Karamo Brown Keynote Speaker; Loretta Lynch & Alex Calabrese to be Honored at 2019 John Jay Commencement

Karamo Brown Keynote Speaker; Loretta Lynch & Alex Calabrese to be Honored at 2019 John Jay Commencement

Karamo Brown Keynote Speaker; Loretta Lynch & Alex Calabrese to be Honored at 2019 John Jay Commencement

As hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students from John Jay College of Criminal Justice get ready for commencement on May 29, the College is also proud to add two honorary degree recipients to the Class of 2019.

The Honorable Loretta Lynch and the Honorable Alex Calabrese are both Fierce Advocates for Justice, having dedicated their life’s work to the advancement of a more humane, equitable, and effective system of justice. 

Karamo Brown
Karamo Brown, Netflix reboot “Queer Eye”

Karamo Brown, who will deliver the keynote address, stars on the Netflix reboot of “Queer Eye.” Brown, who began his television career in 2004 as a housemate on the MTV hit reality series “The Real World,” has won three Emmys and a Television Critics Association Award. He is an advocate for addressing mental health and self-esteem of individuals affected by HIV.

Loretta Lynch is the former Attorney General of the United States in the Obama administration, and the first African American woman to hold this position. She has been at the forefront of the nation’s most sensitive civil rights justice issues. From charging suspected shooter Dylann Roof with a hate crime after the Charleston church shooting, to advocating for reentry support systems for formerly incarcerated individuals coming home, she has demonstrated a fierce commitment to human dignity and civil rights. Prior to this appointment, Lynch led the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York, where she prosecuted cases involving narcotics, violent crimes, public corruption, and civil rights. While in private practice, she served as special counsel to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, investigating human rights violations in the 1994 genocide.

Alex M. Calabrese, Chief Judge of the Red Hook Community Justice Center (RHCJC) in Brooklyn, New York, has spearheaded some of the most innovative, effective, and restorative approaches to criminal justice in recent times. He has transformed how the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook responds to crime from the usual focus on punishment and retribution to one of restoration, reparation, and healing. The tools used by Judge Calabrese to solve neighborhood problems that come before the court include treatment and education programs, community service requirements, social support services, and therapy. The program has been shown to reduce recidivism and the number of people receiving jail sentences, while enhancing public confidence in the courts. His work has served as a model for similar community courts that offer a comprehensive and multi-jurisdictional approach to justice.

Both Lynch and Calabrese will receive the honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws at the College’s 54th Commencement, Wednesday, May 29 in the newly renovated Louis Armstrong stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens.

There will be two ceremonies, one in the morning and one in the afternoon as well as a Graduate Hooding ceremony to celebrate our graduate students’ achievements on Thursday, May 23.

More Commencement Information

Commencement is a community celebration that shines a light of accomplishment on our students and their families and friends.

Watch highlights from last year’s ceremonies