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Upcoming Forums and Events

Upcoming Forums and Events

Reconciliation as a Key to Societal Healing


WAMC's Linda Norris Auditorium, 339 Central Avenue, Albany
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Seating is limited. To attend, contact Michele Charbonneau at (518) 443-5258 or e-mail michele.charbonneau@rockinst.suny.edu.

Congressman Paul Tonko; Times Union Editor Rex Smith; and Rabbi Linda Motzkin and Dr. Mussarat Chaudhry, members of the new Capital District Chapter of the Sisterhood of Salaam/Shalom, a grassroots organization bringing together Muslim and Jewish women, will explore ways to heal current societal rifts. The program was developed by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government of SUNY and will be led by Robert Bullock, senior advisor for external affairs for the Institute.


Conversation on Global Peace and Reconciliation


Rockefeller Institute, 411 State Street, Albany, NY
Friday, April 21, 2017
1:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Seating is limited. To attend, contact Michele Charbonneau at (518) 443-5258 or e-mail michele.charbonneau@rockinst.suny.edu.

Global peace and reconciliation will be the subject of the remarks by Maher Nasser, director of the outreach division for the United Nations Department of Public Information, and Iman Boukadoum Esq., director of community partnership at the Interfaith Center of New York, a UN-accredited nongovernmental organization (NGO. Maher Nasser served as the director of the outreach division in the United Nations Department of Public Information from April to August 2012. From August 2014 to February 2015, he was acting head of the United Nations' Department of Public Information.

A veteran of the United Nations System for more than 29 years, Mr. Nasser has held various positions in Gaza, Jerusalem, Amman, Cairo, Vienna, and New York City. Additionally, he held different positions in two nongovernmental organizations in Jerusalem before joining the UN.

Ms. Iman Boukadoum Esq. is a social justice attorney and Algerian-American, Muslim woman. Her career began at the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington D.C. There, she was responsible for policy reforms dealing with immigration and national security issues. She then transitioned to the American Civil Liberties Union's Center for Justice. She went on to work on affirmative and defensive asylum, cancellation of removal, and appellate cases of undocumented migrants.

These two programs are part of a month-long Capital Region-wide series of events, organized by Albany Pro Musica, which will culminate in the chorus's performance of Karl Jenkins' "The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace." This iconic choral work outlines the growing menace of war, interspersed with moments of reflection, and ends with the hope for peace.


De-Mystifying the 2017 Constitutional Convention Ballot Proposal


Academic II Recital Hall, Onondaga Community College, 4585 West Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY
Thursday, April 27, 2017
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

To register, contact Michele Charbonneau at (518) 443-5258 or e-mail michele.charbonneau@rockinst.suny.edu.

On November 7, 2017, voters will go into voting booths throughout New York State and, as they are every 20 years, will be faced with the constitutionally mandated question, "Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same (N.Y. Const., Art XIX, sec 2)?" In only nine instances in New York State history, have we convened a convention to consider how the New York State Constitution might be altered, potentially changing how government in Albany works. In an effort to de-mystify the issues surrounding the 2017 constitutional referendum, this program will cover the New York State Constitution and the issues surrounding the upcoming constitutional convention.

Panelists include:

  • Laura Ladd Bierman joined the New York State League of Women Voters' staff as executive director in July 2008. She has been a member of the League for 30 years, with membership in four different local leagues in 3 states, and has served in a number of positions in local leagues, including study chair, editor of the newsletter, board member, vice president and president.
  • Christopher Bopst is the chief legal and financial officer at Sam-Son Logistics in Buffalo. Before that, he was a constitutional litigation partner at law firms in New York and Florida. He is the co-author with Peter Galie of the leading reference work on New York's State Constitution, The New York Constitution 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press, 2012), as well as numerous articles on the state constitution. He is also a contributor to and co-editor with Peter Galie and Gerald Benjamin of a volume of essays entitled New York's Broken Constitution: The Governance Crisis and the Path to Renewed Greatness (SUNY Press, 2016). In 2016 he was appointed to the Judicial Task Force on the New York Constitution, formed to advise Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and the State of New York Court Janet DiFiore on issues related to the upcoming vote in 2017 on the holding of a constitutional convention.
  • Dr. Henrik (Hank) Dullea retired from Cornell University in 2005 as senior consultant to the president and was elected vice president for university relations emeritus by the Cornell University Board of Trustees in May 2006. Dr. Dullea has served in a wide variety of governmental and higher education positions in New York State. Most recently, he served from 1983 to 1991 as director of state operations and policy management for Governor Mario M. Cuomo, responsible for directing the day-to-day activities of New York State's more than 65 departments and agencies. Other state government positions held by Dr. Dullea have included service as assistant secretary to the governor for education and the arts in the administration of Governor Hugh L. Carey and as a legislative budget analyst for the New York State Assembly Ways and Means Committee. He is the author of Charter Revision in the Empire State: The Politics of New York's 1967 Constitutional Convention (Rockefeller Institute Press, 1997) and co-editor of Decision 1997: Constitutional Change in New York (Rockefeller Institute Press, 1997).
  • Dr. Peter J. Galie is emeritus professor of political science at Canisius College in Buffalo. He is the author of Ordered Liberty: A Constitutional History of New York (Fordham Press, 1996); with Christopher Bopst, The New York State Constitution, 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press, 2012); and a co-editor with Christopher Bopst and Gerald Benjamin, of New York's Broken Constitution: The Crisis in Governance and the Path to Renewed Greatness (SUNY Press, 2016). Other publications include "The New York Constitution and the Federal System," in the Oxford Handbook on New York State Government (Oxford University Press, 2012) and numerous articles on state constitutional law. He was an expert witness retained by the attorney general of New York to prepare a report for the AG's appellate brief in Hayden v. Pataki "The Felony Disenfranchisement Clause of the New York Constitution 1821-1938: Background, Chronology, Origin & Purpose" (June, 2004), and co-author of an amicus brief submitted to the New York Court of Appeals in the case of Skelos v. Paterson (2009) on the question: "Does the Governor have the authority to fill a vacancy in the Lieutenant-Governor's Office by appointment?" In 2016, he, too, was appointed to the Judicial Task Force on the New York Constitution, formed to advise the chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals on issues related to the upcoming vote in 2017 on the holding of a constitutional convention.
The program will be moderated by Robert Bullock. Mr. Bullock is the senior advisor for external affairs for the Rockefeller Institute of Government of the State University of New York (SUNY), SUNY System's center for public policy research.

The Rockefeller Institute, the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, the League of Women Voters of New York State, and the Siena Research Institute have joined forces, often with partner organizations from around the state, to conceive and implement a multiyear campaign designed to ensure that each of New York's voters, made aware of this work, goes to vote with a clearer sense of what a constitutional convention could achieve. This Syracuse program is organized by the League of Women Voters-Syracuse Chapter, the League of Women Voters of NYS, and the Rockefeller Institute. The organizers would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of President Casey Crabill and Onondaga Community College for their hosting of this program.