Ogger for more information.

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Classroom Conversations bring together members of a school community to join in a facilitated discussion of a short reading. The teacher or facilitator introduces thought-provoking questions and encourages students to reflect on issues raised by the reading and discuss how they impact our lives and communities.

For Martin Luther King Day, the New York Council for the Humanities has developed an easy to use online tool kit containing resources and suggestions on how to lead a meaningful discussion of thoughts and ideas to develop a sense of understanding. These materials relate to New York State Learning Standards: Language Arts 1.1, 2.1 and Social Studies 1.1, 1.2, 5.1, 5.3.

For students, Classroom Conversations serves as a unique opportunity to interact with others and explore possibilities through various perspectives and interpretations. For teachers, a conversation enriches classroom curriculum by providing materials not typically taught in text books. Students and teachers are given the opportunity to share thoughts and questions through community interaction to shape individual insight and critical thinking. http://www.nyhumanities.org/discussion_groups/community_conversations/classroom_conversations.php

Community Conversations bring together members of a group, organization or neighborhood to join in a facilitated discussion of a short reading. The facilitator introduces thought-provoking questions and encourages participants to reflect on the issues raised by the reading and discuss how they impact our lives and communities.

Engaging in a Community Conversation brings people together for the purpose of sharing and listening. For participants, it can be a unique opportunity to meet neighbors and new friends. For host organizations, a conversation program can bring new audiences and build a site's capacity as a public forum. For students and teachers, it's a new way to approach standard material, encouraging individual insight and critical thinking.

Current events are an ideal place to begin a community dialogue. The New York Council for the Humanities has developed reading and discussion resources for Martin Luther King Day. http://www.nyhumanities.org/discussion_groups/community_conversations/sign_up.php

Community Conversations for Families give elementary-age children and their parents the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue about current events. Elementary schools, libraries, and cultural institutions can take advantage of these conversations to make personal connections with families and to promote intergenerational discussion.

Each Community Conversation is based on a short text that is read at the beginning of the discussion. A facilitator introduces thought-provoking questions and encourages participants to reflect and discuss the issues raised by the reading and how they impact our lives and communities.

For Martin Luther King Day, the New York Council for the Humanities will provide a short text from Dr. King that emphasizes the importance of service in our communities. We also provide a set of age-appropriate discussion questions, along with tips for facilitating this kind of conversation. These materials are intended for children between third and sixth grade. http://www.nyhumanities.org/discussion_groups/community_conversations/CommunityConversationsforFamilies.php

Background information on the New York Council for the Humanities:
Founded in 1975 and supported by Federal, State, and private sources, the New York Council for the Humanities helps all New Yorkers lead vibrant intellectual lives by strengthening traditions of cultural literacy, critical inquiry, and civic participation. www.nyhumanities.org


MLK Day of Service Community Conversations in New York

Community Conversations for General Adult Audiences

Alfred State College, Allegany County, Western New York
Ashley Kehoe: kehoeal@alfredstate.edu

Alfred University, Allegany County, Western New York
Ryan Arroyo: arroyo@alfred.edu

Bella Italia Mia, Inc., Maspeth, Queens
Diego Lodico: bellaitaliamia@mail.com

Buffalo Museum of Science
Staci Cameron: scameron@sciencebuff.org

Caribbean Cultural Theatre, Brooklyn
E.Wayne: info@caribbeantheatre.org

Cayuga Community College Library, Cayuga County, Central New York
Rosemarie Romano: rosemarie.romano@cayuga-cc.edu

Child and Family Services, Buffalo
Lisa Holmes: lholmes@cfsbny.org

Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City
Janet Egyhazi: jegyhazi@cshnyc.org

Fallsburg Library, Sullivan County, Catskills
Pennie Mercado: pmercado@rcls.org

Family Services of Westchester
Irina Miagkova: imiagkov@fsw.org

Farmingdale State College, Long Island
Dr. Veronica Henry: veronica.henry@farmingdale.edu

