Press release from Brookdale Community College 

KittyGenovese2This spring marks the 50th anniversary since a 28-year-old girl named Kitty Genovese (pictured) was stabbed, sexually molested and killed outside her Queens apartment, while 38 observers failed to call for help. On Wednesday evening, April 30, Genovese’s brother William — along with Robert E. Sparrow, the last living attorney involved in the trial — will speak at Brookdale Community College  as students, faculty, and psychologists come together to honor 30 everyday heroes within and outside the campus. The awards are part of the 19th Annual Evening of International Poetry Performances.

Known as the World’s Quiet Hero awards, the honors are affiliated with the Heroic Imagination Project led by Dr. Philip Zimbardo, best known for his social psychology experiment at Stanford Prison.  Honorees are selected based upon Zimbardo’s definition of a hero; “a regular person doing an extraordinary thing.” Zimbardo believes there are many heroes in our communities, and that everyday heroism must be acknowledged.

This year’s honorees include the victim’s brother, a Vietnam veteran who lost both legs three years to the day that his sister was killed. William Genovese will be honored for his service to the country, as well as his tireless investigation into the circumstances surrounding his older sister’s death.

Dr. Harold Takooshian, psychology professor at Fordham University and the foremost champion of the Kitty Genovese legacy, is cohosting the event, along with Dr. Elaine H. Olaoye, Brookdale professor of psychology.

“The Kitty Genovese syndrome continues to happen,” noted Dr. Olaoye. “Each person needs to ask themselves the question, ‘Am I willing to help my neighbor in need?’”

Go here for additional details on the event, which is free and open to the public. Venue will be the Navesink Room of the Warner Student Life Center on the Lincroft campus, and best parking is in Lot 6 and 7.