Caribbean Week celebration at Queens College

A series of stimulating and free events in recognition of Immigrant Heritage Week, April 17-24, is being hosted, for the first tme by the newly formed Queens College (QC) Immigration Studies Working Group, in a joint effort with the Center for Ethnic, Racial and Religious Understanding and other QC sponsors.

Created in 2004 by the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Immigrant Heritage Week, celebrates the vibrant contributions, accomplishments and legacies of immigrants in New York City. Each spring, a variety of institutions, including universities and community groups, co-sponsor educational, cultural and artistic activities that honor the city’s distinctive immigrant fabric.

“We hope to bring together the synergy of our fantastically diverse community for a week of celebration, discussion, and future planning,” says Prof. Anahi Viladrich (Sociology), director of the Immigration Studies Working Group.

“Queens College is one of the most diverse colleges in the most diverse county in America. We as a nation have so much to be proud of, but at the same time we have many challenges. This week is a great opportunity to look at both our accomplishments regarding immigrants and what remains to be done.”

The Immigration Studies Working Group, which is focused on developing a Center on Immigration Studies, has attracted a broad range of faculty and students whose expertise and interests comprise the political, economic, linguistic, and cultural dimensions of various immigrant communities.

“The center is meant to be a place to embrace the commonality among all the immigrant groups that have contributed so much and made New York what it is today,” adds Viladrich.

This year, Queens College offers two stimulating panel discussions with national leaders, both on Wednesday, April 18. A luncheon session titled, “Democracy for all? The History and Revival of Immigrant Voting Rights” will be held at 12:15 p.m. in the President’s Conference Room No. 2 (Rosenthal Library, 5th floor).

Immigration Heritage Week

City Councilman Daniel Dromm and Dennis Redmond, chief strategy officer of the social service organization Queens Community House, will be participating at the session led by Prof. Ron Hayduk, Borough of Manhattan Community College (who will be joining QC this summer). QC event sponsors are the Immigration Studies Working Group, the Center for Ethnic, Racial and Religious Understanding, the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, and the Division of Social Sciences.

On April 18 at 6:30 p.m. (Rosenthal Library, Room 230), a panel, “Dreams, Realities, Future Scenarios: An Open Discussion About Immigration Policy at the Local, State and Federal Level” will take place.

Confirmed participants of Immigration Heritage Weekare New York State Assembly Member Guillermo Linares (or his chief of staff, Rocio Cruz); Councilman Daniel Dromm; and Thomas Shea, director of training and technical assistance for New York Immigration Coalition, a policy and advocacy organization. This discussion will also be moderated by Professor Hayduk.

Other QC Events:

Tuesday, April 17, 12:15-1:30 p.m.. (Powdermaker Hall 351) — Presentation on Latino Immigrants in the United States by John Jay College Professor Suzanne Oboler, editor of the journal Latino Studies.

Thursday, April 19, 7:00 p.m. (King Hall Black Box Theatre), staged reading of No Roosters in the Desert, featuring a mix of professional actors and Queens College students. Performance will be followed by a discussion with playwright Hartzler and the cast, and a reception. No Roosters in the Desert is presented through the Manhattan-based TeatroStageFest’s Staged Reading Series.

The play will also be presented on Saturday, April 28, 3:00 p.m. at the Queens Library at Jackson Heights Meeting Room. Both presentations are sponsored by the Center for Ethnic, Racial and Religious Understanding, the QC Immigration Studies Working Group, and the Kupferberg Center for the Performing Arts at Queens College, CUNY.

For more information on the QC Immigration Studies Work Group and for a full schedule of New York City Immigration Heritage Week events, please visit:

Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY), founded in 1937, is dedicated to the idea that a first-rate education should be accessible to talented individuals of all backgrounds and financial means. Its more than 20,000 students come from over 150 nations and speak scores of languages, creating an extraordinarily diverse and welcoming environment.

Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. Each year Queens College has been cited by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. The college opened its first residence hall in August 2009. More info on Queens College at

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