Five Towns Senior Center, Long Island
Georgiana Wolfson: seniorwoodmere@aol.com

Freeport Memorial Library, Long Island
Maryellen Cantanno: mcantanno@freeportlibrary.info

Galway Public Library, Saratoga County, North Country
Regina Doi: director@galwaypubliclibrary.org

Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, Monroe County, Western New York
Scott Fearing: scottf@gayalliance.org

Hamilton College, Oneida County, Central New York
Madeline Lopez: mlopez@hamilton.edu

Harmony House Marketplace, Albany County, Hudson Mohawk
Diane Conroy-LaCivita: dconroylacivita@yahoo.com

Henry Waldinger Memorial Library, Long Island
Mamie Eng: hwmlcontact@hotmail.com

Hillwood Art Museum, LIU, Long Island
Barbara Applegate: barbara.applegate@liu.edu

Horace Greeley High School, Westchester County, Catskills
Mary Devane: madevane@ccsd.ws

Hudson Opera House, Columbia County, Hudson Mohawk
Gary Schiro: gary@hudsonoperahouse.org

Immaculate Conception School, Allegany County, Western New York
Nora Burdick: icsprincipal24@yahoo.com

Jamesville-DeWitt High School, Syracuse
Paul Gasparini: pgasparini@jd.cnyric.org

Keuka College, Ontario County, Western New York
Chevanne DeVaney: cdevaney@keuka.edu

Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center, Corona, Queens
Tracy Crawford: tcrawford@queenslibrary.org

Liberation Diploma Plus High School, Brooklyn
Albert Nickerson: anickerk206@aol.com

Long Island University, CW Post Campus
William Clyde: william.clyde@liu.edu

Marble Hill Senior Center, Bronx
Ernece Kelly: brownkelly1@aol.com

Montauk Library, Long Island
Carloyn Balducci: mntkprog@suffolk.lib.ny.us

Moore Memorial Library, Chenango County, Central New York
Heather McCloud: gr.heather@4cls.org

Mosaic Preparatory Academy, New York City
Lisette Caesar: LCaesar@schools.nyc.gov

Mt. Kisco Library, Westchester County, Catskills
Martha Iwan: miwan@wlsmail.org

Museum for African Art, Long Island City, Queens
Erika Gee: egee@africanart.org

New York Campus Compact, Cornell University, Ithaca
Brittany Campese: bcampese@cornell.edu

North Shore Branch, AAUW, Long Island
Diane Haney: haneydhd@yahoo.com

North Syracuse Central School District
Gary Rothenberg: grothenb@nscsd.org

Northport-East Public Library, Long Island
Candace Reeder: creeder@suffolk.lib.ny.us

Otego United Methodist Church, Otsego County, Central New York
Lisa Jo Bezner: otegoumc@hotmail.com

Poughkeepsie Public Library, Dutchess County, Hudson Catskill
Debora Shon: dshon@poklib.org

Rochester School for the Deaf Association
Pamela Conley: prcnge@rit.edu

Seventh Day Adventist Church, South Richmond Hill, Queens
Michelle Gonzalez: michi1516v@gmail.com

St. Francis College, Brooklyn
Ian Maloney: imaloney@stfranciscollege.edu

St. John's University, Jamaica, Queens
Christopher Solkshinitz: csolkshinitz@gmail.com

Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Long Island
Barbara Moon: bmoon@suffolk.lib.ny.us

SUNY College at Brockport, Monroe County, Western New York
Sara Dierks: sdierks@brockport.edu

SUNY Cortland: Institute for Civic Engagement, Cortland County, Central New York
Stephanie Plude: stephanie.plude@cortland.edu

SUNY Plattsburgh, Warren County, North Country
Dave Iasevoli: david_iasevoli@yahoo.com

SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse
Siobhan Arey: areys@upstate.edu

