On Thursday, June 28th, President Karol V. Mason spoke at The Aspen Ideas Festival discussing “Criminal Justice Reform, Politics, and Forging a Way Forward.” Since The Aspen Ideas Festival gathered global leaders to examine challenging topical issues, President Mason wanted to share this essay with both the John Jay and Aspen community.
Give Black and Brown Children the Room to Make Mistakes
When a parent looks down at their newborn child, they’re filled with hope. A hope that if this child works hard in life, he’ll be successful. It doesn’t matter where he was born, how much his parents make, or his ethnicity. That hope is there. It’s a hope we pride ourselves on as a nation—we’re the “Land of Opportunity.” But in today’s America—where many black and brown children are often looked at with more suspicion and less empathy—we have to start asking ourselves a tough question: Do we give every child the same opportunities?
“Here’s a simple truth: We all have our biases. And many of us don’t understand our biases until we see the data.”—President Karol V. Mason
“We need to see the humanity in people that may not look like us, may not sound like us, but in every sense that matters are a part of us.”—President Karol V. Mason
“You’d be surprised what something as simple as a MetroCard or a regular meal can do for a student.”—President Karol V. Mason
“It’s all about creating a supportive environment instead of a punitive one, because it’s our job to keep children in school, not to push them out.”—President Karol V. Mason
“Black and brown children deserve the opportunity to succeed. And as a society, we can’t afford not to give it to them.”—President Karol V. Mason
See President Mason’s “Conversations with Great Leaders” at The Aspen Institute
September 7, 2017
Re: White House Decision to Rescind DACA
John Jay Community,
John Jay’s mission is to Educate for Justice and develop Fierce Advocates for Justice. Yesterday, we all witnessed what it means to be a Fierce Advocate for Justice. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and CUNY’s Chancellor, J.B. Milliken, chose John Jay College of Criminal Justice as the place to announce the lawsuit filed by Attorney General Schneiderman on behalf of the State of New York, 14 other states and the District of Columbia, challenging the Administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”). One of our own students was given an opportunity to share how the decision to rescind DACA would impact him personally, as well as the larger John Jay community and our country.
Our mission is even more vital given these recent developments. As I said in my letter on August 30th and as the Chancellor made abundantly clear in his remarks yesterday, the entire CUNY system and John Jay are committed to doing everything that we can to support and protect our students, regardless of their immigration status. Through your hard work, you have earned the right to be John Jay students, and we intend to use all of our available resources to ensure that you have an opportunity to succeed.
America is a nation of immigrants, and it is this wonderful mosaic of backgrounds and experiences that makes this country unique and a model for the world.
We will join with the overwhelming chorus of voices speaking out against the decision to rescind DACA, and leverage our resources to persuade Congress to right this obvious wrong. Thank you to the many faculty and staff who have been working together tirelessly to support our students, and who will continue to post updated information about available resources at the top of the John Jay website: http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/undocumentedstudents.
Please know that every member of John Jay’s leadership team, our faculty and staff are here to support you. You are not alone.
Karol V. Mason
This site is dedicated to supporting John Jay students, faculty, and staff seeking resources after the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Click on any title above to download an information sheet and find resources that may be relevant to your needs.
Updates and revisions will be ongoing: feel free to suggest additions and alternatives!
NEW!! Resources for Undocumented Students: Link http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/undocumentedstudents
NEW!! Resources for Climate Change: Link https://jjaypostelectionresources.commons.gc.cuny.edu/home/understanding-policies/climate-change/
RESIST: HOW TO TRIUMPH IN TRUMPLAND
The John Jay College community recognizes that many feel impacted by the recent events in our country. For the overall health of our community, we are sending you some strategies to help manage any feelings that may arise.
1) Maintain your normal routine and engage in healthy activities. It is important to maintain your regular routine and find ways to participate in activities that provide balance in your life. Try not to withdraw. Consider exercise, alone or with others, as a way to induce feelings of well-being.
2) Practice acceptance. Try self-soothing strategies like taking a walk, meditating, mindfulness exercises, listening to music, or whatever you find helpful. It is now time for you to take care of yourself.
3) Practice reflection and pay attention to your early awareness signs. Allow yourself some time to reflect on your reactions, your personal history, and ways that your values and well-being feel threatened. If you can watch your own reactions to stress, you can then address them. This might be a tightening of your throat, tension in your muscles, negative evaluations of the other person, or an impulse to act out.
4) Model healthy communication and seek community. This is an opportunity to show that you can elevate conversations, take a higher path, and engage in positive conversation. Sharing experiences and ideas with others can be a way to strengthen positive community values and shared identities. By helping to do this, you may feel good about yourself! There are a number of groups on campus that you may want to consider joining if you have not yet joined.
5) Limit your intake of news and social media. If you feel distressed by what is in the media, for the moment, limit your consumption of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sources that are likely to be full of distressing material. This also includes watching and reading the news. There are apps and websites such as LeechBlock, or SelfControl that can help you by temporarily blocking access to social media or certain websites.
6) Be thankful. Jotting down 10 to 15 things you are grateful for – such as your health or your family – can help you maintain perspective. The list will remind you of the people and things that provide you with strength and support.
7) Acknowledge feelings: Reactions to events vary from person to person. Some experience intense feelings while others experience nothing at all. Allow yourself to feel what you feel and don’t judge your personal experience or the experience of others.
8) Utilize your supports and resources: Many have a natural tendency toward isolation when feeling triggered or emotional. Reach out to those around you, family and friends, who may be experiencing similar feelings. Utilize support groups or other resources in your community.