On Thursday, November 8, 2018, The Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz will host black activist and data analyst Samuel Sinyangwe for a presentation on “Mapping Police Violence” in Lecture Center 100 at 6pm. The event is free and open to the public.
Sam Sinyangwe is a data scientist and policy analyst who works with communities of color to fight systemic racism through cutting-edge policies and strategies. As protests emerged in the wake of 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, he connected with Ferguson activists DeRay Mckesson, Johnetta Elzie, and Brittany Packnett to develop policy solutions to address police violence in America. Together, they co-founded Mapping Police Violence, a research collaborative collecting comprehensive data on police killings nationwide to quantify the impact of police violence in communities, and Campaign Zero, a platform to advance data-driven solutions to end police violence. Sinyangwe has also helped city leaders, youth activists and community organizations develop citywide agendas to achieve quality education, health, and justice for young black men. He graduated from Stanford University in 2012, where he studied how race and racism impact the U.S. political system.
“Mapping Police Violence” is part of The Benjamin Center’s ongoing use of applied research to inform public policy. The event is co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the Resident Hall Student Association, the SUNY New Paltz Equal Opportunity Program and the Diversity & Inclusion Council, Student Affairs, and the Departments of Geography, History, Political Science, and Sociology.
















Past Events







Benjamin Center will partner with Village and DEC to host drinking water discussion, Jan. 31


Gerald Benjamin and Fred Kowal will debate state constitutional convention, Oct. 16 at New Paltz


Panel to discuss deer management and the ethics of hunting on September 28, 2017, at 5pm, in the SUNY New Paltz College Terrace.


The Benjamin Center for Public Policy and Mohonk Preserve will present a panel discussion on deer management and the ethics of hunting at SUNY New Paltz on Thursday, September 28, 2017, from 5-7 pm at College Terrace on campus at SUNY New Paltz.

This panel builds upon The Benjamin Center’s 2016 brief, “The Hunt for Balance,” written by Brent Miller, an alumnus of the college now working as Northeastern States Director for the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation. The panel will be chaired by David Elstein, who has an interest in environmental ethics and is Chair of the Department of Philosophy. Comments will be offered by SUNY New Paltz President and Mohonk Preserve board member Don Christian, a wildlife biologist, and SUNY New Paltz professor emeritus of biology and Preserve board member Carol Rietsma,  who has done extensive research on deer browsing in the region.

Problems arising from an overabundance of deer are a serious concern in many Hudson Valley communities. At the same time, hunting and animal population control are subjects of important, often passionate, debate in contemporary social and political discourse. Benjamin Center Director Gerald Benjamin, who will moderate the panel and summarize the paper on which it is based, commented: “This issue both elicits strong emotional reactions and raises very important lifestyle and economic issues for the Hudson Valley. We are pleased to offer this thorough consideration of its multiple dimensions to the people and decision-makers of our region.”

Space is limited. Those interested in attending the Thursday, September 28 discussion at The Terrace are asked to RSVP to Light refreshments will be served.

About the Benjamin Center
The Benjamin Center (formerly CRREO) was established in 2007 to further engage SUNY New Paltz with communities, governments, not-for-profits and businesses across our region. The center conducts and publicizes research on regional topics; creates and directs select institutes focusing on specific areas of regional interest; connects and partners with local governments, not-for-profits and businesses to initiate reforms and advocate for best practices; contracts to assess the performance of public and not-for-profit agencies and programs; and works to foster intergovernmental collaboration and community engagement.
If you are interested in being on the mailing list for reports from The Benjamin Center, please send an email with your address to More information about the Benjamin Center is available online.
About Mohonk Preserve
Protecting over 8,000 acres of mountain cliffs, forests, fields, streams, and other unique and beautiful places through conservation science-based land management, Mohonk Preserve is New York’s largest nonprofit nature preserve. Each year the Preserve welcomes over 200,000 members and visitors who come to explore and enjoy their natural world. With award-winning programs in conservation science, environmental education, land protection and stewardship, Mohonk Preserve helps people of all ages and abilities get into nature through student and adult programs, summer camps, hikes, and citizen-science opportunities. For more information, visit