UnionDocs, New York City
Christopher Allen: christopher@uniondocs.org

Wadsworth Library, Livingston County, Western New York
Anna Grace: geneseolibrary@owwl.org

West Irondequoit Teaching Learning Center, Rochester
Karen Finter: karen_finter@westiron.monroe.edu

Westhill Schools, Syracuse
Mark Bednarski: mbednarski@westhillschools.org


Classroom Conversations for Student Audiences

Albany Central School District
Tammie Keough: tlkeough@nycap.rr.com

Binghamton City School District, Broome County, Central New York
Susan Phelps: phelps@binghamtonschools.org

Brocton Central Schools, Chatauqua County, Western New York
Alexis Berman: aberman@broc.wnyric.org

Buffalo Public Schools
Charles Brandy: wbrandy@buffaloschools.org

Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City
Janet Egyhazi: jegyhazi@cshnyc.org

Conversations With Shakespeare, New York City
Daniela Varon: dwvaron@earthlink.net

Cypress Hills Collegiate Prep, Brooklyn
Jessica Anaya-Lopez: janayal@schools.nyc.gov

Dominican Academy, New York City
Katie Leo: kleo@dominicanacademy.org

Dunkirk Public School #7, Chatauqua County, Western New York
Julie Freling: jfreling@dunkirk.wnyric.org

Eagle Point Elementary School, Albany County, Hudson Mohawk
Marni Neenos: mneenos@albany.k12.ny.us

Ellenville Elementary School, Ulster County, Catskills
Sarah Mitchell: smitchell@ecs.k12.ny.us

Freeport Memorial Library, Long Island
Maryellen Cantanno: mcantanno@freeportlibrary.info

Hamilton College, Oneida County, Central New York
Madeline Lopez: mlopez@hamilton.edu

Holland Middle School, Erie County
Mary Gardon: mgardon@holland.wnyric.org

Horace Greeley High School, Westchester County, Catskills
Mary Devane: madevane@ccsd.ws

International Community High School, Bronx
Maryam Dilakian: mdilakian@yahoo.com

Jamesville-DeWitt High School, Syracuse
Paul Gasparini: pgasparini@jd.cnyric.org

Jasper-Troupsburg Elementary, Steuben County, Western New York
Nancy Wyatt: magp81692@yahoo.com

Long Island University, CW Post Campus,
William Clyde: william.clyde@liu.edu

Madrid Waddington Central School, St Lawrence County, North Country
Sandy Steinberg: ssteinberg@mwcsk12.org

Mannsville Manor Elementary, Jefferson County, North Country
Ron Perry: rlperry1012@gmail.com

Mosaic Preparatory Academy, New York City
Lisette Caesar: LCaesar@schools.nyc.gov

Museum for African Art, Long Island City, Queens
Erika Gee: egee@africanart.org

Nazareth College Center for Civic Engagement, Rochester
Danielle Rhubart: drhubar1@naz.edu

New York Campus Compact, Cornell University, Ithaca
Brittany Campese: bcampese@cornell.edu

North Syracuse Central School District,
Gary Rothenberg: grothenb@nscsd.org

Notre Dame School, New York City
Mary Kate Blaine: blainem@cheznous.org

OCM BOCES, Syracuse
Chris Kaleta: ckaleta@ocmboces.org

Olmstead School #64, Buffalo
Susanna Schenk: sschenk@buffalopublicschools.org

P.S. 10, Brooklyn
Rosanne Macrina: rmacrina@optonline.net

Pan American International HS at Monroe, Bronx
Daniel Stein: mrsteinlearning@gmail.com

PS 30M - Hernandez/Hughes Learning Academy, New York City
Brenda Shufelt: bshufel@schools.nyc.gov

Queens Central Library, Jamaica, Queens
Lynn Gonen: lgonen@queenslibrary.org

Robert C. Dodson School, Westchester County, Catskills
Joanne Casella: jcasella@dodson.ypschools.org

School of the Holy Child, Westchester County, Catskills
Emily Moore: e.moore@holychildrye.org

