Those of you who were in Denver may remember the poem I read at the end of the Annual Business Meeting.  (If you missed my rendition of “The 2013 Annual Meeting Will Not Be Televised,” you can click to listen here:  Having just been passed the presidential gavel and sharing the excitement over President Wendy Simond’s fantastic “The Art of Activism” presentation, I could not resist exerting some poetic license of my own.  I’m sure you can appreciate the difficult task of trying to say something memorable when given just 4mins or less to introduce the following year’s annual meeting theme!

I also mentioned in Denver that one artist powerfully capable of moving people within a four minute time frame was the late and “last poet” Gil Scott-Heron who became world famous with his early 1970’s cut “The Revolution will not be Televised” (for those under the age of 50, visit  Although he self-identified as a “Blues-ologist” and a whole generation of Black rap artists dub him the “godfather of hip hop,” I have always been deeply inspired by the thickly-textured sociology woven through all of his artistic works. In the end, my own act of poetic piracy and transmutation of his most famous work was the way I chose to introduce the 2013 SSSP Meeting theme.

Having seen Gil Scott perform in 2010 at one of his last performances down at the Blue Note Jazz Club, 3rd St. and 6th Ave., I am also reminded here of the tremendous lure that New York City offers as our upcoming meeting site. The whole range of things to see, feel, touch, listen to and taste absolutely defies description. I do certainly understand that my greatest challenge as your president will be to organize a program that can entice your fellow members to remain at the conference during their visit!  Fortunately, I am riding the high speed rail of an experienced and high-energy program committee, chaired by Bronx native David Fasenfest of Wayne State University. They are all busily working to transform this goal into reality.


“The annual meeting will not be brought to you by ASA,

solely in 5 slot panels with plenary interruptions.”


Returning to my lyrics, we are determined to show once more in NYC why the SSSP remains a different kind of annual meeting. Indeed, one of the major innovations at NYC2013 will be the expansion of our newest session format that we aptly refer to as “Critical Dialogue.” These sessions consist of 5 minute presentations by 8 authors followed by an engaged dialogue that critically explores issues and connections among the papers.  Since the SSSP is a member-driven association, we have been listening to those who seek deeper and more political discussions about emerging new directions in social problems investigation. In the critical dialogue sessions, the audience enjoys a special opportunity to more directly participate in the collective dialogue.  To encourage this initiative, participants will have the option of being included on a panel as well as a critical dialogue. We invite all NYC2013 participants to take part in discussions utilizing this bold new format as we engage the kinds of issues that sets the SSSP apart from the other conferences going on around us. And if you couldn’t tell by the conference theme, we aim to shake up the paradigmatic comfort zones and stir up some lively off-Broadway discussions about where the next stop may be for a new generation of scholar-activists.


“There will be no pictures of SSSP members pushing

their shopping carts down Fifth Avenue in the instant replay.

There will be no pictures of SSSP members pushing their

shopping carts down Fifth Avenue in the instant replay.”


Make no mistake about it: New York is a wonderful place to shop. It’s true that NYC merchants, especially fashion and clothing stores, do tend to offer more bargains in August when compared with other times of the year. But unless you are planning on buying a new camera, we want to encourage you to remain conscientious and committed to participating in our sessions. If your family comes along, we can help point them to some of the world’s best museums.  You can compare notes with them over dinner on one of the city’s fine eatery strips that if well-selected can be surprisingly affordable, just like your airfare or train ride into one of NYC’s hubs.


“The Presidential Address will not be written by CNN, the CIA or Catholic Relief Services,

or featured by Seth Meyers, SNL, or Conan O’Brien stretching his nose.

The annual meeting, and this is real news, will be serenaded on the

first conference evening by the legendary rock group, The Maul Girls.”


Needless to say, there is plenty of nighttime summer entertainment within walking distance of the Westin Times Square Hotel, including of course just gawking around the Square at the other gawkers. But to sweeten the pot (absolutely no pun intended), we are making arrangements to get you started by providing our own entertainment on the first evening of the conference.  The iconic all-female 90’s band “The Maul Girls” will be coming into NYC from various locations, including London, and have agreed to offer a dedicated performance for the SSSP. The occasion will be to raise awareness (not funds) about the United Nations Secretary General’s UNITE Campaign against Violence against Women.

While there may be some local folks who would pay virtually any amount to gain admission to this intimate in-house performance, we will direct them down to the Village for another night. We intend to make this performance completely free for all registered SSSP conference participants.  I do want to caution you that 2013 would not be the year to blow the first day of the conference.


  “and people will not care if moral entrepreneurs

finally got approved their own special division because

Wall Street will still be occupied and so then will be you.”


Whether you choose to visit Zuccotti Park, home of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, or to visit the site of the infamous Triangle Fire at NYU that helped transform US labor law, Union Square down around 14th St., or maybe up to Harlem where Malcolm X once delivered his fiery speeches of Black liberation, NYC is a paradise for scholar-activists.  The choice of engaging in direct, unobtrusive or participant observation is exclusively up to you, but rest assured that there is always something happening in this town.  Our Local Arrangements Committee being chaired by Dr. Angie Beeman of Baruch College-CUNY will be working to provide you with the inside scoop and useful tips to make your visit to the Big Apple a memorable one.


Stay tuned for more soon… but like I mentioned in Denver, one thing is certain:


“The annual meeting will be no previously recorded program, people…

The 2013 Times Square meeting will be live!”


R.A. Dello Buono, 2012-13 SSSP President

Manhattan College, NYC