NYC Human Rights Commissioner/Chair Patricia L. Gatling hosted a forum in April 2008 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem on the ways in which ethnic diversity affects our communities. The event - entitled “E Pluribus Unum: Reconciling Diversity and Community in the 21st Century” - was the Commission’s third in a series of Civil Rights Public Lectures, which featured Dr. Robert D. Putnam, best-selling author of Bowling Alone. Dr. Putnam’s remarks focused on social capital and how changing populations and ethnic diversity continually shape and reshape trust, identities, social ties and civic engagement.
Other speakers included: Rev. C. Vernon Mason, CEO of Fund for Community Leadership Development and CEO of Uth Turn; Dr. Putnam, Dr. Katherine Newman, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University; Richard E. Green, Chief Executive/President of the Crown Heights Youth Collective, Inc; Chung-Wha Hong, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition; and Rabbi Bob Kaplan, Director of Cause-NY/Jewish Community Relations Council.
Dr. Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. He is also Visiting Professor and Director of the Manchester Graduate Summer Program in Social Change, University of Manchester (UK), a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association. In 2006, he received the Skytte Prize, one of the world’s highest accolades for a political scientist. Dr. Putnam has authored a dozen books, translated into seventeen languages and has published on a wide range of topics including the influence of shifting populations and immigration on governmental, economic, social, and cultural norms. He is currently writing a book on religion, American Grace. Dr Putnam’s "E Pluribus Unum" paper (Scandinavian Journal of Political Studies, June 2007) can be accessed at: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-9477.2007.00176.x
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes, former Commissioner/Chair of the NYC Human Rights Commission, and Dr. Roland G. Fryer, Jr., NYC Department of Education’s Chief Equality Officer who jointly serves as an Assistant Professor of Economics at Harvard University, were the featured speakers at the Commission’s first two Civil Rights Public Lectures.
(Left-Right) Richard E. Green, Rabbi Robert Kaplan, Dr. Robert D. Putnam, Commissioner Patricia L. Gatling, Rev. Vernon Mason, Chung-Wha Hong, and Dr. Katherine S. Newman.