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A'Lelia Bundles Community Scholars Presentation Series, Fall 2020

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Community Development, Leadership, & Social Entrepreneurship in Northern Manhattan

with Karioki Crosby, founder of Latimer Heights and The Harlem Maker Fair; Renée Cummings, founder and CEO of Urban AI and Criminal Justice Intelligence Inc.; Debbie Meyer, founding member of Dyslexia (Plus) in Public Schools Task Force; and Vivian Williams-Kurutz, founder and executive director of Harlem Wellness Center; in conversation with Flores A. Forbes, associate vice president for Community Affairs at Columbia University Office of Government and Community Affairs

Monday, October 26, 2020
6:00-7:30 PM ET
Webinar details included in RSVP confirmation email.

Please join the center for this special evening featuring the A'Lelia Bundles Community Scholars Program. Columbia's Community Scholars Program, founded in 2013, is a formal opportunity for community-based scholars from Northern Manhattan to access University resources and participate in the intellectual life of the University through interaction with faculty, students, and other visiting scholars. Scholars within the program utilize University services and resources to work toward the completion of a particular project or to attain a skill in a particular area. The program helps to foster and deepen ties between the University and the many independent members of the cultural and intellectual community surrounding it.

This event, jointly hosted by Columbia University's Office of Government and Community Affairs and the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise  at Columbia Business School, provides an opportunity to hear from four local community members who will present their projects, share insights on social entrepreneurship and community development, and the impact their projects are making within the larger community. This event is open to everyone across Columbia University and beyond, including those who are interested in social entrepreneurship and community development.

6:00 PM  |  Welcome Remarks
6:05 PM  |  Scholar Quick Talks
6:45 PM  |  Panel Discussion and Q+A
7:30 PM  |  Event ends

Speaker Bios:
Karioki Crosby

Karioki Crosby is the founder of Latimer Heights (, and The Harlem Maker Fair -- a free annual exhibit of interactive creative code projects engaging the Harlem community. In 2019, The Harlem Maker Fair engaged approximately 200 community members.

Latimer Heights also offers digital literacy workshops for children, youth, and adults at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Micro-soft, and Columbia University. In addition to leading Latimer Heights, Karioki Crosby is a digital literacy educator at Queensbridge Tech Lab, the system-wide manager for the Queens Public Library robotics program, and a Columbia University Community Scholar.

Digital literacy creates plausible paths to addressing issues facing our lives most fundamentally: education, wellness, and access to emerging careers in technology. The Harlem Maker Fair is important because Harlem is changing around its residents. Introducing digital literacy as one of the humanities supports Harlemites in continuing Harlem's long tradition of artistic innovation using a 21st century skill set.

Renée Cummings

Renée Cummings is a criminologist and international criminal justice consultant who specializes in Artificial Intelligence (AI); ethical AI, bias in AI, diversity and inclusion in AI, algorithmic authenticity and accountability, data integrity and equity, AI for social good and social justice in AI policy and governance.

Foreseeing trends and anticipating disruptions, she’s committed to diverse and inclusive AI strategy development; using AI to empower and transform communities and cultures; securing diverse and inclusive participation in the 4IR, helping companies navigate the AI landscape and developing future AI leaders.

A multicultural cross-connector of multiple fields and an innovative collaborator, her passion is forming connections and unifying people and technologies; enhancing quality of life and economic prosperity. She’s also a criminal psychologist, therapeutic jurisprudence and rehabilitation specialist, substance abuse therapist, crisis intelligence, crisis communication and media specialist, creative science communicator and journalist.

She has a solid background in government relations, public affairs, reputation management and litigation PR. A sought after thought-leader, inspirational motivational speaker and mentor, Ms. Cummings is also a Columbia University community scholar.

Bundles Community Scholars Lecture: A Double Pandemic: Risking Your Life for Justice, Protesting Police Brutality during COVID-19 (June 18, 2020)

Debbie Meyer

Debbie Meyer is a non-profit fundraising and strategic planning professional and an active volunteer. Ms. Meyer served on the Women's City Club Physical Education Task Force (2011 to 2014) and is currently a member of the Board of Directors, and the Education Policy Committee. She also serves on the Citizens’ Committee for Children’s Advocacy Council, and on the Advocates for Children Arise Coalition. In spring 2013, she led the advocacy efforts of the public, progressive, and small Central Park East schools to expand with a combined middle school. Previously, she served on the boards of directors of College and Community Fellowship and Phys Ed Plus.

With her A'leila Bundles Community Scholars, she is creating an organization to address the systemic issues and the policies that allow dyslexic students and struggling readers to fail, including pressuring universities to address these issues in their preservice medical, social work and teaching programs.

Vivian Williams-Kurutz

Vivian Williams-Kurutz is founder and executive director of Harlem Wellness Center, workshop facilitator, health activist, community organizer, speaker, yoga and meditation teacher, writer and business partner. Through promotion, education, and engagement in accessible wellness programs, Vivian is committed to work at the intersection of racial, health and environmental justice. Through Harlem Wellness Center and role as a local business owner, she lives her values to contribute to the vibrancy and health of her community and the world.

Moderated by:
Flores A. Forbes
Associate Vice President for Community Affairs at Columbia University Office of Government and Community Affairs

Flores A. Forbes is an associate vice president for Community Affairs with a focus on urban planning, economic development, entrepreneurship, community development and criminal justice change. Flores is our office’s liaison to Columbia Business School and The Center for Justice. He works closely with the Columbia Harlem Small Business Development Center, The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise, and The Center for Justice specifically on the University’s Justice in Education agenda.



October 26th, 2020 6:00 PM through  7:30 PM

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