JCAL relaunches talk series for the fall 1

Berenecea Johnson Eanes.

The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning will host a speaker series highlighting Queens-based thought leaders in arts, culture, education and politics. 

The first speaker will be Berenecea Johnson Eanes, the president of York College, whose talk takes place at the JCAL building, located at 161-04 Jamaica Ave. on Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m., according to the arts organization. The series was initially launched during Black History Month earlier this year. 

Johnson Eanes will be in conversation with JCAL Executive Director Leonard Jacobs, and their talk will be about education and the Southeast Queens community, said a JCAL spokesman to the Queens Chronicle via email.

“I am delighted by the invitation to be the inaugural speaker for JCAL Talks in person,” said Johnson Eanes via a prepared statement.

Johnson Eanes is the seventh president of York College, and began her permanent tenure in the summer of 2020.

“I congratulate Executive Director Leonard Jacobs, who, like me, is still new to the Jamaica, Queens Community,” she said in a statement.

Jacobs called York College a touchstone for not just CUNY, but for Southeast Queens.

“It is a beacon for our values,” said Jacobs. “In a comparatively short tenure that has coincided with the pandemic, Dr. Eanes has confronted unprecedented challenges with remarkable grace — and, in doing so, she has created a template for leadership that is both outstanding and inspiring.”

Courtney Ffrench, the JCAL artistic director, said the two institutions have a long history together.

“One of the many things we have in common is a commitment to arts and culture —and to diversity and inclusiveness in our Southeast Queens community,” said Ffrench in a prepared statement. “Dr. Eanes is a visionary and we’re so excited to welcome her as part of our JCAL Talks series.”

Other speakers in the series, which continues in January, include area business leaders and educators.

To learn more visit jcal.org.

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