Common Intellectual Experiences

In addition to high impact instructional experiences and pedagogical research, faculty and the campus community at large are engaging in large-scale discussions about issues challenging community colleges in general and Queensborough in particular.


The Common Read is a Common Intellectual Experience that promotes integrative learning across the curriculum. This is accomplished through voluntary participation of faculty, both on campus and in local high schools, who introduce the text to their students and support the reading with co-curricular events. This text is supported via professional development and co-curricular, cross-disciplinary events. These provide an opportunity for increased social and academic engagement while enhancing student learning outside of the classroom.

2015-2016 Common Read
Featured text: Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption, by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton with Erin Torneo

Picking Cotton Book Cover

Queensborough faculty members and their students will read Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemtion in classes in the spring 2016 semester. They will be joined by classes from the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP) and Francis Lewis High School. All students will participate in co-curricular activities.

Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption is a profoundly moving exploration of the principle of forgiveness, the theme for this year’s Common Read. Jennifer was raped at knifepoint in the summer of 1984 in North Carolina, and she identified Ronald Cotton as the rapist; after serving 11 years in prison for the crime, a DNA test proved Ronald’s innocence, and the real perpetrator of this horrible crime, a man named Bobby Poole, was identified. Two years after Ronald’s freedom and exoneration, Jennifer and he met. They became friends and decided to share their story with the world by writing this book, which quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Through their strength and dedication to the power of forgiveness, Jennifer and Ronald have transformed what could have been a purely tragic series of occurrences into a deeply inspirational story, and they now travel the world telling their story of injustice, trauma, and healing.

Through the theme of this year’s Common Read initiative of forgiveness, we hope not only to share the authors' stories, but to prompt the campus community to think outside of themselves, to imagine living in a situation different from their own, promoting an increased awareness and willingness to forgive.

For additional information regarding this initiative please contact Ms. Susan Madera, Academic Program Manager for High Impact Practices and Director of the Common Read at smadera@qcc.cuny.edu or Dr. Jean Murley, Associate Professor, English, and Coordinator of the Common Read, at jmurley@qcc.cuny.edu.


SPECIAL EVENT:  JENNIFER THOMPSON COMES TO QCC!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 1:00 to 3:00 PM, QPAC THEATRE
Jennifer Thompson, co-author of this year's Common Read text, will join us to speak about her experiences as a victim of both a brutal attack and a wrongful conviction.  
Video available at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKr2cI26ONU and http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/tigermedia/detailView.aspx?MediaID=4751

Common Read Events for Spring 2016

Week 1 Events (March 1 – 4, 2016)

Tuesday, March 1st
Documentary:  “The Central Park Five”
In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park.  They spent between 6 and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, leading to their convictions being overturned.  Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, The Central Park Five tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice.  (Runtime:  119 minutes)
10:10 to 12:00 pm, Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center & Archives Classroom
Seat limit:  70

Tuesday, March 1st
Movie:  “Conviction”                                                                                    
Two-time Academy Award Winner Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell deliver unforgettable performances in this incredible true story about Betty Anne Waters that co-stars Minnie Driver, Juliette Lewis and Peter Gallagher.  Swank plays Betty Anne Waters, a young woman whose world is shattered when her beloved brother Kenny (Rockwell) is convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.  Steadfastly convinced of his innocence, Betty Anne embarks on an 18-year journey to set Kenny free, using state-of-the-art forensic technology.  The unshakable bond between brother and sister, at the heart of this real-life drama, will stir your emotions and inspire you.  (Runtime:  103 minutes)
12:10 to 2:00 pm, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit:  73

Wednesday, March 2nd
“An Overview of the Innocence Project and Innocence Work”
Guest Speaker:  Karen Thompson, Staff Attorney with the Innocence Project
The Innocence Project’s groundbreaking use of DNA technology to free innocent people has provided unquestionable proof that wrongful convictions are not isolated events.  They, instead, arise from imperfections in our criminal justice system.  The Innocence Project’s mission is to free the overwhelming numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.
12:10 to 1:00 pm, Medical Arts Building, Room136
Seat limit:  270
Video Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6rYeLcSB6c or http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/tigermedia/detailView.aspx?MediaID=4736

Thursday, March 3rd
Documentary:  “The Central Park Five”
In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park.  They spent between 6 and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, leading to their convictions being overturned.  Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, The Central Park Five tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice. (Runtime:  119 minutes)
2:10 to 4:00 pm, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit:  73

