Career Education Center

448 West 56th Street New York, NY 10019 (212) 262-0818 Fax: (212) 262-1421

CEC's Multicultural Conference


On Friday April 30, CEC held it's eighth annual Student Multicultural Conference at Boy's Harbor. Attended by over two hundred students and staff, the day was both a celebration of the work of CEC's student leadership group as well as a chance for all of CEC's students to discuss the vital issues facing us today. Principal Sherry Zekowski opened the day, making the link between culture and current events. CEC teachers Mary Simeni and Sam Adjuloka shared their own heritage through a display of native Nigerian clothing. The keynote presentation, delivered by Women for Justice founder Mawina Kouyate--who is also an agency staff person at CEC's AADP site, focused on the importance and power of youth, especially in fighting against injustice. Our own Susan Dean closed the morning session with an original poem, "Don't Speak," on police relations with young people in the community.

The workshops for students were organized by representatives from Harvey Milk, AADP, CAPA, Boys Harbor, and City Challenge; students from South Bronx Job Corps provided security and hospitality for the day. Workshop topics included: AIDS and HIV Awareness, Youth in Gangs, Police Brutality, and Teen Pregnancy. Students described problems involved with each of those issues, and then focused on possible solutions and positive actions that could be taken. Staff had their own topical conversation on "Positive Community Relations, Pohcing and Power." After the conference, the student leadership group--coordinated by Clint Jackson, Kamela Redd, and Matt Meyer--took our workshops and perspectives on the road. CEC students joined other alternative high schools, presenting at the city-wide Peace Summit at City-As-School, the Superintendent's Multicultural Conference at Street Academy, and finally, with Superintendent Richard Organisciak himself at the United Nations International Bridges event. We truly did "think globally and act locally" to make the world and our communities a better place.