Black and Brown Coalition finalizing list of demands for NYU

Thomas Peracchio
The Black and Brown Coalition has compiled a list of demands that are to be finalized by Sunday.

The Black and Brown Coalition plans to finalize an official list of demands on Nov.17, which it will then send to NYU’s administration. The demands range from increased funding for new staff positions to new considerations for future NYU expansion plans.

The group was formed in July 2012 to unite various cultural identities at NYU and build community ties. The group’s list of demands aims to accomplish these goals with specific policy proposals.

CAS junior Juan Manuel Calero Canaval, Chair of the Demands Committee, said the Coalition has been working on the project for some time.

“We’ve been compiling, gathering and editing the demands list since Nov. 17,” Calero said. “Approximately 40 students participated in the drafting process. They came from an incredibly diverse number of communities, not just on racial and ethnic grounds, but also religiously and in terms of LGBTQ.”

The list of demands is broken down into specific items. These include efforts to rename Bobst Library, increase the population of minority students on campus and fund a new building within NYU 2031 for the department of Social and Cultural Analysis to inhabit.

Calero believes that several measures can be put in place quickly, while others can help foster discussion within the NYU community.

“NYU will respond and look to each of our demands as far as the Ad Hoc Committee is concerned,” Calero said. “Many of the demands are actually easy to do and is just a question of paperwork, but most of the demands aim to force a conversation open on issues that are difficult to discuss transparently and thus almost impossible to address.”

Many proposals require significant funding, but Calero suggests that would not necessarily be a roadblock.

“The reality is that NYU has quite a lot of money, it’s just a question of where NYU chooses to allocate it,” Calero said. “We are demanding that NYU puts its money where its mouth is.”

He added that a number of the issues were less about just funding and more about effort.

“Many of the items do not actually require increased funding, but rather the creation of full-time positions in order to promote diversity, something that in hindsight doesn’t make sense as to why it doesn’t already exist,” Calero said. “Why isn’t there an Executive Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at NYU when the university has been touting the flag of these concepts for so many years now?”

Matt Nagel, Director for Public Affairs at NYU, maintained that the administration would consider the demands and take action accordingly.

“We’re looking forward to receiving the list from the Coalition, which we understand may come next week,” Nagel said. “We’ll examine all the proposals seriously. In addition, the President and the leadership of the University Senate are putting together an Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity that will be specifically charged with studying proposals — including those from the Coalition — and making recommendations for action.”

Meanwhile some students have suggested that many of the Coalition’s demands are overdue at NYU. Christian Ghosn, a Tisch freshman, strongly agrees with the Coalition’s efforts to officially recognize Fall Recess as Indigenous People’s Day.

“I think that we as a community need to accept that progress has been made and certain changes need to take place,” Ghosn said.

Email Thomas Peracchio at [email protected]

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17 COMMENTS

  1. If college is designed to prepare young students for the real world, do you think this is the best use of your time and energy. The real world is actually laughing at our spoiled college kids and their safe spaces and micro-aggressions. It’s a very tough world out there and this kind of coddling will not help you prepare for what is coming these kids way.

  2. Actually, it’s this type of involvement that helps students develop and become active and contributing members of society. That, in fact, is the entire purpose of college. Not to mention that they are exercising their right to organize and express themselves. So….yea.

    Kudos to the group for being intersectional and including other social identities. Keep it up!

  3. @Jeff – Actually being exposed to diversity is the opposite of coddling and an excellent preparation for the “real world”. If there is 1 group of people who are remarkably coddled in America, it’s White men, especially those in Academia, who hide in the “safe spaces” of Ivory towers where they see themselves above criticism.

  4. if they major in community organizing than yes they are on the right track. Check out the list of demands that the Missouri students floated and then were granted. One demand was that the university president apologize for hitting a protester with his car during a parade. Watch the video and you will see the protester jump in front of the moving car. Turns out that the protester was same kid who did the so called hunger strike and comes from a 20 million dollar family. I sat and watched Ferguson burn because of a ‘hands up” lie. Teaching everyone is a victim is so dangerous.

  5. liese…most white men in academia actually teach victimization. they are mostly liberal and you are right, they think they are above criticism. ENJOY college, filter out the crap, and try not looking at everything through a racial lens.

