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In Memoriam: Dr. John Flateau

Source: Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College

On Saturday, December 30, 2023, the Medgar Evers community suffered a devastating loss. One that, quite frankly, we may not fully comprehend for some time. With profound sadness, we acknowledge the passing of Dr. John Flateau, a distinguished professor, author, intellectual, and fierce social justice warrior who leaves behind a legacy of committed public service.

For 29 years, Dr. Flateau served with distinction at Medgar Evers College of The City University of New York as a professor, a mentor, and a guiding light to countless students. His myriad roles at Medgar Evers, including Vice President, Dean of Institutional Advancement, Chair of the Public Administration Department, and Dean of the Business School, demonstrate his lifelong commitment to higher education. At the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College, Dr. Flateau was family. He was a beloved CLSJ collaborator and thought partner, working in tandem with us across the years on numerous initiatives, most notably the fight to ensure that Black communities received their fair share of political power and federal resources during the redistricting process.

Beyond the hallowed halls of higher education, Dr. Flateau was deeply involved in pivotal projects with local and national impact. He directed the US Census Information Center, the DuBois Bunche Center For Public Policy, and the New York Clearinghouse on the 2020 Census, Voting Rights, and Redistricting. His commitment to understanding and improving the socio-economic conditions of Black and Brown communities, particularly in Brooklyn, was unparalleled.

His research collaborations were extensive and impactful, including projects with the Caribbean Research Center, NYU Stafford Project on Inequality, MIT, and the Maimonides Medical Center.

Dr. Flateau’s public service record is a testament to his dedication to making a difference in the world. He served as a senior policy advisor to the State Senate Democratic Majority, and Deputy Secretary for Intergovernmental Relations, and was a member of several influential boards and committees. His role as Chief Of Staff for Mayor David N. Dinkins was particularly notable, contributing to the legacy of New York’s first Black Mayor. He was a political advisor to dozens of political leaders in New York State, from City Halls and local legislators, to governors, mayors and members of Congress.

His academic achievements were as remarkable as his public service, with a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Graduate Center, CUNY, among other degrees. Dr. Flateau was a prolific author whose works on race, crime, media, and politics are invaluable contributions to the field.

Dr. Flateau’s loss is deeply felt by his colleagues, students, and the many lives he touched. He was more than a teacher, more than a public servant – he was a pillar of his community, a voice for the voiceless, and an unwavering champion for racial, economic, and social justice. His contributions will continue to inspire and guide us, and his memory will be cherished forever.

Source: Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College


IBW21 (The Institute of the Black World 21st Century) is committed to enhancing the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. and globally to achieve cultural, social, economic and political equality and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.