Please click here for more information


March 10, 2016

Agenda for A 2020 Vision for Public Education in Ulster County


Nov. 16 - 23, 2014

One Book, One New Paltz Calendar


Oct. 8, 2013

Following successful conferences at SUNY Cortland and at the Rockefeller Institute in Albany, Effective NY co-founders SUNY-New Paltz Prof. Gerry Benjamin and good government reform advocate Bill Samuels announced that they will hold a third conference at Baruch College in New York City to consider critical state constitutional issues to be addressed by voters in November, as well to explore the need to call a constitutional convention in 2017 when a mandatory referendum question on this subject will be on the ballot.

The conference, entitled "A New New York: The Constitutional Dimension," will be held on the Baruch College campus at 151 East 25th Street in the Newman Conference Center (7th floor) on Oct. 8 and is sponsored by Effective NY, the Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz with the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College and City and State Magazine.

The conference speakers and panelists will include:

  • Douglas Muzzio, Professor of Public Affairs, Baruch College;
  • Gerald Benjamin, Director, Benjamin Center and Distinguished Professor of Political Science, SUNY New Paltz;
  • Peter Galie, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Canisius College, leading expert on state constitutional history, and Co-Editor The New York State Constitution, 2nd edition;
  • David Sciarra, Executive Director, Education Law Center;
  • Robert Ward, Deputy Comptroller, Budget & Policy Analysis at Office of the State Comptroller;
  • Frank Mauro, Executive Director, Fiscal Policy Institute;
  • Richard Brodsky, Senior Fellow at Demos and Senior Fellow at NYU's Wagner School of Public Administration;
  • Bill Samuels, Co-Founder and founder New Roosevelt;
  • Dennis Hawkins, Executive Director, Fund for Modern Courts;
  • Chris Bopst, Partner, Goldberg Segalla LLP, Buffalo, NY and Co-Editor of The New York State Constitution, 2nd Edition.


Sept. 19, 2013

Conference to Address Upcoming Constitutional Ballot Issues

Effective NY founders SUNY-New Paltz Prof. Gerry Benjamin, NYS Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and Reform Advocate New Roosevelt's Bill Samuels convene conference, at SUNY- Cortland on Sept 19th, which brings together New York's leading constitutional experts to debate key issues at the heart of reforming NYS constitution; Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner will give keynote on the 50th anniversary of Constitutional Home Rule.

The conference speakers and panelists will include:

  • Dr. Gerald Benjamin, Director, Benjamin Center at SUNY – New Paltz and leading state constitution expert;
  • Christopher Bopst, Co-Editor, The New York State Constitution, 2nd edition;
  • Hank Dullea, SUNY TrusteePeter Galie, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Canisius College, leading expert on state constitutional history, and Co-Editor The New York State Constitution, 2nd edition;
  • Carl Hayden, Former Chair, SUNY Trustees and NYS Board of Regents;
  • Brian Kolb, Minority Leader, New York State Assembly;
  • Barbara Lifton, New York State Assembly;
  • Stephanie Miner, Mayor, City of Syracuse;
  • Bill Samuels, Co-Founder and founder New Roosevelt;
  • Henry Steck, Distinguished Service Professor and Political Science Professor, SUNY Cortland; and
  • Brian Tobin, Mayor, City of Cortland

The conference will feature two panel discussions. The first will focus on the constitutional
issues in anticipation of the 2013 November election, where voters will consider to ballot
initiatives dealing with the state constitution. The second considers more generally what could, or should, be removed from the current constitution in a future constitutional convention.

People interested in attending can register here:


June 13 - 14, 2013

EPA Region 9 Leadership Workshops for Local Water Systems

This workshop is designed to make local leaders more effective in both their professional and personal interactions so they can engage listeners, make sound decisions, and get the job done.