  6. just what i figured. someone comes along and doesn’t say how great they are and no more discussion. it’s the new era of the participation trophy. good luck kids

  7. Aww, poor wittle Jeff! It’s so funny how coddled white men like yourself get SO scared when people of color start standing up for themselves. You are so entitled and delusional, that you see other people as beneath you, and when they start demanding equal treatment, you are shaken up, because progress scares you. Why else would you waste your time writing hateful comments on a website for students at a college you don’t even attend? You hate these bright young kids because you are threatened by them and lash out in frustration, like a toddler throwing a tantrum. Time to go watch Faux News and then whine about “Obummer” burning your toast.

  8. HEY SAM…does being half black count? Sorry to disappoint you but my black daddy ran out on my white mommy and whammo, here i am. You are right about one thing that is i do not attend your school but I was interested in the story. And if you follow the thread I never mentioned race. It was thrown into the thread. But when you see every problem through the prism of race then that’s all you will ever see. There is and will always be racism. I want you to think about this….I keep hearing how everyone wants to be treated the same or equal or not by the color of skin, or gender, or sexual orientation. Then why do we spend so much time separating ourselves before we can be seen as equal. Gay rights clubs, black student unions, La Raza, etc, their intent is noble but equality is difficult to find when we start out unequal or separate. And my interest in this story comes from the Missouri University protests. Do a little research on them, filter out the opinions, look at the facts and the main participants and their backgrounds. Watch the car incident video. Not everything is at it seems. It’s just like Michael Brown’s friend telling the “hands up” lie. The media ran with it cuz it fits a narrative. Don’t fall into that trap. Use college to grab as much knowledge as possible, form your own opinions, and have fun. The rest is just background noise.

  9. And I have a black dad who who was raised by his black dad, because his white mom wasn’t fit for it. So? I’d argue your biography colors how you view race, specifically your own. If you’re black and raised around people who don’t see race, in a context where your family chooses to treat you as if it doesn’t exist, because it doesn’t directly affect them other than the fact that they love you, the, the Koombaya mantra can function. Actually knowing people who’ve dealt with crooked police who plant evidence or living through the crack/cocaine explosion in which the FBI was smuggling drugs into our communities, assasinating our leaders, you gain a different view of race. If you viewed school programs systematically underfunded by politicians because of the kids who benefited from them, if you viewed the systematic destruction of the last vestiges of a unique and autonomous culture, one that this nation has whored out to corporations and stripped from its forerunners who received no economic restitution or reparations, then my friend, then you’d understand why so many of us think about race.

  10. Mike….ABSOLUTELY proves my point. Disregard everything but the part about race. When the pair of glasses you put on only have racial lenses that is all you will see.

  11. But you seem to be under the presumption that these lenses are unjustified. When they are. I will admit that it stonewalls a lot of the arguments I’ve gotten into with my father, because of the trauma he lived through and passed on, however, the powers that be of this society (not typical poor to upper middle class white people) bank on and perpetuate a system based on white supremacy. And the rest profit from it. That’s why we focus on race and diversity, that’s why it is necessary.

  12. Mike..you need to do better than “white supremacy”. You just sound silly and just like a grad student who just found a new catch phrase. Im black too and we all have a story to tell but it seems like yours filled you with hate. I’m not here to judge that but trust me when I say that you will get nowhere in life when all you see is racial injustice. i know my words will not change your mind or thoughts but i hope one day soon you will cuz you write like a very bright man. Good luck

  13. Catch phrase? Documented institutionalized, and planned sabotage is a catch phrase? Interesting…filled with hate? I can’t even begin to describe how off base you are. There’s a documentary on the private prison system where the architect of the three strikes law openly admitted it was made to target black and brown people. More and more police officers come forward every day admitting to how and why their departments specifically target people of color to protect their own tax base and their children from the same scrutiny. That is “white supremacy”. And its not something I learned about in college. Your condescension bespeaks a lack of self knowledge.

  14. Mike…i was not trying to be condescending. I respect your point of view because i can tell it comes from thought not just emotion. I wish you all the best with your studies.

  15. Jeff take your Daddy issues elsewhere, no one cares. And last I checked – my white male professors are teaching me about physics, chemistry and engineering, because that is what they are paid to teach. Never in my 4 years of college or 2 years of Grad school was I taught about “being a victim”. You sound rude and condescending.

  16. liese, A few days ago you said that “white men in academia” were in ivory towers above criticism. A few days later they are great teachers. Can’t have it both ways. And the “daddy issues” comment was sad but kinda true unfortunately. Anyway, my original point has been missed by all and I guess that’s my bad.

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