Mara Lazda is an associate professor of history at Bronx Community College (BCC), where she also worked as a faculty co-coordinator of the First Year Seminar program from 2017 to 2019. Believing that community colleges have a particular role in fostering social justice, Lazda is the co-founder and co-coordinator of civic engagement programs at BCC, which includes the Democracy Project and the President’s Conversation Series on Democracy and Freedom. These BCC programs aim to provide forums for engaging in controversial topics in an informed and respectful manner, while emphasizing the links between classroom learning and professional development.