Conference 2014

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For further information or questions contact Kandi Berryman (973) 353-3528

View Highlights from the past Urban Systems Conferences

Poverty, Urban Systems and Urban Inequality: A Conference in Honor of Jean Anyon

Friday, May 2, 2014
8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Please RSVP to urbansystemsconference@gmail.com by April 4, 2014 if you plan to attend.

Paul Robeson Campus Center
Essex Room 231-232
Rutgers University-Newark

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, and despite some progress, poverty remains as pernicious today as it was then. Although there have been numerous policies and programs designed to reduce or eradicate poverty, most have not significantly alleviated the problem. According to the late Jean Anyon, these programs failed because they failed to address the systemic, structural and political-economic causes of poverty, but rather treated its symptoms.

Jean Anyon served on the Rutgers University-Newark faculty from 1977-2002, and chaired its Department of Education for 17 years. From 2002-2013, she was Professor of Urban Education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. As Jean Anyon’s lifetime work examined the effects of poverty on a variety of urban systems, including education, environment and health, we believe that this conference provides not only the opportunity to remember her, but as importantly, to discuss her work in the context of the major cross-sectoral themes of the Urban Systems Program. In dozens of referred journal articles and numerous books, especially Ghetto Schooling (Teachers College Press, 1998) and Radical Possibilities (Routledge, 2005, 2013), Anyon argued that poverty is the most important factor affecting residents in cities, with its detrimental effects resulting in poor health, unhealthy environments, low-performing schools and low-performing students.

Unlike the first student run USYS conference, which put out a call for papers, this conference will be invitational. Part I will include internationally recognized keynote speakers and Urban Systems graduates, whose dissertations examine the interconnection among urban health, environment and education addressing the legacy of Jean Anyon’s work for understanding and solving urban problems.

The last part of the conference will recognize Jean’s contributions to Rutgers University-Newark and the CUNY Graduate Center with faculty and students honoring her legacy. Finally, Rutgers University-Newark will officially name the conference room in the Department of Urban Education after her.

Although the conference at first glance may appear to be related more to the education track of the Urban Systems Program than the other two tracks, we believe this is not the case. First, Jean Anyon’s work is a prime example of the need to examine the relationships among education, health, environment and other urban systems in order to understand urban problems and their solutions. Second, all students in the program read her work in the core Urban Education Systems course. Finally, much of her work from 1980-1998 centered on New Jersey and Newark and used an urban systems approach central to her theoretical and empirical perspectives.



8-8:40 Continental Breakfast

8:45-9:10 Welcomes

  • Karen Franck, Professor of Architecture, Director of the Urban Systems Program, New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Kyle Farmbry, Interim Dean, Graduate School, Rutgers University-Newark
  • Urs Gauchat, Dean, College of Architecture and Design, New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Susan Salmond, Dean, School of Nursing-Newark, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences

9:10-9:15 Introduction

Mara Sidney, Associate Professor of Political Science and Jamie Lew, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology, Interim Co-Directors, Education Track, Rutgers University-Newark
Video Clip: Jean Anyon at the First Urban Systems Conference, June 2012

9:15-9:30 Opening Remarks

Alan Sadovnik, Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of Education, Sociology and Public Affairs, Director, Education Track, Rutgers University-Newark
Jean Anyon and the Urban Systems Approach: The Effects of Poverty on Urban Education, Environment and Health

9:30- 10:10

Lois Weis, Distinguished Professor, School of Education, University of Buffalo Professor Weis is a leading sociologists of education, whose work on the effects of de-industrialization on cities and their residents has been central to understanding the relationship among education and other urban systems.

10:15-10:25 Coffee Break


Michelle Fine, Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology, CUNY Graduate Center

Professor Fine is a leading social psychologist, whose work on urban schooling and inequality has been central to understanding the effects of urban systems on the identities of urban residents.


Roslyn Mickelson, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Professor Mickelson is a leading sociologist of education, whose work on segregation, desegregation and re-segregation in Charlotte-Mecklenburg has analyzed the effects of urban demography, residential housing patterns, poverty and educational inequality.


Lunch and Keynote: Mindy Thompson Fullilove, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Clinical Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University

Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD, is a research psychiatrist at New York State Psychiatric Institute and a professor of clinical psychiatry and public health at Columbia University. She was educated at Bryn Mawr College (AB, 1971) and Columbia University (MS, 1971; MD 1978).