Friday, March 4th
Documentary:  “After Innocence”
This documentary tells the dramatic and compelling story of the exonerated – innocent men wrongfully imprisoned for decades and then released after DNA evidence proved their innocence.  Focusing on the gripping stories of seven men, including a police officer, an army sergeant and a young father that were sent to prison for decades – in some cases death row – for crimes they did not commit, this documentary explores the emotional journeys these men face when thrust back into society with little or no support from the system that put them behind bars.  While the public views exonerations as success stories – wrongs that have been righted – this documentary shows that the human toll of wrongful imprisonment can last far longer than the sentences served, raising basic questions about human rights and society’s moral obligation to the exonerated by placing a spotlight on the flaws in our criminal justice system that lead to wrongful conviction of the innocent.  (Runtime: 95 minutes)
10:10 to 12:00 pm, Medical Arts Building, Room 344A
Seat limit:  64

Friday, March 4th
“Stolen Years: Stories of the Wrongfully Imprisoned”
Guest Speaker:  Reuven Fenton
Join us as author, and New York Post reporter, Reuven Fenton speaks about his recent release, Stolen Years: Stories of the Wrongfully Imprisoned.  In this book he profiles ten men and women, telling their harrowing stories of imprisonment, how they were set free, and the triumph of the human spirit. 
1:10 to 3:00 pm, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit:  73
Video Available at:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQ1-dGhgFp8 or http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/tigermedia/detailView.aspx?MediaID=4740

 

Week 2 Events (March 7 – 11, 2016)

Monday, March 7th
Documentary:  “The Central Park Five”
In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park.  They spent between 6 and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, leading to their convictions being overturned.  Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, The Central Park Five tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice. (Runtime:  119 minutes)
8:10 to 10:00 am, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit:  73

Monday, March 7th                  CLOSED SESSION – ALL SEATS HAVE BEEN RESERVED
“Journalism Class Presentation:  Eye Witnesses, Credible Sources, and Effective Crime Reporting”
A workshop led by Professor Alisa Cercone and her journalism students on the challenges journalists face when reporting on a crime.
Presented by:  Professor Alisa Cercone and her students
12:10 to 2:00 pm, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit:  73

Tuesday, March 8th                  CLOSED SESSION – ALL SEATS HAVE BEEN RESERVED
“Isolating Solitude: Being Alone in Rectify and Picking Cotton”
In a recent Op Ed in The Washington Post, President Obama issued a ban on solitary confinement for juveniles and non-violent offenders in federal prison.  There is growing evidence that indicates that solitary confinement contributes to a host of social and psychological issues for inmates, both while they are incarcerated and after their release.   This event explores various ideas associated with solitude.  Participants will view the pilot episode of Rectify, which is a Sundance Channel produced drama that chronicles the life of character Daniel Holden, who spends 19 years in solitary confinement for a crime he did not commit.  Participants will also discuss the text Picking Cotton as a way to deepen the conversation.
Presented by:  Dr. Joan Dupre and Dr. Lakersha Smith
12:10 to 2:00 pm, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit:  73

Tuesday, March 8th                
“Dance Performance and Discussion on Forgiveness”                                                       
Students will perform a works in progress piece that they are working on for the May 12th & 13th Spring Dance Workshop Concert.  They will use Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption, inspiration from attending other Common Read events, additional research on forgiveness, and their own personal investigations on a process of forgiveness to create the dance piece.  Their performance will be followed by a discussion and an opportunity for questions to discuss their process and discoveries.
Presented by:  Professor Emily Berry and her students
2:30 to 4:00 pm, Robert F. Kennedy Building, Room 214
Seat limit:  50

Wednesday, March 9th
“What Can (and Can’t) Our Genes tell us About Someone?”                   
Our genome encodes all of our traits, but even identical twins are not “identical.”  We will talk about what our genes do encode, how identical information can produce different traits, the potential flaws in DNA fingerprinting, and unusual modes of inheritance of some traits.  (Poster format)
Presented by:  Dr. Sara Danzi Engoron and her students
10:10 to 11:00 am, Medical Arts Building, Room 253