For more information and registration visit


2013 Hudson River Science Symposium: "The State of Hudson River Science"

NEW PALTZ – The Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz, the Hudson River Environmental Society, and the Hudson River Foundation will host a symposium to present the latest scientific understanding of the Hudson River and environs, discuss the drivers behind the science, identify future challenges, and provide an opportunity for scientists, resource managers, educators, students and the general public to share ideas. Invited speakers will address issues of long-term ecological change, ecosystem restoration, Hudson River fish, sediments, contaminants, and historical ecology and archaeology. A poster session on issues of importance to understanding the valley, coupled with a mixer and reception, will end the day.

Symposium presenters include Jeffrey Levinton of SUNY Stony Brook, David Strayer, Stuart Findlay, and Emma Rosi-Marshall of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, William Solecki of the CUNY Institute for Urban Systems, Karin Lindberg of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, David Ralston of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, April Beisaw of Vassar College, and Dennis Suszowski of the Hudson River Foundation.


March 1, 2013 

Mid Hudson Agriculture: Growing our Economy and our Communities

SUNY New Paltz Student Union Multi-Purpose Room. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Agriculture: Where Will the Hudson Valley Be in Ten Years?
  • Regional Agriculture and Our Schools
  • Reaching the Regional
  • MarketSuccess Stories: Farm Food for Strengthened Families and Communities
  • Our Brand for 25,000,000 Customers in the Tri-State area


July 30, 2012

Mid Hudson Sustainability Meeting

The Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainability Plan, as part of the Cleaner, Greener, Communities Program, looks to utilize the combined knowledge of stakeholders in the seven counties of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council Region to create a plan that will lead to a more sustainable region. At this meeting, leaders of the project will brief you on this innovative initiative.


June 15, 2012

Is There a Hudson Valley Regional Agenda?

A primary purpose of the State University of New York at New Paltz Benjamin Center is to provide a neutral venue for the discussion of often controversial matters of broad interest and importance to the Hudson Valley. This conference will engage a broad range of groups and individuals in the valley, with a variety of strongly held interests and priorities, to consider whether this dynamic region, like other key regions in the state, can annually generate and advance a shared regional agenda for legislative action by state government.  We seek to create a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities confronting us as we develop a regional agenda. We aspire to foster a dialogue among the many diverse partners whose engagement can help us move forward in a positive direction for the benefit of the entire region.

Jan. 30, 2012

Race to the Top: Costs and Consequences

Presentation by Ken Mitchell, District Superintendent of the South Orangetown School District in Rockland County, author of the Benjamin Center Discussion Brief, "Federal Mandates on Local Education: Costs and Consequences – Yes, it's a Race, but is it in the Right Direction?"

"New York's hard won inclusion in the federal Race to the Top (RTTT) initiative has already dramatically changed both how we educate our children and how we fund public K-12 education in our state."

Sept. 8, 2011

Ten Years On…Reflections on 9/11.

SUNY New Paltz Honors Center. 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m

This panel will be moderated by the Benjamin Center Director Gerald Benjamin. Panelists include Lewis Brownstein, professor of political science, presenting “Rethinking American Security in the Aftermath of 9/11;” Nancy Kassop, professor of political science, presenting “Law vs. Politics in the Response to 9/11: One at the Expense of the Other?;” Jerry Persaud, assistant professor of communication and media, presenting "Pedagogy vs. Patriotism: A Decade of Teaching and Learning about 9/11;” and Hamilton Stapell, assistant professor of history, presenting "9/11 and Historical Memory."


Sept. 21, 2011

The Fifth Annual Dennis O’Keefe Memorial Lecture: “College and Community in New Paltz and America”.

SUNY New Paltz CSB Auditorium, 5:00 p.m.

Sponsored by the Friends of Sojourner Truth Library

This lecture will be delivered by the Benjamin Center Director Gerald Benjamin, “We are predisposed to think of “the college” and “the community” as apart from each other, not a part of each other. We speak of the college as a separate community, the college community, that is bounded and has membership,” Benjamin said. “We know that town/gown tensions are pandemic, and certainly present in New Paltz. And we also make commitments to ‘serving the (outside) community,’ and encouraging our students to do so. Yet are we not one community, are we not really and fundamentally all in this together, in this place, at this time? And wouldn’t we benefit enormously from consciously embracing this unity? Certainly, Dennis O’Keefe’s life was a testament to this idea."


