Engagement in Uncertain Times

On October 19th during a pandemic, weeks before election day, and during a time where social justice issues are at a high, the University Library System invited three students to sit down with a Pitt professor and a PA State House Representative to talk about their experiences through civic engagement and how they see it shape the communities around them.

Morgan Ottley, Senior Neuroscience major, President of the Black Action Society and a Member of the Black Senate
Nana Gyabaah-Kessie, Senior Molecular Biology major, President of the African Student Organization and Member of the Black Senate
Mikala Aleksandruk, Senior Health Services major, President of Some of God’s Children Gospel Choir and a Member of the Black Senate
Dr. Sara Goodkind, Associate Professor with the School of Social Work, Department of Sociology, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program
Representative Jake Wheatley, Pennsylvania State House, representing the 19th District/Allegheny County

View the discussion here.

Race, Crime and Voting Rights: the Ongoing Battle for Democracy in Florida

Presenter: Jessie Allen, Associate Professor, Pitt Law

Date: Wed., September 30th, noon

Just weeks ago a federal appeals court issued a ruling that likely will prevent some 800,000 Floridians from voting in the November election. The decision is the latest salvo in a decades-long battle over Florida's lifelong voting ban for anyone convicted of a felony, a law that originated as a post-Civil War strategy to prevent newly freed African Americans from voting and to this day bars one in four Black men from the polls in Florida. The resilience of this profoundly undemocratic policy, despite longstanding popular opposition, exemplifies the strength of structural racism in the United States today.

View a recording of this presentation here.

Note: there was a technical issue recorded starting at 20:58, but the presentation resumes at 22:50.