Wednesday, March 9th
“Myths:  Who are we to Judge?”                                                                
Is a myth fiction, or a lie?  Cognitive stereotypes are alive and well in our society.  Join us as we explore the miscarriage of justice and disctiminatory stereotpyes.
Presented by:  Professors Georgina Colalillo and Janice Molloy
12:10 to 1:00 pm, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit 73

Wednesday, March 9th
“Self, World and Poems that Ask Forgiveness:  An Interactive Event”     
In a world in which acts of violence seem to occur with ever-increasing randomness and magnitude, what, some may ask, can poetry offer?  Though Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet was speaking of imprisonment when he wrote, “It’s this way: / being captured is beside the point, / the point is not to surrender,” his words may apply to our collective refusal to surrender to the many forms of violence we face in our contemporary world.  Whether poems address the violence of climate change, of interracial strife, or of gender inequalities, they offer not only resistance to violence, but also act as fields in which forgiveness is forged from a naming of violence and the potential of renewal that can result.  Come hear how poetry represents violence and offers forgiveness in its stead.
Presented by:  Professors Richard Tayson, Benjamin Miller, and Danielle Izzo Buckner
12:10 to 2:00 pm, Science Building, Room 111
Seat limit:  186

Wednesday, March 9th
“An Interactive Presentation on Sexual Violence on College Campuses and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)”       One in four women experience sexual violence while attending college.  Join us as we discuss the risk factors, consequences (including PTSD) and follow-up care.  What is PTSD?  What causes it?  What are the symptoms? What treatment is available?  We will discuss these issues as well as possible symptoms experienced by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino. 
Presented by:  Professors Barbara Rome and Janet Franzese
1:10 to 2:00 pm, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit:  73

Thursday, March 10th
The Law Enforcer’s Perspective – Misconceptions vs. the Reality of Police Work
Guest Speaker:  QCC Alum, Retired NYPD Sargeant Jeff Hunt
We often hear of justice and injustice from the perspectives of victims and/or their families.   Join us as we hear how the police deal with evidence and cues from witnesses, and how police officers and law enforcement agents synthesize and process the information they are given.  Learn some of the common questions and ideas they explore as they analyze the details of a case.
Presented by Dr. Kerri-Ann Smith and her students
9:00 to 10:00 am, Medical Arts Building, Room 136
Seat limit:  270

Thursday, March 10th
"The Law Enforcer’s Perspective on Self-Defense"
Guest Speaker:  QCC Alum, Retired NYPD Sargeant, and Sensei Jeff Hunt 
Join us as Sensei Jeff Hunt, 3rd Degree Black Belt in Shotokan Karate, informs and demonstrates how you can defend yourself.
11:10 to 12 noon, Student Union Upper Level
Seat limit:  100

Thursday, March 10th
Movie:  “Conviction”                                                                                    
Two-time Academy Award Winner Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell deliver unforgettable performances in this incredible true story about Betty Anne Waters that co-stars Minnie Driver, Juliette Lewis and Peter Gallagher.  Swank plays Betty Anne Waters, a young woman whose world is shattered when her beloved brother Kenny (Rockwell) is convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.  Steadfastly convinced of his innocence, Betty Anne embarks on an 18-year journey to set Kenny free, using state-of-the-art forensic technology.  The unshakable bond between brother and sister, at the heart of this real-life drama, will stir your emotions and inspire you.  (Runtime:  103 minutes)
10:10 to 12 noon, Medical Arts Building, Room 136
Seat limit:  270

Thursday, March 10th
"Exploring Forgiveness"
This event offers a curated collection of Genocide survivor testimony video clips, followed by a facilitated discussion led by Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center & Archives Director, Dr. Dan Leshem. Testimony examples will portray the varying attitudes of survivors towards their perpetrators and will explore the idea of forgiveness and hate after atrocity. Possible mass atrocities may include: the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, the Rwandan Genocide, and War Crimes in East Asia.  
     Session I:  "Denial and the Search for Justice"
     2:10 – 4:00 pm, Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center & Archives,
                                 Exhibition Hall (Glass Box)
     Seat limit:  100

Friday, March 11th
“So, You’re Interested in a Career in Criminal Justice.  What’s Next?”
Guest Speakers: Natasha Graf, Associate Director of Transfer Programs, and La Vaughn Emanis, CUNY Justice Academy Student Engagement Coordinator, from John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Are you thinking about getting a bachelor's degree? Do you want to learn more about the CUNY Justice Academy partnership with John Jay College of Criminal Justice?  Do you have questions about the transfer program the CUNY Justice Academy offers?  Join us as we learn about careers in Criminal Justice and transfer opportunities to John Jay College.
1:10 to 3:00 pm, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit:  73

