by Jeanne Betsock Stillman
UNA-SNY Vice President, Chapter Developtment
The Southern NYS Division, SUNY Global Engagement Program and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., sponsored a program to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the United Nations. Held on October 27 at the SUNY Global Center, the program celebrated Global Goals / Local Leaders, and focused on Goals 16, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and 17: Strong Institutions for the Goals. About 65 attended from the SUNY GEP, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Adelphi University and SUNY Farmingdale, in addition to representatives of NGOs, Alpha Kappa Alpha Chapters Eta Omega Omega, Zu Theta Omega, and Tau Omega, and UNA-USA members from throughout the Southern NYS Division.
The program was moderated by S. Ilgu Ozler, who directs the SUNY GEP. Prof. Ozler explained how Goal 16 was directly relevant to the United States and the tie-in to the Division's ongoing work on Race, Criminal Justice and Human Rights. Troy Wolfe, UNA-USA Senior Director for Education and Learning spoke about his work and his recent trip to Charlottesville, Va.
Ms. Soffiyah Elijah, Executive Director, Alliance of Families for Justice, spoke on Goal 16 and the work of the Alliance on advocating for prisoners and their families, including in the recent march from Harlem to Albany. Dr. Ruth Hassell-Thompson had been taken ill, and Ms. Elijah expanded her presentation (they otherwise would have had a "conversation" about issues).
Dr. George Garland presented Local Leader awards to Ms. Elijah and to Dr. Hassell-Thompson, with Donna Drayton accepting on behalf of Hassell-Thompson.
Dr. Schwank, Economic Affairs Officer, Financing for Development Office, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and Dr. Aniket Shah, Program Leader - Financing for Sustainable Development Initiative, New York, spoke on the global issues related to financing development worldwide. Dr. Schwank talked about SDG #17 and financing for it in relation to public and private resources. Dr. Shah spoke about private capital and the SDGs, and how the flow mainly goes from rich countries to rich and moderate countries. There is plenty of money worldwide to eliminate poverty, but the decision to do so is not there.