She is a board certified psychiatrist, having received her training at New York Hospital-Westchester Division (1978-1981) and Montefiore Hospital (1981-1982). She has conducted research on AIDS and other epidemics of poor communities, with a special interest in the relationship between the collapse of communities and decline in health.

From her research, she has published Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It, and The House of Joshua: Meditations on Family and Place. She is co-author of Ernest Thompson's Homeboy Came to Orange: A Story of People's Power (1976) and Rodrick Wallace's Collective Consciousness and Its Discontents (2008).

She has received many awards, including inclusion in many “Best Doctors” and two honorary doctorates (Chatham College, 1999, and Bank Street College of Education, 2002). Her work on AIDS is featured in Jacob Levenson’s The Secret Epidemic: The Story of AIDS in Black America. Her current work focuses on the connection between urban function and mental health.

1:30-2:30 Urban Systems Students and Graduates Panel I

  • Chair, Sabrina Chase, Assistant Professor, Director, Health Track, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Science
  • Molly Makris, Post-doctoral Fellow, Rutgers University-Newark, Newark Schools Research Collaborative
    Gentrification, Education and Housing in Hoboken
  • Elizabeth Morrison Brown, Assistant Professor, William Paterson University
    Social Class, Neighborhood and Education in Jersey City
  • Yuri Jadotte, Assistant Professor, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
    Interprofessionalism and Urban Health Disparities
  • Cara Kronen, Lecturer, Borough of Manhattan Community College
    Education and Residential Segregation in Yonkers

2:40-3:40 Urban Systems Students and Graduates Panel II

  • Chair, Jeffrey Backstrand, Associate Research Professor and Director MPH Program, Rutgers University-Newark School of Public Affairs and Administration and RBHS School of Public Health
  • Elizabeth Rivera Rodas, Dissertation Fellow, Rutgers University-Newark
    Education and Housing in New York City
  • Hanaa Hamdi, Assistant Professor, Principal Investigator, Healthy Living Initiative, Newark
    Rutgers University, New Jersey Medical School, RBHS
    Poverty and Urban Health
  • Brian Engelman, Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Maryland
    Urban Influences on Suburban Gang Formation in New Jersey
  • Diane Hill, Assistant Chancellor for University-Community Partnerships and Principal Investigator, Newark Promise Neighborhood Grant (USDOE), Rutgers University-Newark
    The Newark Fairmount Promise Neighborhood Project: A Systemic Approach to the Reduction of Poverty

3:45-3:55 Coffee Break

4:00-5:25 Remembering Jean Anyon

  • Introduction: Jan Lewis, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University-Newark
  • Jane Califf, Former Director of Clinical Practice, Department of Urban Education, Rutgers University-Newark
  • Fran Bartowski, Professor of English, Rutgers University-Newark
  • Nancy Holmstrom, Professor Emerita of Philosophy, Rutgers University-Newark
  • Dorothy Knauer, Ph.D. student, Urban Systems, Rutgers University-Newark
  • Wendy Lutrell, Professor of Education, Program in Urban Education, CUNY Graduate Center
  • Anthony Picciano, Professor of Education, Director of the Program in Urban Education, CUNY Graduate Center Program in Urban Education, CUNY, Graduate Center (remembrance to be read by Wendy Lutrell)
  • Michael Dumas, Graduate, Program in Urban Education, CUNY Graduate Center, Assistant Professor of Education, New York University
  • Liza Pappas, Graduate, Program in Urban Education, CUNY Graduate Center, Analyst, New York City Independent Budget Office
  • Kiersten Greene, Graduate, Program in Urban Education, CUNY Graduate Center
    Assistant Professor, SUNY College at New Paltz
  • Amy Moran, Graduate, Program in Urban Education, CUNY Graduate Center, former Instructor, Department of Urban Education, Rutgers University-Newark
  • Janet Miller, Professor of English Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Gary Anderson, Professor of Educational Administration, New York University

    Julia Wrigley, Professor of Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center and Interim Associate Provost, CUNY


  • Clement Price, Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History, Rutgers University-Newark


Reception and Dedication of Urban Ed Conference Room to be named the Jean Anyon Conference Room

  • Introduction: Arthur Powell, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Urban Education, Rutgers University-Newark
  • Jessie Anyon


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