October 3, 2021 and October 14, 2021
This year, Key Connections will have two components - an in-person casual meetup in Sheep Meadow, Central Park (West Side between 66th and 69th*) and our (virtual) Annual Meeting during which we will share our 2021-2022 Board of Directors Slate.
We are excited to have our first in person event since February 2020 and provide a space for our members to connect.
To keep our community safe, we ask that all members joining us bring proof of vaccination to be checked upon arrival. For members that want to connect virtually, we invite you to sign up for our (virtual) Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 14th at 7:30 PM.
To register for the Casual Meetup in the Park, click below:
To register for the virtual Annual Meeting, click below:
The Insular Cases: Rights and Representation in the U.S. Territories
October 6, 2021
Please join the PBKNY Diversity & Inclusion Committee on Wednesday, October 6 at 7PM EDT for a discussion with Alejandro Ortiz, an attorney with the ACLU Racial Justice Program. He will provide an overview and discuss the history of the 1901 U.S. Supreme Court cases known as the Insular Cases, their relevance today, and the ACLU's current and ongoing work fighting to ensure equal rights for peoples in US Territories, people who historically were prevented from having the same legal rights as mainland Americans. Guests are welcome and encouraged to attend.
“The Insular Cases are a series of opinions by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1901, about the status of U.S. territories acquired in the Spanish–American War, and the periods shortly thereafter. When the war ended in 1898, the United States had to answer the question of whether or not people in newly acquired territories were citizens, a question the country had never faced before. The preliminary answer came from a series of Supreme Court rulings, now known as the Insular Cases, which responded to the question of how American constitutional rights apply to those in United States territories. The Supreme Court held that full constitutional protection of rights does not automatically (or ex proprio vigore—i.e., of its own force) extend to all places under American control. This meant that inhabitants of unincorporated territories such as Puerto Rico—’even if they are U.S. citizens’—may lack some constitutional rights (e.g., the right to remain part of the United States in case of de-annexation). Today, many legal scholars refer to the Insular Cases as a constitutional justification for colonialism and annexation of places not within United States boundaries.” (Wikipedia, Insular Cases)
For more information from the ACLU:
COVID-sations: Womxn in COVID
June 27, 2021
Due to the success of our COVID-sations event in April, we look forward to sharing the latest information regarding COVID, vaccines, travel, and safety guidelines set by health organizations on Sunday, June 27th at 1PM EDT. For this session, we have invited a panel of womxn to speak and help lead the conversation about COVID and the challenges they have disproportionately faced during the pandemic. From women in the workplace, to vaccinations for
pregnant women, to unpaid care work, we will discuss the impact of the pandemic from the perspective of womxn of different backgrounds and learn how womxn navigate specific challenges faced as a community.
Womxn noun, plural wom·xn [wim-in].
A woman (used, especially in intersectional feminism, as an alternative spelling to avoid the suggestion of sexism perceived in the sequences m-a-n and m-e-n, and to be inclusive of trans and nonbinary women): (Dictionary.com)
Guests - friends and family are welcomed and encouraged to attend. Kindly have each participant use the RSVP form to receive the meeting information.
PBKNY Discussion: How Can We Recognize and Combat Racism?
April 22, 2021
Hate crimes have been rising since the start of the pandemic. As Americans, it’s our shared responsibility to condemn bigotry and racist attacks and root out prejudice in our midst.
Join us for a discussion about how we can identify bias, inequity and hate and do our part - as individuals and in our communities - to build a better future for us all.
We will be joined by Frederick M. Lawrence, Secretary and CEO Secretary of The Phi Beta Kappa Society. Fred will give a short background talk on the nature of bias crimes, how they are different from otherwise similar but non-bias motivated crimes, and the case for increased sentencing of bias crimes.
Following Fred’s introduction, we will open the floor to questions and comments. We will discuss the following questions:
1. How can we identify bias, inequity, and hate?
2. How can we combat racism?
3. How can we do our part - as individuals and in our communities - to strive towards equity?
Please find the Opening Remarks from this event by Frederick M. Lawrence on our YouTube channel here.
PBKNY Presents: COVID-sations
April 18, 2021
Please join us on Sunday, April 18th at 2PM EDT for an open conversation about the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, variants, and vaccines. We look forward to talking with one another and listening to our co-hosts who will share insights from their pathology studies and patient interactions. We will also answer questions and discuss topics related to COVID-19 in the hopes of reaching a better understanding as a community.
