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Press Conference: Monday, November 16, 2009, 4 pm

--Will Feature Unprecedented Participation of
 Asian American Community Organizations in Queens and Citywide --

WHAT:  Queens College administrators, elected officials, faculty and students will gather to announce a U.S. Department of Education $1.2 million award to the QC Asian/ American Center to develop a new curriculum in Asian American Pacific Islander Community Studies (AAPICS) with a focus on community partnerships. This grant is in recognition of the Asian/American Center’s efforts to strengthen campus-community partnerships and to better reflect in the college curriculum the local Asian American communities and the cultural diversity of Queens. The program, which is expected to begin classes next spring, will offer students the opportunity for interdisciplinary study across several academic fields; internships with Asian American community organizations; and a dedicated resource center. The goal is ultimately to establish a minor in AAPICS at the college.
    Nearly a quarter of Queens College students are first- or second-generation Asian Americans.
WHERE:    Queens College, Flushing, NY 
Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library, 5th floor, President’s Conference Room #2
WH0:   College speakers:
James L. Muyskens, President; Madhulika Khandelwal, Director of the QC Asian/ American Center and Professor of Urban Studies.

Invited elected officials who provided early support for the proposal:
NYS Senator Charles E. Schumer; U.S. Representative Joseph Crowley; NYC Councilmember and Comptroller-elect John Liu; and Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall. 

Invited representatives from local Asian American community groups:
Minkwon Center for Social Justice;  Taiwan Center; South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!); the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF); and the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF).

With a large and fast-growing Asian American student population and an increasing need to understand the diverse communities QC students come from, the Asian/American Center of Queens College saw a compelling educational need to create a new curriculum that explores the history, contributions, and issues of the local Asian American communities. “We are responding to the changing demographics and diversity in the borough of Queens, which has grown exponentially due to the post-1965 immigration from all over the world,” says Professor Khandelwal. “This program will frame local experience in a global context, informing and educating the entire community. It is truly an unprecedented academic-community partnership.”

The most innovative aspect of AAPICS will be the involvement of community-based advocacy groups. These groups will help develop the program and then their members will offer advice on course offerings, participate as guest lecturers, and provide service-learning opportunities for students. Faculty members from several disciplines will serve as advisors. Students will be able to combine a minor in AAPICS with a major in fields such as urban studies, history, political science, and anthropology. The program will also feature a bilingual support staff and a multimedia resource center on the Asian American Pacific Islander diaspora and the culturally diverse communities of Queens.

This new, innovative program is designed by and will be administered by the Asian/ American Center of Queens College. Established in 1987, the Center is dedicated to developing community-oriented research that analyzes the various dimensions of the Asian American experience in the New York area with a focus on the local/global communities in Queens. The Center views the AAPICS program as a milestone in partnering with local community groups to provide multicultural education to Queens College students and integrating knowledge of Asian Americans into the curriculum.



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Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Queens Hall, Room 270B
(718) 997-5593

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