Compelling Conversations in 2021-2022
To engage and inspire students, faculty, staff and our community, Bunker Hill Community College’s Compelling Conversation Speaker Series invites today’s diverse voices, eminent thought leaders, and visionaries from both domestic and international platforms to share local, national and global perspectives on contemporary and culturally relevant issues of human interest, social justice and change.
Sponsored by the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, this series of speakers is intended to support meaningful discussion inside and outside the classroom, as part of an ongoing college-wide commitment of equity and cultural wealth, resistance and resilience. The 2021-2022 Speaker Series recognizes and gives greater visibility to Men of Color and issues of race and gender inequity they often experience in education and employment, family and mentorship, violence and health, civil rights and criminal justice.
Philonise Floyd, Brother of George Floyd and Social Changemaker
Thursday, October 21 | 6 p.m.
The murder of George Floyd, a Black man, by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, 2020, shocked the nation and launched the largest protest marches and rallies for racial justice and civil rights in a generation. Philonise Floyd, the younger brother of George Floyd, was thrust into the national spotlight even as he grieved the loss of his brother. Philonise Floyd has turned his sorrow and anger into activism, speaking around the country about violence against Black people by police. He has founded an organization named PAKFISC, which is meant to support similar victims like George Floyd. He has testified at the United Nations and before the U.S. Congress. “I’m tired of the pain I’m feeling now and I’m tired of the pain I feel every time another black person is killed for no reason. I’m here today to ask you to make it stop,” he told Congress.
Welcome by Nahomi Carlisle, Associate Vice President and Chief Equity and Compliance Officer
Remarks by Franklyn E. Taylor, Ed.D, Associate Provost-Charlestown, Academic and Student Affairs and
Evans Erilus, Interim Director, HOPE Initiative, Academic Support and College Pathway Programs
Sponsored by the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, in collaboration with the HOPE Initiative
Join by Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85700996047?pwd=V1BpS3l6RU9pTTVZcFRMYjluUzkzQT09
Meeting ID: 857 0099 6047
Join by Phone: +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 857 0099 6047
Criminal Justice Activist and Boston Native
Sean K. Ellis spent nearly 22 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. At age 19, Ellis was convicted of the 1993 robbery and murder of a Boston Police detective, based on scant evidence and a witness statement that was later discovered to have been coerced by police officers. His first two trials ended in hung juries; he was convicted at a third trial. Sentenced to life in prison, Sean always proclaimed his innocence. In 2015, a judge ruled “justice was not done,” overturned his convictions, and freed him on bail. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts opted to try him again. Finally, in December 2018, the Suffolk County District Attorney dropped all charges but stopped short of fully exonerating him. In November 2020, Netflix released “Trial 4,” an original, eight-part documentary series about the Sean Ellis case produced by Gaumont and What’s Up Film. Ellis now works full-time as a development associate at the Boston non-profit Community Servings and is a Community Fellow in Tufts University’s Institute for Nonprofit Practice. He speaks frequently about his experiences, including at events sponsored by the New England Innocence Project, for which he is a trustee.
Constitutional Law Scholar and Anti-Discrimination Advocate
Kenji Yoshino is the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU School of Law and the director of the Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. A graduate of Harvard (AB summa cum laude), Oxford (MSc as a Rhodes Scholar), and Yale (JD), he specializes in constitutional law, antidiscrimination law, and law and literature. He is the author of three books: Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights; A Thousand Times More Fair: What Shakespeare’s Plays Teach Us About Justice; and Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial. Yoshino has published in major academic journals, including the Harvard Law Review, the Stanford Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal, and won numerous awards for his scholarship and teaching, including the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award in 2016 and the Podell Distinguished Teaching Award in 2014.