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The Legacy and Future of Ethnic Studies at CUNY (Day 1)

April 27 at 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
| Richard Harris Terrace

images of protests
With roots in the intertwined movements of racial justice, anti-imperialism and liberation in the 1960s and 70s, the formation of ethnic studies in the United States changed how institutions of higher education teaches race, inequality and the very history of the nation. In celebration of the formation of Ethnic Studies at BMCC, we aim to provide a space for scholars affiliated with CUNY to discuss contemporary scholarship in the field.

Register for the conference.

See the schedule for Day 2 of the conference.

Registration9-9:30 a.m.
Opening Speaker: Rachel Stephenson, Chief Transformation Officer, CUNY9:45-9:55 a.m.
Panel 1: Indigenous Studies

The Decolonial Poetics of the Chamoru Diaspora
- Francisco Delgado, BMCC

Decolonizing Bordertown Violence: A Politics of Repatriation and Reclamation
- Nichole Shippen, LaGCC

The Constitution of Resguardos in Colombian Amazonia: Indigenous Territories and Colonization
during the Twentieth Century

- Oscar Aponte, CUNY Graduate Center

Moderator: Patricia Mathews-Salazar, BMCC
10-11 a.m.
Panel 2: Roundtable: Ethnic Studies Formation and Student Activism

- Eleanor Drabo, BMCC

- James Blake, BMCC

- Inmaculada Lara-Bonilla, Hostos

Moderator: Rigoberto Andino, BMCC
11:10 a.m.-12:25 p.m.
Lunch12:35-1:30 p.m.
Keynote: Frank Wu, President, Queens College12:35-1:30 p.m.
Panel 3: Healthcare and Constructions of Health and Illness

The ‘Formidable Foe:’ Puerto Ricans, Tuberculosis, and Public Health Politics in New York City, 1930s-1970s
- John A. Gutierrez, John Jay College

Effects of Dental Hygienists on Oral Health Care Delivery to Hispanic Populations
- Diana Macri, Hostos

Decolonizing Mental Health and Trauma among Future Generations
- Shreya Mandal, BMCC and Hunter College

Moderator: David Caicedo, BMCC
1:40-2:55 p.m.
Panel 4: Ethnicity and Immigration Politics

Becoming Black: Afro-Caribbean and/in America and ‘Black America - The Making of an Oral History Project on Caribbean Immigrants and the Politics of Race and Identity
- Aleah Ranjitsingh, Brooklyn College

Rooted and Re-Routed: Understanding Intergenerational Differences on Anti-Blackness and Racial Sentiment Amongst 1st and 2nd Generation Indo-Caribbeans in New York City
- Cristine Khan, CUNY Graduate Center

Toward a History of the Formation of Latinidad through Higher Education: The Cuban Case
- Racquel Otheguy, BCC

Crime, Color, and Labor: Louis Weber and the Fluctuating Racialization of the New York Pioneros
- Peter Carlo Becerra, Earlham and BMCC

Moderator: Syreeta McFadden, BMCC
3:05-4:20 p.m.
Closing: BMCC Students Musical Performance4:30-4:50 p.m.

Student Posters: Leimi Obata, Maraea Dougall McMahon, Oluremi Alapo’s AFN 128 class, Jill Strauss Open Lab

Film Screening: In Search of Bengali Harlem                                                                                    7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
Join us for a screening of The feature documentary, In Search of Bengali Harlem, directed by Vivek Bald and Alaudin Ullah. After the screening there will be a panel discussion with the co-directors and Bangladeshi artists, organizers, and community members including Nahar Alam, Nadia Q. Ahmad, NYC Council Member Shahana Hanif, DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving), and S. Nadia Hussain (moderator).

The film screening will take place on Thursday, April 27 at Theatre I at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center at 199 Chambers St.

Please RSVP if you would like to attend.

Keynote Speaker Frank H. Wu, President, Queens CollegeFrank Wu
Frank H. Wu serves as the eleventh President of Queens College. Prior to joining the City University of New York (CUNY) system, Frank served as Chancellor & Dean, and then William L. Prosser Distinguished Professor at the institution now known as UC College of the Law, San Francisco. Before joining UC Law San Francisco, he was a member of the faculty at Howard University, the nation’s leading historically black college/university (HBCU), for a decade. He served as Dean of Wayne State University Law School in his hometown of Detroit.

Frank is dedicated to civic engagement. He was appointed by the federal Department of Education during the Obama administration to its National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), which advises the administration on higher education accreditation, serving for nine years, including as Vice-Chair. He was a Trustee of Gallaudet University, the only university in the world dedicated to deaf and hard of hearing persons, from 2000 to 2010, and Vice-Chair for the final four years of his tenure. He was a Trustee of Deep Springs College, a highly-selective full-scholarship school enrolling twenty-six on a student-run cattle ranch near Death Valley, where he previously taught for several short periods; he served nine years, during the transition to co-education.

Frank is the author of Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White, and co-author of Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment. Prior to his academic career, he held a clerkship with the late U.S. District Judge Frank J. Battisti in Cleveland and practiced law with the firm of Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco. He received a B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. with honors from the University of Michigan.

Opening Speaker, Rachel Stephenson, Chief Transformation Officer, CUNY
Rachel StephensonRachel Stephenson serves as CUNY’s inaugural Chief Transformation Officer. The Office of Transformation, established by Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez in June 2022, serves a vital purpose for the University: addressing urgent, high-need strategic priorities, partnering with leaders across CUNY to amplify and/or initiate strategic action, and accelerating innovation.

From 2019 to 2022, Rachel served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Strategy and Operations / Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost. In this role, she was a thought leader and partner who worked with senior leadership and affiliated administrative and deliberative bodies of the Office of Academic Affairs to advance the Executive Vice Chancellor’s strategic and operational priorities. As AVC, Rachel led the development and implementation of multiple University-wide strategic initiatives, including the Black, Race, and Ethnic Studies Initiative (BRESI) and the Graduate Education Task Force (GETF) as well as cutting-edge student-centered policies and programs. She supported the establishment of an intentional organizational culture focused on educational equity, empathy, accountability, and inclusive excellence. She also functioned as a convener, discussant, and servant-leader for chief academic, student affairs, and enrollment management leaders across CUNY’s 25 colleges as well as unit leaders within the 1,000-person Office of Academic Affairs.

See the schedule for Day 2 of the conference.

If you have any questions, email us at EthnicStudies@bmcc.cuny.edu.

April 27
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Open to:
General Public


Richard Harris Terrace
199 Chamber Street
New York, 10007 United States

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