October 2011

One Book One New Paltz

This shared reading experience collaboration between One Book One New Paltz and the SUNY New Paltz Common Summer Reader features two books by Sherman Alexie: War Dances (for adults) and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (for both adult and young adult readers). Events will be held throughout the month of October. Visit the website for the full calendar.


Oct. 3, 2011

The Tax Cap Challenge, SUNY New Paltz Student Union Building, 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The 2011 Fall Conference on Local Government, presented with Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress Featured speaker: Tom Suozzi, former Nassau County Executive and chairman of the NYS Commission on Property Tax Relief. Discounted reservations are offered to local government officials and employees. Click here for more on sponsorship and registration.


Nov. 16, 2011

Solid Waste Management Past and Future

SUNY New Paltz Student Union Building, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Presented with the Mid-Hudson Region League of Women Voters

20 years ago the New York State Legislature created Resource Recovery Agencies at the County level in Dutchess and Ulster County. The agencies were responsible for closing non-compliant local landfills, establishing recycling facilities, creating DEC compliant landfills and building waste to energy plants.

    • Today county tax payers are obligated to keep the Resource Recovery Agencies financially afloat.
      • Local solid waste management plans are expiring and new ones are due to be submitted to New York State DEC.
        • Much of our waste is being trucked vast distances to enormous landfills.
          • Recycling is not enforced and very little progress has been made in composting food waste and other organic materials.
            • The total amount of solid waste generated has increased enough to offset any reduction created by recycling.


            May 19, 2011

            The President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, William Dudley, will speak on campus. The presentation will be in the Student Union Multi-Purpose Room and will be followed by a Q&A session. The fee for admission and breakfast is $15 per person. A continental breakfast will be served between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m. For registration and information, call the Office of Regional Education at 845-257-2900.


            April 25, 2011

            An Evening With The Fellows: Financing Smart & Sustainable Place-Making.

            Three Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners – recognized nationally by their peers for excellence and leadership in community planning – will explore innovative zoning and fiscal policies, touching on the State Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act and Transit-Oriented Development. Hosted by the Lower Hudson Valley West Section of the New York Metro Chapter of the American Planning Association in conjunction with the Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz. $12


            April 26, 2011

            Second Annual Service Summit.

            8:30-12:00 pm held at the Terrace, SUNY New Paltz: Sponsored by: UlsterCorps and the Benjamin Center


            March 31, 2011

            "An Evening with the Fellows: financing Smart and Sustainable Place-making"

            7:30-9:00 pm The Terrace, SUNY New Paltz.


            March 24, 2011

            "Financing Education through Income Taxes?" 

            With Assemblyman Kevin Cahill and a panel including:

            • Frank Mauro, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute;
            • Martin Reid, Deputy Director of Government Relations at the New York State School Boards Association, and
            • Gerald Benjamin, Director of CRREO @ SUNY New Paltz.

            7:00-9:00pm at the New Paltz High School on 130 Putt Corners Road. Sponsored by: New Paltz Central School District Board Legislative Action Committee, the SUNY New Paltz School of Education & the Benjamin Center


            March 23, 2011

            Judicial Conference at SUNY New Paltz:  "Justice and Our Justice Courts in Ulster County"

            8:00-12:30 SUB room 62/63


            January 24, 2011 

            "Solar Energy Conference"

            9:00-3:00pm held at the Student Union Building, SUNY New Paltz  

            Sponsored by: The Solar Energy Consortium (TSEC) and the Benjamin Center


            April 13, 2010

            "SUNY Undergraduates Shaping New York's Future: A Showcase of Scholarly Posters at the Capitol"

            The Benjamin Center's Regional Well-Being students will be presenting their research, "Biological Assessment for Water Quality in Plattekill Brook, NY".


