Public Conversations for Change Forums Seek to Shed Light on Issues Facing People with Disabilities

Some of the members of a PCC forums virtual Planning Meeting

Although they have taken place since 2016 and are now virtual events because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Public Conversation for Change (PCC) forums seek to convene marginalized members of the community, their allies, and other stakeholders to shed light upon and work toward positive change for people with disabilities. The series enjoys the support of the College of Staten Island (as the grant holder and primary lead in the project) and financial assistance from the Geraldo Rivera Fund for Social Work and Disability Studies.

According to Mayra Humphreys, PHD, LMSW, Director of the BSW program at CSI, the goal of the fall 2020 and upcoming spring 2021 forums is to “increase knowledge-sharing across stakeholders; cultivate a cohort of diverse cross-stakeholder leaders supporting person-centered, equitable policy, and services for people with disabilities; and collaboratively advocate for (one) person-centered, disability-related policy and/or service change.”

The co-coordinators of the PCC forums are CSI Social Work alumna Alexa Donnelly a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (BSW 2014, MSW 2015), Deputy Executive Director of the not-for-profit Person Centered Care Services, who will be teaching at CSI as an adjunct in the spring, and Nicole Mollinel, Division Director of Program Services at Person Centered Care Services, who will be teaching at CSI as an adjunct in the spring as well.

Donnelly stated that the last PCC forum was the first of a three-part series, which focused on employment and how the pandemic is affecting the experiences of people with disabilities. At this event, people who identify as having a developmental or intellectual disability (known as self-advocates) discussed their personal stories. The second event will invite parents and family members to share their experiences, and the third part of the series will feature the experiences of support professionals.

Donnelly said that the events are as inclusive as possible. “We invite all community members and have a targeted approach dependent on the forum, but we invite all to join us. We hope to bring these stories to folks who may not otherwise interact or get to know people with disabilities.” In addition, she noted that the planning committee consists of “a variety of people with disabilities involved in planning and putting together the events as well as ‘storytellers’ to share their stories with folks during these events.”

Summing up the importance of these forums, Donnelly said that “We are placing the person with a disability at the center of the story and shifting the focus from a ‘what to work on’ lens to a strength perspective. These sessions have brought an array of information to the community to engage folks into the disabled experience, community, and advocacy for policy change, as well as support for people with disabilities.”

More information on upcoming forums is available on the Geraldo Rivera Fund Website.

By Terry Mares

Food Pantry Email

The Office of Student Life would like to remind you that the CSI Food Pantry will continue to be an available resource on campus throughout the semester. If you or a student you know are having difficulties finding food to eat during this challenging time, CSI has a non-perishable Food Pantry that was created to help provide assistance for our students. Throughout the Fall semester, the pantry remains available to our campus community by appointment only. 

The Fall 2020 CSI Food Pantry APPOINTMENT HOURS will be from 10:30am to 1:00pm on Wednesdays and Fridays for the Fall semester. If you need to make an appointment, please fill out the online form, and someone from the Office of Student Life will contact you. Please note, if the dates and times listed above do not work for your schedule or if you have any questions, please feel free to email us at

All CUNY campus locations (including CSI) require that all faculty, staff, and students download and complete the Everbridge Health Checker app before coming to campus.  This simple Symptom Checker can and should be accessed from your mobile phone each day before your visit to campus. After a brief one-time setup of the Everbridge app, the daily Symptom Checker takes less than two minutes to complete. It is an important reminder to consider whether you have symptoms of–or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 before you enter any CUNY facility. You will need to Login using your CUNY Login credentials: (Username:  

For more information about CUNY’s policy on Campus re-entry or on the Everbridge App, please go online.

By the Division of Student Affairs

Technology Training Sessions for the Week of Nov. 23

The Technology Training Center will continue to offer weekly training sessions on the applications that can assist you with your telecommuting efforts. 

**NEW – Learn how to enable close captioning and transcriptions for Zoom meetings.

If there is a topic that you would like to have covered in the future, please contact us, and we will do our best to assist you. 

Please use our Registration page to register for this week’s sessions.  Please note that this schedule is fluid, and we may add or cancel training sessions as needed to better serve the College community.

We look forward to working with you.

Be well.

By Doriann Pieve-Hyland

This Week in Core 100

This Week in Core presents “Racism, Health Disparities, and the Pandemic” on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Lecture participants include:

  • Michael Paris (JD Columbia Law School; PhD, Politics, Brandeis University). Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science and Global Affairs. Pre-Law Advisor for the College.
  • Dr. Paul Archibald, Assistant Professor of Social Work. Morgan State University, 2000-2010, DPH. University of Maryland Baltimore County, 1990-1993, Master of Arts, Applied Sociology, 1993
  • Keith Rogers, MSW student. Counselor/Senior Success Coach at Good Shepherd Services in Brooklyn, East New York, and Co-Founder of Let’s Heal, a mental health service non-profit:
  • Sarolta Takács, Dean, Division of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Saadia Toor, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology/WGS. Faculty, Center for the Study of Women and Society, The Graduate Center, CUNY
  • Marcus C. Tye, Dean, School of Health Sciences

This lecture includes the following:

-a 14 minute pre-panel presentation highlighting health inequities and addressing some common questions on the pandemic and vaccine efficacy that students submitted

-a 56-minute panel discussion with faculty and students addressing themes raised by student questions and the topic of racism, health disparities, and the pandemic

Access the lecture online

Accompanying PowerPoint:  This lecture also includes an accompanying PowerPoint presentation, which is available via email upon request: .

The Core 100 Program would like to thank Marcus Tye, Dean of Health Sciences, for organizing a team of faculty from a diverse field of academic disciplines to participate in the presentation of this week’s Core lecture. Many thanks also to the participating faculty and students who made this lecture possible.

By the Division of Academic Affairs

Citibank – Early Identification Program

Citbank’s Early ID is a program designed for undergraduate sophomores that focuses on identifying, mentoring, and hiring diverse talent for their summer internship programs. This five-week insight program provides mentorship, access to virtual learning (includes weekly online trainings), and leadership discussions. Upon successful completion of the program, selected participants will be considered for an accelerated interview for a summer 2022 internship. More information is available online.

The Early ID Program application deadline is Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. 

​By Caryl Watkins

Virtual Commencement Tonight at 7:00pm

Please join us in celebrating the Class of 2020 tonight, Nov. 12 at 7:00pm.  You will find the link to this ceremony on the Commencement Website.

We have planned a virtual program full of Dolphin spirit, including student, faculty, and alumni speakers, as well as distinguished guests. On this day, we will honor the graduates for their achievements and for their perseverance and positive response to the disruption of their senior year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Special thanks to Student Government and the Campus Activities Board for your sponsorship. 

Members of the Class of 2020 who did not see their name listed among the graduates on the Commencement webpage, please refresh the pdf. Your name should be there now. If not, please contact 

By Jennifer S. Borrero, JD and the CSI Commencement Committee

Faculty Center Info Hub (CSI): Faculty Center Drop-in Session Schedule for Week of Nov. 9

The Faculty Center Drop-in Session schedule for this week is online. Drop-in Sessions can be accessed by using the Virtual Drop-in Center buttons located on the main page of the Faculty Center Info Hub (CSI) Bb Organization available to all teaching faculty at CSI.

For more information or questions about any of the workshops, courses, or assistance sessions offered by the Faculty Center for Professional Development at CSI please contact Center ISS Program Specialist, Kristen Lindtvedt directly at

Have a great week.

By Kristen Lindtvedt