CUNY cancels 'Globalize the Intifada!' panel at anti-racism conference: 'Not a podium for protest'

CUNY has canceled a conference panel titled "Globalize the Intifada! Mapping Struggles for Palestine between the Streets and our Classrooms" after Campus Reform reported on it.

The City University of New York has canceled a conference panel originally titled Globalize the Intifada! Mapping Struggles for Palestine between the Streets and our Classrooms” after Campus Reform reported on it.

The panel was part of an “Engagement, Equity & Antiracism: Teaching Writing at our HSIs, Then & Now” conference on Feb. 16.

According to the original session description, “This panel will bring together organizers at Lehman College and the Bronx, and across CUNY and New York City, to highlight how students, workers, and our communities can act in solidarity to achieve justice for Palestine.”

The session was first reported on by Jonathan Harounoff, Middle East journalist & communications director at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America.

(Image Credit: Jonathan Harounoff/X)

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CUNY appeared to have changed the event title after criticism. The new title read “Mapping Struggles for Palestine between the Streets and our Classrooms.”

After Campus Reform reached out to CUNY for comment, the entire panel was canceled.

Jane Kehoe Higgins, Director of the Lehman College Institute for Literacy Studies and sponsor of the conference, told Campus Reform that the “Globalize the Intifada! Mapping Struggles for Palestine between the Streets and our Classrooms” panel had been canceled.

“The Writing Across the Curriculum program is dedicated to bringing love to the classroom, a more human approach to teaching and learning. The Engagement, Equity and Antiracism conference is meant to support professors in teaching students who are struggling, with pedagogy at the center. The goal is to bring people together, not to cause harm or make students feel unsafe. It is not a podium for protest. After discussion with the panelists, I do not believe we share the same goal. There are appropriate venues for them to share their views, but this conference is not one of them and the panel has been cancelled,” said Higgins.

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According to an agenda for the conference, it is being hosted by Lehman College Writing Across the Curriculum program, Hostos Community College Writing Across the Curriculum, Lehman College Institute of Literacy Studies and the New York City Writing Project. 

Lehman College operates within CUNY.

Lehman College’s Writing  Across the Curriculum program “takes an antiracist and decolonial approach to writing pedagogy,” according to its description.