Week 3 Events (March 14 – 18, 2016)

Monday, March 14th
Documentary:  “The Central Park Five”
In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park.  They spent between 6 and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, leading to their convictions being overturned.  Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, The Central Park Five tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice.  (Runtime:  119 minutes)
8:10 to 10:00 am, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit:  73

Monday, March 14th
Documentary:  “The Central Park Five”
In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park.  They spent between 6 and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, leading to their convictions being overturned.  Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, The Central Park Five tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice.  (Runtime:  119 minutes)
10:10 to 12 noon, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit:  73

Monday, March 14th
“Coming Home: Rejoining the Community after Incarceration”
Join us as we discuss the obstacles faced by exonerees and newly released ex-offenders and the efforts of organizations that work to reintegrate them back into their respective communities.
Presented by: Professor Tammi Rothman and her students
12:10 to 2:00 pm, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit:  73

Monday, March 14th
“Forensic Drawing and the Common Read:  An Exploration of the Process and the Ronald Cotton Case”
This event will examine the intricate process of forensic drawing (often termed “police sketches” or “mug sketches”) to better understand its improper use in the Ronald Cotton case.  The audience will interactively learn about procedures and techniques used by professional forensic artists, as well as participate in exercises highlighting the fragility of eyewitness testimony and how successful forensic artists interpret and apply that testimony. 
Presented by:  Cary Lane, Ph.D., a professional forensic artist who teaches developmental English at QCC and forensic drawing at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
2:10 to 3:45 pm, Medical Arts Building, Room 136
Seat limit:  270
Video Available athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HK1pOnoBn-0 or http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/tigermedia/detailView.aspx?MediaID=4741

Monday, March 14th           CLOSED SESSION – ALL SEATS HAVE BEEN RESERVED
“Shared Experience, Shared Song": Interactive Musical Event
Participants will learn together at least one simple song, which will be pertinent to the theme of forgiveness.  Queensborough Chorus and QCC Pop Choir will lend vocal support and assist participants in learning the song.  The meaning and relevancy of the songs will be discussed and the participants and choruses will sing the songs together in "performance." The emotional, technical, and physical aspects of group singing and their connections to the book's meaning will be explored through discussion and group activities. In addition, instrumental and vocal soloists from the QCC Jazz Ensemble will perform several short selections. Performers and participants will discuss how the music and the performances illuminate the book.
Presented by:  Dr. Steven Dahlke, the QCC Chorus, QCC Pop Choir, and QCC Jazz Ensemble
4:10 to 5:30 pm, Humanities Building, Basement, Room 27
Seat limit:  64

Monday, March 14th         CLOSED SESSION – ALL SEATS HAVE BEEN RESERVED
Documentary:  “After Innocence”                                                               
This documentary tells the dramatic and compelling story of the exonerated – innocent men wrongfully imprisoned for decades and then released after DNA evidence proved their innocence.  Focusing on the gripping stories of seven men, including a police officer, an army sergeant and a young father that were sent to prison for decades – in some cases death row – for crimes they did not commit, this documentary explores the emotional journeys these men face when thrust back into society with little or no support from the system that put them behind bars.  While the public views exonerations as success stories – wrongs that have been righted – this documentary shows that the human toll of wrongful imprisonment can last far longer than the sentences served, raising basic questions about human rights and society’s moral obligation to the exonerated by placing a spotlight on the flaws in our criminal justice system that lead to wrongful conviction of the innocent.  (Runtime: 95 minutes)
8:40 to 10:30 pm, Humanities Building, Room 206
Seat limit:  45

Tuesday, March 15th
"Diversity and Genetics: There is No Genetic Basis for Race"
Racial categories are a salient part of students' everyday lives.  Students often struggle with the notion that race is a cultural rather than a biological category.  They look around and can 'see' race.  How could something so tangible be a cultural construct? How could such a fundamental aspect of a person's identity, something inscribed in everyday actions and institutions be a human creation? Therein lies the challenge for the anthropologist: to help students understand that their experiences are real and valid, but the categories of race are not determined by biology.
Presented by:  Dr. Sara Danzi Engoron and Dr. Larisa Honey
12:10 to 1:00 pm, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit:  73

