45th Forum On Tolerance
Virtual Event from April 12th-16th, 2021.
Black Lives Matter: The U.S. Journey Towards Justice and Healing.
WITH OUR CONDEMNATION of the senseless murder of George Floyd as our catalyst, our virtual series will focus on the history of the harassment, profiling, and brutalization of our black citizens by the hands of community policing and the criminal justice system. We will explore steps that might be taken to reverse this systemic racism, help those who have been victimized by it, and heal as a nation and a community.
Dr. Chenzira Davis-Kahina
AfRaKan Healing TEA: Tolerance, Equity and Advocacy for Social Justice during UN-IDPAD
Which Side is Hip Hop on?
Join NSCC Professors Troy Smith and yusef Hayes for a Hip Hop Studies collaboration. Working with the song and video Which Side Are You On? Remix by Rebel Diaz ft. Dead Prez and Iriscience, this group will explore ideas of diversity, brotherhood, empowerment, political engagement, and class consciousness as expressed in and through Hip Hop culture.
Dr. Tiffany Magnolia
Intercultural Communication Training
Message 'from' the Grassroots: Discussion with local organizers, scholars, and activists
This panel will include members from Diverse People United, and Solidarity North Shore. Both groups have been active in challenging existing systems of oppression while articulating and building a world of freedom and justice. Join them as they dialogue with each other and NSCC professor, yusef Hayes from the Cultural Arts Department.
Keynote Sean Ellis
Current District Attorney, Rachael Rollins and
local activist, youth minister, and NSCC Alumnus, Andre Bennett will share their thoughts on criminal justice reform in the wake of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Both D.A. Rollins and Reverend Bennett share a close and personal connection to Sean Ellis’ case and eventual exoneration.
The Empower Engagement Experience:
Embracing Leadership. Strengthening Voice. Developing Vision.
12–1pm Keynote Speaker
Amma Marfo Empowerment starts with the ability to imagine yourself as impactful and influential. Using a framework for creativity, Amma will help you assess the tools and abilities that not only make you a creative person, but make you a more than capable leader.
1–2pm Simultaneous Workshops
Ricky Grant, Jr. (male students).
Metamorphosis into Adulthood “Unlocking your Best-Self," empowers young men to develop a vision for their lives, provides tools to strengthen their voice and embrace their leadership capacity.
Vania Pereira (female students)
Self- care and Imposter Syndrome: From F.E.A.R to (self) empowerment. Let's discuss strategies to live with fear and build on lessons learned to empower ourselves and others.
Listening and Acting on the Voices of our Students of Color
Jennifer Harris, Michele Cubelli Harris, Junior Pena, Salem State University
In this session, a panel of North Shore Community College and Salem State University students who identify as students of color will share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences being a student at their respective institution. The students will respond to a set of questions addressing the college’s responsiveness to their academic needs and the college’s efforts to support their academic success. Students will provide the college feedback on how to effectively empower students of color to successfully complete their degrees.
This forum is presented in collaboration North Shore Community College,
M.A.L.E.S. program and with Salem State University
Rev. Andre Bennett is the Youth Pastor at the Zion Baptist Church here in Lynn. He is a graduate of U Mass, Endicott college, and Atlantic Coast Theological Seminary. And Rev. Bennett has a certificate and Associates Degree in Developmental Disabilities right here from North Shore Communities College. He is an inspirational leader with the Essex County Community Organization or ECCO, which is a diverse network of congregations and organizations across the North Shore working on building relationships and putting power to human dignity at the center of public life. Andre is a passionate social activist working with a number of local colleges and community organizations to improve the lives of immigrant communities.
Dr. ChenziRa Davis-Kahina is a cultural griot artist, educator, published author, motivational speaker, media technologist, ordained priestess, visionary, community activist, developer, mother, and grandmother. Dr. Davis-Kahina is a founder and managing director of Per Ankh (House of Life)—an international NGO/NPO promoting Culture, Healing, Arts, Technology and Education for Life, Inspiration, Freedom and Education (CHATS4LIFE). Dr. Davis-Kahina is an ordained ministerial priestess of the international spiritual fellowship and society- Per Ankh M Smai Tawi Ministries. Dr. Davis-Kahina's academic journeys include Rutgers (NCAS), Pepperdine (CA), UC San Diego (Fellow), International University of Natural Sciences (MX/CA), and other global research, production, ministerial, and teaching certifications. Dr. Davis-Kahina is the founding director of the Virgin Islands Caribbean Cultural Center (VICCC) and teaching faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) both at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI)- the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the Caribbean and a Land Grant Institution.
