Sunday, February 22, 2009

Biodiversity: Meaning and Importance to Our Planet

A talk by Julian Shepherd
Associate Professor of Biology, Binghamton University

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton
Binghamton, NY; February 22, 2009

This talk is from the series:

Ekos: Our Home, Our World, Our Environment:
Four Sunday Forums on Critical Environmental Issues
Sponsored by UUCB Green Sanctuary Education

Keywords: extinction, rainforests, IBM Glen, ecology

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Liberty in Peril: The State of Freedom on Campus


How to Be Proactive About Student Rights

Binghamton University
February 18, 2009

Speaker: Adam Kissel

Statement from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education:

Despite mission statements dedicated to free expression and free thought, college campuses across the country have betrayed their students by maintaining unconstitutional and illiberal policies that violate their students’ rights. Highlighted in the recent case of Andre Massena, the graduate student who was nearly suspended because of flyers he posted critical of a university department, and last year’s implementation of a harsh “failure to cooperate” policy, which violates students’ privacy and due process rights by requiring them to exit their dorm rooms at the request of a university official, Binghamton University and its administration have shown that Binghamton is no exception.

Adam Kissel, of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), will be coming to Binghamton on February 18th to discuss the state of freedom on campus and what we can do to preserve student rights.

He will be specifically talking about the university's disregard for Freedom of Speech, exemplified in the recent Andre Massena case. Also school policies like "Failure to Cooperate," which was implemented this year and violates our right to privacy and due process will be touched on and equally importantly, Adam will be talking about how we students can be proactive about student rights to ensure that our liberties are protected.

Related Links:

Binghamton University Department of Social Work Declares War on Student for Posters Criticizing Department and Government Agency

‘Binghamton Review’ Blasts Binghamton Social Work Department in Activism Case

PDF: The Scandal of Social Work Education

"Justice Speaks" Poster

Keywords: Andre Massena, free speech, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, FIRE, student rights, David Tanenhaus, Binghamton Housing Authority, Binghamton University Department of Social Work, academic freedom

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Understanding the Conflict: Israel's War on Gaza


Binghamton University
February 12, 2009

Moderator: Susan Pollock, Professor of Anthropology

A panel discussion with:

Nada Khader - A Palestinian-American activist and Executive Director of Westchester People's Action Coalition. Nada served as a consultant to the United Nations Development Program in the Gaza Strip and served for two years as a Fulbright Scholar in Tunisia.

Jonathan Karp - Associate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at SUNY-Binghamton. Professor Karp has written extensively on Jewish cultural and economic history, and teaches courses on Jewish responses to Zionism.

Ali Mazrui - Ranked by Prospect Magazine (UK) as among the top 100 public intellectuals in the world, Dr. Mazrui currently directs the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at SUNY-Binghamton, where he's the Albert Schweitzer Professor of Humanities. Among his many positions include the Vice-President of the World Congress of Black Intellectuals and a member of the Pan-African Advisory Council to UNICEF.

Omar Baddar - The [former] Executive Director the Massachusetts American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Omar is a Palestinian-American who grew up throughout the Middle East. He is a graduate of the University of Memphis Political Science program, where he earned his MA in International Relations and Comparative Politics. He was also recently elected to the Steering Committee of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

Statement from the Binghamton Political Initiative:

For over 25 days, Israeli forces - using U.S. supplied weapons - pummeled the beleaguered population of the Gaza strip, killing nearly 1,400 people, including 437 children. In turn, Hamas rockets killed three Israeli citizens. During their campaign, Israel shelled three United Nations schools and other civilian infrastructure, later rescinding their claims that militants were using the facilities to launch attacks.
Israel has come under scrutiny from Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, Human Rights Watch, the UN and B'Tselem for their use of experimental weapons on civilian populations, including white phosphorous and Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME), which can burn through skin to the bone.
Eight Israeli human rights groups have called on the Israeli government to investigate the scale of the casualties, describing the number of dead Palestinian women and children as “terrifying.” UN humanitarian chief John Holmes called the casualty toll “shocking.”
Within the United States, however, coverage of the conflict in the mainstream media has been marred by simplistic understandings and imperial overtones.What passes for analysis often little more than platitudes. A conflict of this magnitude, especially one in which the United States is deeply implicated, demands informed discussion. This event will serve as a step in that direction.

While this event will not serve as a debate between the "two sides" of the issue, not all panelists share the same perspective of the conflict or its foundations. Respectful discourse from differing views is encouraged. The event will also serve to connect attendees to ongoing human rights activism within the United States on this important issue.

Event Organizer/Sponsor: Binghamton Political Initiative

Co-Sponsors: Amnesty International, Middle Eastern Cultural Association, Experimental Media Organization/Student Action Collective, BU Turkish Student Association, Chinese Student and Scholar Association, Sociology Graduate Student Organization, Global Music and Dance Society, Muslim Student Association of Binghamton, Graduate Vice President for Multicultural Affairs