Tuesday, March 15th
"An Overview of the American Criminal Justice System: A Discussion of the Events which Occurred in Picking Cotton"
Join us as we explore the basic elements of the United States Criminal Justice system and discuss the implications raised in Picking Cotton.  We will address the burden of proof, the way in which our system conducts arrests, criminal trials, the use of evidence, and eyewitness testimony.  This will be an interactive event.
Presented by:  Professor Stephen Hammel
1:10 to 2:00 pm, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit:  73

Tuesday, March 15th          CLOSED SESSION – ALL SEATS HAVE BEEN RESERVED
"Exploring Forgiveness"                                                                                   
This event offers a curated collection of Genocide survivor testimony video clips, followed by a facilitated discussion led by Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center & Archives Director, Dr. Dan Leshem. Testimony examples will portray the varying attitudes of survivors towards their perpetrators and will explore the idea of forgiveness and hate after atrocity. Possible mass atrocities may include: the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, the Rwandan Genocide, and War Crimes in East Asia.   
     Session II: "Healing and Moving Forward"
     2:10 – 4:00 pm, Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center & Archives,
                                 Exhibition Hall (Glass Box)
     Seat limit:  100

Wednesday, March 16th
“Fernando Bermudez and Faulty Eyewitness Identification:  An 18-Year Miscarriage of Justice”
August, 1991: Raymond Blount, a teenager, is shot and killed outside a nightclub in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. In 1992, Fernando Bermudez was wrongfully convicted of the crime. Mr. Bermudez was falsely identified by eyewitnesses as the murderer, and he was sentenced to 23 years to life in prison. After serving 18 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, Mr. Bermudez was fully exonerated and proclaimed "actually innocent" in 2009. Come hear his story of injustice, perseverance, and ultimate triumph over a faulty eyewitness identification process and the forces that jailed an innocent man for so long.
12:10 to 2:00 pm, Medical Arts Building, Room 136
Seat Limit:  270
Video Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naDPY1714QE or http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/tigermedia/detailView.aspx?MediaID=4742

Wednesday, March 16th
Documentary:  “After Innocence”                                                               
This documentary tells the dramatic and compelling story of the exonerated – innocent men wrongfully imprisoned for decades and then released after DNA evidence proved their innocence.  Focusing on the gripping stories of seven men, including a police officer, an army sergeant and a young father that were sent to prison for decades – in some cases death row – for crimes they did not commit, this documentary explores the emotional journeys these men face when thrust back into society with little or no support from the system that put them behind bars.  While the public views exonerations as success stories – wrongs that have been righted – this documentary shows that the human toll of wrongful imprisonment can last far longer than the sentences served, raising basic questions about human rights and society’s moral obligation to the exonerated by placing a spotlight on the flaws in our criminal justice system that lead to wrongful conviction of the innocent.  (Runtime: 95 minutes)
2:10 to 4:00 pm, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit:  73

Thursday, March 17th
“The Incarcerated Soul:  Health and Restorative Justice”
Nursing students will explore the minds of two formerly incarcerated individuals to gain insight into their perceived notion of health, self-care and survival when placed behind bars.  The role of Restorative Justice will also be examined to provide the audience with a better understanding of how it can serve in reconciling society with formerly incarcerated individuals.
Presented by:  Professor Barbara Blake-Campbell and her students, Olga Filakouris, Project Coordinator, NYPIRG, and NYPIRG Chapter
Guest Speakers:  Ricky Panayoty, QCC Student Government President, and Darryl Lewis
10:10 to 12 noon, Medical Arts Building, Room 136
Seat limit:  270

Thursday, March 17th          CLOSED SESSION – ALL SEATS HAVE BEEN RESERVED
“Forming and Retrieving Memories”                                                           
In the book, “Picking Cotton”, a person is convicted of a crime he never committed.  At the time of trial, the victim is certain of the defendant’s guilt and makes an eyewitness identification.  Years later, DNA evidence exonerates the defendant, implicating another, but leads the victim to question her memory of events.  This series of events not only relates to other cases the justice system has encountered, but highlights a general feature of human memory, our memories of people, events, and objects are influenced not only by the manner in which they are formed but can be affected by the way in which they are retrieved.  Dr. Jankowski will discuss not only how memories are formed but how they are retrieved, and factors that can impact their accuracy. 
Presented by:  Dr. Jeffery Jankowski
2:10 to 3:00 pm, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit:  73
Video Available athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF77sAXv2SI or http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/tigermedia/detailView.aspx?MediaID=4743