We invite you to bring friends and family as we strongly believe that sharing this information in an informal way may be the key to including communities that have felt excluded from these conversations.
Oppression in the United States: Intersections of Islamophobia and Rising Anti-Asian Sentiment
April 14, 2021
Please join the PBKNY Diversity & Inclusion Committee on Wednesday, April 14 at 7PM EDT for a discussion with Professor Engy Abdelkader. We will discuss how to recognize Islamophobia and anti-Arab sentiment for Arab American Heritage Month and explore the intersections with the surge in anti-Asian hate crimes.
Dr. Engy Abdelkader is a professor at Rutgers University as well as a fellow at the Public Religion Research Institute and German Marshall Fund of the United States. Some of her courses include “Racism, Xenophobia, & Related Intolerance,” “Islam, Women & Development,” and “International Human Rights & the United Nations.” She holds an L.L.M. from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and a J.D. from Rutgers Law School.
PBKNY Discussion: What is Our Common Truth?
March 4, 2021
As a follow-up to our Community Listening Forum from January 16, we invite Phi Beta Kappa members to join us for our next discussion event on March 4th at 7pm EST. Some potential discussion questions include:
1) How can PBK members reach a common truth in an era where democracy is threatened by misinformation?
2) How can we be good allies?
3) How can we identify performative allyship and encourage action when we see injustice?
We look forward to having another productive conversation and learning from our membership. Please register below to receive Zoom details.
PBKNY's Diversity & Inclusion Committee and Book Club Event
February 25, 2021
Please join the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and Book Club as they co-host the February 25th meeting to discuss "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption" by Bryan Stevenson. We will be meeting over Zoom at 7pm EST. We look forward to discussing Stevenson's experiences and how we can become champions of justice as individuals and as members of Phi Beta Kappa.
Criminal justice in America is often times more criminal than just — undermined by error, malfeasance, and racism, coupled with an irrational resistance to reform. Bryan Stevenson's memoir illustrates the problems inherent in the U.S. criminal justice system, particularly in Alabama. It also details his zealous representation of a Black man wrongly convicted and sentenced to life in prison, along with his continuing fight for fairness for countless Alabamans who received unduly harsh or disproportionate sentences for their alleged crimes.
To attend, please email PBKNY Book Club Leader Kala DeStefano at email@example.com.
For more information on "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption" by Bryan Stevenson: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20342617-just-mercy
PBKNY Community Listening Forum
January 19, 2021
Please RSVP to join a Zoom discussion moderated by Phi Beta Kappa New York Association's Executive Committee on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
In response to our recent statement on the events of January 6, 2021, we have received a variety of comments on this issue and our letter in specific. We appreciate the feedback we have received and look to use this session as a place to evaluate how we respond to crisis as an organization. We strongly believe civil, open discourse of ideas and opinions is the best way to address the threat of our nation’s democracy.
Our statement aside, we also invite our members to this forum to provide a safe, respectful space for us all to explore the events of January 6, 2021 themselves, the historical moments that preceded them, and discuss the best way for our community to move forward.
PBKNY Diversity & Inclusion Committee Book Club Event Featuring Alina Das Author of “No Justice In the Shadows: How America Criminalizes Immigrants.”
January 14, 2021
Please join the Diversity & Inclusion Committee at our next book club event on January 14th at 7pm, as we discuss “No Justice In the Shadows: How America Criminalizes Immigrants” with the author Alina Das.
Alina Das is an immigrant rights activist, lawyer, and professor at New York University (NYU) School of Law. Professor Das is the co-director of the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic, a leading institution in national and local struggles for immigrant rights. She defends the rights of immigrants facing deportation and partners with community groups on immigrant rights campaigns. Her legal scholarship has been published by leading law journals and cited by the U.S. Supreme Court. She is the author of No Justice in the Shadows: How America Criminalizes Immigrants (Bold Type Books, April 2020).
Professor Das is the recipient of numerous awards for advocacy and teaching, including the Immigrant Defense Project Champion of Justice Award, the Daniel Levy Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Immigration Law, the New York State Youth Leadership Council Outstanding Attorney Award, the NYU Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award, and the NYU Law School Podell Distinguished Teaching Award. She is a frequent commentator on immigration law and policy for national and local media outlets. Professor Das lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.
For more information on "No Justice in the Shadows: How America Criminalizes Immigrants:" https://www.boldtypebooks.com/titles/alina-das/no-justice-in-the-shadows/9781568589459/