To date, we have done intensive training with one hundred fifteen highly motivated leaders on the Queens College campus. The cohort has been as diverse as the campus. Students have reported profound changes in terms of how they view themselves in the world, how they view others, and how they navigate difference as a result of going through the CERRU fellowships. For instance, an external evaluation found that students were moving towards a greater commitment to discussing conflict with their peers, and to being able to distinguish an individual from his or her ethnic/racial group. They were able to identify a variety of interrelated issues for the parties to any conflict, and to move away from an oversimplified depiction of “the parties.” They were more inclined to humanize members of another group. They became better listeners, and also found that they were able to speak up and articulate their ideas more effectively. They became dedicated to combatting biases (Dialogue Project Evaluation Report.)
These transformations have a butterfly effect, as our fellows graduate and enter the workforce or pursue further education. Students choose to deploy their skillset in many different settings. Some went to Law School at Columbia, Harvard, Georgetown, and Hebrew University. Some pursued Fulbrights in Israel, Taiwan, and China. One went to Medical School. Some pursued further education in Middle Eastern Studies at Columbia, in Conflict Resolution at Brandeis, and in Anthropology at the University of Michigan. Some started non-governmental organizations, such as Immigration Advocacy Matters right here in Queens. Some currently work in the social sector, at the New York Immigration Coalition, Turning Point for Women and Families, and Smile Charities. One works in publishing at Scholastic. One just became a Rabbi. All of them are situated to be strong leaders in their communities, and to create more inclusive communities with strong links to the diverse populations surrounding them.
CERRU is in the process of analyzing and delivering our findings from an 11 subject qualitative research study measuring the effects of our programs on current and former fellows. We will be sharing our results later in the year. Below you may find some quotations pulled during interviews.
“While I was on the Ibrahim trip [in Israel/Palestine]…we saw…some really heavy stuff…I could tell it was weighing on a lot of us, and that we should have some larger conversation…I was like, “Can I facilitate this dialogue?” So I ended up just doing that with the group…“What’s your most impactful moment of the past couple of days?” And then…as I…got to hear everyone, I recognized that there was a couple of trends going on, and so we were able to sort of unpack those as a group…there was some tension arising, but…I think it was very…useful.” (Facilitator 2013-14, Social Change Fellow 2014-15)
Programs @ Queens College
Each year, CERRU brings together innovators in various fields to participate in a campus and community wide Innovation Exchange. Please join us for our fifth annual Innovation Exchange on Wednesday, November 2nd at 4:45pm in the Patio Room on the Queens College Campus.
Lunchtime 2.0 is an initiative aimed at redefining the way we think of college cafeterias. Campuses across the US are becoming more diverse; however, not enough is being done to provide a mechanism for diverse students to engage and listen to each other.
CERRU encourages students to become cross-cultural leaders, faculty & staff to partner with us in your class, and communities to engage in our programming. Join Us for Our Upcoming Events!