Thursday, March 17th
Documentary:  “The Central Park Five”
In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park.  They spent between 6 and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, leading to their convictions being overturned.  Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, The Central Park Five tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice. (Runtime:  119 minutes)
4:10 to 6:00 pm, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit:  73

Friday, March 18th
         CLOSED SESSION – ALL SEATS HAVE BEEN RESERVED
Documentary:  “After Innocence”
This documentary tells the dramatic and compelling story of the exonerated – innocent men wrongfully imprisoned for decades and then released after DNA evidence proved their innocence.  Focusing on the gripping stories of seven men, including a police officer, an army sergeant and a young father that were sent to prison for decades – in some cases death row – for crimes they did not commit, this documentary explores the emotional journeys these men face when thrust back into society with little or no support from the system that put them behind bars.  While the public views exonerations as success stories – wrongs that have been righted – this documentary shows that the human toll of wrongful imprisonment can last far longer than the sentences served, raising basic questions about human rights and society’s moral obligation to the exonerated by placing a spotlight on the flaws in our criminal justice system that lead to wrongful conviction of the innocent.  (Runtime: 95 minutes)
12:10 to 2:00 pm, Library Building, Basement, Room 15
Seat limit:  40

Friday, March 18th         CLOSED SESSION – ALL SEATS HAVE BEEN RESERVED
“Investigating Forgiveness in Picking Cotton and Life”
Join English Composition and CUNY Language Immersion Program students as they share their experiences reading Picking Cotton and present their analysis of quotes from the memoir that illustrate the theme of forgiveness.                               
Presented by:  Dr. Beth Counihan and Professor Lauren Most’s students
1:10 to 2:00 pm, Library Building, Basement, Room 14
Seat limit:  73

Common Read Book Club Dates and Times

Common Read Book Club Meeting I
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
12:10 to 2:00 pm
Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center & Archives, Classroom

Common Read Book Club Meeting II
Monday, October 19, 2015
12:10 to 2:00 pm
Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center & Archives, Classroom

Common Read Book Club Meeting III
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
12:10 to 2:00 pm
Humanities Building, Room H206

Common Read Book Club Meeting IV
Monday, December 7, 2015
2:10 to 4:00 pm
Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center & Archives, Classroom

Wednesday, February 3rd
"Gearing Up for the Common Read"
Sensitive topics presented in Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption will be discussed.  We will relate them to our personal beliefs and attitudes, how we can safely and appropriately present the subject matter to our students, and how to handle assignments, discussions or issues that may arise from the meeting.
Presented by: Gina Capozzoli, LMHC, Associate Director, Counseling Center
12:10 to 1:00 pm, H314


Hands-On "Healing Blanket" Events
Under the direction of Susan Riekert, from the Nursing Department, blankets wil be created and distributed to local organizations to promote healing. 

Monday, February 29th
10:10 to 12 noon
CETL Lab, Library Building, Room 313

Thursday, March 3rd
1:10 to 3:00 pm
CETL Lab, Library Building, Room 313

Thursday, March 10th
1:10 to 3:00 pm
CETL Lab, Library Building, Room 313

NOTE:  Fifteen no-sew blankets were created by members of the QCC faculty, students, and staff and were donated to the Victims Information Bureau Suffolk (VIBS) Family and Rape Crisis Center.  Their mission is to assist the survivors of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault; to prevent the incidence of these crimes through education and services, and to raise community awareness of the need for justice and compassion for victims. Blankets were also given to Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton.

When presenting blankets to Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, Ms. Riekert eloquently stated, "When reading Picking Cotton, one cannot help but be deeply moved by the wondrous attributes possessed by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton, and exhibited during that journey.  These virtues exemplify dignity and courage and led, ultimately, to forgiveness and healing.  Inspired by their stories, QCC initiated "The Healing Blanket Project."  This undertaking had two simple requirements - caring hands and patches made of cotton whose colors and prints, carefully chosen to symbolize the beautiful attributes of Jennifer and Ronald:  grace, mercy, compassion, faith, hope, and patience - patches weaved together by our community of caring hands, into tapestries of healing.  We hope those blankets will bring comfort to those victims as they journey on their path to healing."

Go to Common Read Past Events