St. Anthony School, Westchester County, Catskills
Elizabeth Carney: StAnthonySchool1395@yahoo.com

St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School, Long Island
Patricia Callahan: callahan@sjbdhs.org

St. John's University, Jamaica, Queens
Christopher Solkshinitz: csolkshinitz@gmail.com

St. Theresa School, Bronx
Josephine Fanelli: b262@adnyschools.org

SUNY Plattsburgh, Warren County, North Country
Dave Iasevoli: david_iasevoli@yahoo.com

SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse
Siobhan Arey: areys@upstate.edu

TST Community School, Ithaca
Suzanne Massa: smassa@tstboces.org

Wagner College, Richmond, Staten Island
Curtis Wright: curtis.wright@wagner.edu

West Irondequoit Teaching Learning Center, Rochester
Karen Finter: karen_finter@westiron.monroe.edu

Westhill Schools, Syracuse
Mark Bednarski: mbednarski@westhillschools.org

William Cullen Bryant High School, Astoria, Queens
Barbara Tutino: btutino@schools.nyc.gov


Community Conversations for Families

Brooklyn Public Library
Angeli Rasbury: a.rasbury@brooklynpubliclibrary.org

Caribbean Cultural Theatre, Brooklyn
E.Wayne: info@caribbeantheatre.org

Child and Family Services, Buffalo
Lisa Holmes: lholmes@cfsbny.org

Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City
Janet Egyhazi: jegyhazi@cshnyc.org

Fallsburg Library, Sullivan County, Catskills
Pennie Mercado: pmercado@rcls.org

Galway Public Library, Saratoga County, North Country
Regina Doi: director@galwaypubliclibrary.org

Guilderland Public Library, Albany County, Hudson Mohawk
Deborah Shoup: shoupd@guilpl.org

Hudson Opera House, Columbia County, Hudson Mohawk
Hudson Opera House: gary@hudsonoperahouse.org

Long Island Children's Museum
Kayla Dove: kdove@licm.org

Brooklyn Public Library, Macon Branch
Taneya Gethers: t.gethers@brooklynpubliclibrary.org

Mannsville Manor Elementary, Jefferson County, North Country
Ron Perry: rlperry1012@gmail.com

Morris-Jumel Mansion, New York City
Carol Ward: education@morrisjumel.org

Mosaic Preparatory Academy, New York City
Lisette Caesar: LCaesar@schools.nyc.gov

Mt. Kisco Library, Westchester County, Catskills
Martha Iwan: miwan@wlsmail.org

Museum for African Art, Long Island City, Queens
Erika Gee: egee@africanart.org

North Syracuse Central School District
Gary Rothenberg: grothenb@nscsd.org

Olmstead School #64, Buffalo
Susanna Schenk: sschenk@buffalopublicschools.org

Otego United Methodist Church, Otsego County, Central New York
Lisa Jo Bezner: otegoumc@hotmail.com

Penn Yan Public Library, Yates County, Western New York
Sarah Crevellilng: screvelling@pypl.org

Queens Central Library, Jamaica, Queens
Lynn Gonen: lgonen@queenslibrary.org

School of the Holy Child, Westchester County, Catskills
Emily Moore: e.moore@holychildrye.org

Seventh Day Adventist Church, South Richmond Hill, Queens
Michelle Gonzalez: michi1516v@gmail.com

St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School, Long Island
Patricia Callahan: callahan@sjbdhs.org

St. Theresa School, Bronx
Josephine Fanelli: b262@adnyschools.org

Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Long Island
Barbara Moon: bmoon@suffolk.lib.ny.us

Town of Pelham Public Library, Westchester County, Catskills
Lillian Hecker: lhecker@wlsmail.org

Uniondale Public Library, Long Island
Deirdre Escoffier: descoffier@uniondalelibrary.org

Westhill Schools, Syracuse
Mark Bednarski: mbednarski@westhillschools.org