            April 21, 2010

            Intermunicipal Watershed Planning Workshop sponsored with the Hudson River Watershed Alliance and the Hudson River Estuary Program.

            SUB Multi-Purpose Room, 9pm to 4pm.


            March 20, 2010

            World History Institute Workshop

            8:00am to 1:00 pm HUM 118


            March 25, 2010 

            Global Water Crisis

            6:30pm to 8:30pm CSB (With World Affairs Council)


            March 25-26, 2010 

            "Cognitive Processing Therapy: Two Day Training for Treating PTSD"


            Feb. 5, 2010

            Solar Farmers’ Workshop 

            Co-sponsor with TSEC

            The Terrace at SUNY New Paltz, 2pm to 6pm.


            Feb. 24, 2010

            Intermunicipal Watershed Planning Workshop sponsored with the Hudson River Watershed Alliance and the Hudson River Estuary Program.

            SUB Rooms 401/405 or 402/408, 9pm to 4pm.


            POSTPONED UNTIL MARCH 13, 2010: February 27

            "Keeping PACE with Energy Options Energy Conservation, Alternative Energy Initiatives, and Funding Strategies for Hudson Valley Municipalities

            Cosponsored with the League of Women Voters of Mid-Hudson Region, Hudson River Estuary Training Program, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Hudson Valley Smart Growth Alliance, Sustainable Hudson Valley Town of New Paltz, New Paltz GreenWorks, Ulster County Association of Town Supervisors and Mayors.

            LC 102, from 9:30am to 1:00pm.


            November 2009 

            One Book One New Paltz


            October 2009

            Our yearly joint conference on local government in partnership with Pattern for Progress.


            Sept. 25-26, 2009

            The Hudson Conference

            A celebration to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's legendary voyage. (Follow Up On Facebook).


            June 10, 11, 12, 2009

            Stream Monitoring Workshop

            Participants will learn a powerful way to measure water quality in the local and regional environment, as a starting point for protecting and restoring streams, rivers, lakes and watersheds.
            » View workshop webpage


            May 30, 2009

            Shakespeare conference for teachers in the region
            » More details on the English Department blog


            April 16, 2009

            "The Hudson: America’s River" Book reading and signing, by local author Frances F. Dunwell.
            » FrancesDunwell*


            April 28, 2009

            Innovative Responses to the Current Funding Crisis in the Arts

            Keynote speaker: Heather Hitchens, New York State council of the Arts.
            » View event flyer * » View event brochure *


            November 2008

            One Book One New Paltz


            Nov. 28, 2007

            NYS Commission on Local Government Economy and Competitiveness Public Hearing


            Dec. 2, 2008

            Climate change and world security is topic of presentation


            Oct. 8, 2008

            Second Annual Fall Conference on Local Government – Government on the Energy Gridiron. Presented by Pattern for Progress, SUNY New Paltz


            Oct. 5, 2007

            Improving Government Efficiency, Accessing New York State's Shared Municipal Services Incentive Program



            * Download Acrobat Reader Now!
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            Save the Date: Oct. 12!

            Marking 100 years of the National Park Service, this day-long conference will follow the narrative thread connecting conservation efforts from the Hudson River School painters through to strategies to protect the Hudson River Valley landscape for the next 100 years.

            Morning plenary sessions will include the history of conservation in the Hudson River Valley and contemporary strategies for landscape conservation in the valley and beyond. The luncheon keynote will provide inspiring examples of conservation efforts and foreshadow future possibilities and techniques for conservation. The afternoon will include an engaging stakeholder process which will cull reaction and capture shared values related to regional land preservation in response to the presentation of preliminary findings of a study currently being conducted by the Regional Plan Association and The Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz as part of RPA’s forthcoming fourth regional plan.

            The conference is being presented by the Hudson River Valley Greenway, the Regional Plan Association, The Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz, and the National Park Service, in partnership with various state, regional and local agencies, land trusts, and non-profits. The event is hosted by the National Park Service and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.