MCNY’s School for Public Affairs and Administration – Urban Dialogue
A NATION HOLSTERED: A Discussion Against Gun Violence
Introductions By: Dean Humphrey Crookendale
Hesire Ka Nefer’RA aka Colin Lawton – is a Brooklyn based activist, visual artist, and award-winning recording artist. Born and raised in the Brownsville, he was cultured to strive for excellence, not only academically – attending gifted and talented programs, receiving a specialized high school experience at Brooklyn Technical High School and graduating from one of the top art institutions in the country, Pratt Institute, with a BFA in Communications Design – but also socially, emotionally and spiritually, while growing up in a single-parent household. Along this journey, Lawton has held various engaging creative youth workshops mentored through organizations as the Recording Academy, Grammy Museum, NY Services, and working with various elected officials and community organizations. With the rise of gun violence and incidents of police brutality over the past few years, finding and creating solutions to these heinous acts against life and liberty has become a personal mission. Hesire is also a member of the Neighborhood Advisory Board and a men’s counselor in East New York, Brooklyn.
Ami Lipman – served as a prosecutor in Miami Dade County, Florida from 2007 to 2010. During that time, Ami strived to advocate for justice, but he also saw the debilitating impact the criminal justice system has on both victims and defendants and the difficulties involved with getting out from under the system. In law school, Ami was a member of the Housing Rights clinic representing tenants in landlord/tenant disputes and prior law school, he spent 3 years working for the Speaker of the New York City Council on a variety of issues impacting New York City residents. Throughout his career, Ami has been focused on the people involved. Whether it’s a customer with a consumer product or someone having difficulty navigating “in a system”, Ami has focused his advocacy on people feeling heard and empowered which partially drives Ami’s views on gun control. As a staunch supporter of limiting access to guns, Ami believes that too many voices go unheard and it’s time for real, substantial change. Ami obtained his undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University (2000), and his J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law (2007). He is currently an attorney in consumer banking. He ensures compliance with Federal and State laws in servicing Student loans, Auto loans, Home Equity and Unsecured Personal loans and works with customers dealing with hardship.