Sean Ellis Sean was born in Boston in 1974. His participation in the school integration program (METCO), allowed him to attend Needham Public Schools from kindergarten through 10th grade. Sean would eventually transfer to Dorchester High where obtained his high school diploma in 1991. In September of 1993 he was charged as a co-venturer in the murder of a Boston Police Detective. Two years later on September of 1995, after 3 jury trials, he was convicted of murder and robbery. In 2015, a Suffolk Superior Court judge overturned his convictions, ruling, "justice was not done," and in December of 2018, the prosecution dropped the murder and armed robbery charges.
Since being home Sean has helped to co-found the Exoneree Network and been a staunch advocate of criminal justice/prison reform. He is also involved with organizations such as the New England Innocence Project, The NAACP, Violence in Boston, MCAN, ECCO and The Ministry of Justice.
Sean’s recently released docu-series, Trial 4, has elevated his voice internationally. He continuously speaks about his experiences
with racism and injustice within the criminal law system. A system that kept him behind
bars for nearly 22 years for a crime he did not commit!
Ricky Grant Jr. is a native of Boston Massachusetts. He graduated from Northeastern University, with a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and has over 17 years of experience managing supportive programs for underserved communities in Boston.
Ricky currently serves as the Chief of Community Engagement for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. He has managed various programs over the years that recruit, train, and empower community residents. Ricky also maintains strong relationships with community organizations, educational institutions, faith-based institutions, city agencies, and law enforcement entities to coordinate quality services for young adults and “returning.”
Dr. Tiffany Magnolia, Ph.D. is Professor of English and Coordinator of the Honors Program at NSCC. Dr. Magnolia has been involved with community organizing, labor organizing, and LGBT advocacy for over 30 years. She lives in Lynn.
Amma Marfo is an education, writing, and marketing professional that equips her audiences (on paper and in person alike) to understand creativity, their temperament, and the intersection of comedy and our daily lives. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Rhode Island, and a Master of Education from the University of South Florida.
Amma is a dynamic and sought-after speaker on topics such as leadership, group dynamics, learning and optimizing the temperament of your organization, cultivating environments that encourage creativity, and incorporating your values into your work and larger goals. She speaks on college and university campuses across the country, at regional and national conferences, and has partnered with organizations like HubSpot, Wayfair, Pfizer, and Ovia Health.
Her other interests include live comedy, surfing, trivia, and gluten-free cooking/baking. You can follow her on Twitter @ammamarfo.
Vania Pereira was born in Cape Verde but grew up in Boston, MA. She is a proud graduate of Brown University where she obtained her Masters degree in 2019 in American Studies and a certificate in Higher Education Administration. Prior to Brown, Vania attended Providence College where she earned her Bachelor degree in Global Studies and a Business Studies Certificate in 2017. Vania currently serves as a Program Coordinator in the Multicultural Center at Bentley University. Vania works closely with BIPOC students, first-generation college students, low-income students, and immigrant college students, as she identified as such when she was a student. She serves as an advocate, academic advisor, mentor, and strives to build community with her students through programming and events. In her free time, Vania likes to swim, play squash, paint, go hiking and sleep.
Rachael Rollins Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins is the chief law enforcement official for Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop, Massachusetts, and oversees an office of approximately 300 people handling approximately 35,000 new cases each year. She took office on Jan. 2, 2019, as Suffolk County’s 16th district attorney, the first woman to be elected to that position in Suffolk County history, and the first woman of color ever to serve as a Massachusetts district attorney.
44th Forum on Tolerance
Black Lives Matter: The U.S. Journey Towards Justice and Healing.
Virtual Event from October 19th-22nd, 2020.
WITH OUR CONDEMNATION of the senseless murder of George Floyd as our catalyst, our first part of this virtual series focused on the history of the harassment, profiling, and brutalization of our black citizens by the hands of community policing and the criminal justice system. Our speakers, nationally recognized Michael Eric Dyson, Ricky Grant Jr., Rev. Andre Bennet, and Valerie Stephens explored steps that might be taken to reverse this systemic racism, help those who have been victimized by it, and heal as a nation and a community.
This forum was presented in collaboration North Shore Community College, Office of Student Engagement and with Salem State University
Videos from Forum
Michael Eric Dyson
Introductions by Dr. Nate Bryant and Dr. Sean Bennett.
Ricky Grant Jr.
Chief of Community Engagement, Office of Suffolk County D.A. Rachael Rollins
Implicit Bias Training
Dr. Maria Vasquez and Dr. Jennifer Harris.
Reverend Andre Bennett
NSCC Alumnus/Youth Minister at Zion Baptist Church
Performance Artist/Creator of Princess Day
NSCC Forums teach tolerance, embrace diversity and support a learning environment.
NSCC Forums on Tolerance initiate educational challenges to students and members of the community to learn more about one another, bring about empathy and understanding toward other people, and to make a difference in ourselves, our neighborhoods, and our world. Since 1996, NSCC Forums have explored social injustice and its effects on the modern world and our own communities through topics ranging from the Holocaust to immigration and civil rights.
Partially supported by the Forums on Tolerance Endowed Fund.