Our Impact

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.

CERRU Testimonials

“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)

“I think…the most important thing I learned is how to have that conversation, how to be in that position, and how to deal with that…[Y]ou never know when you’re going to end up in that conversation…you never know who’s going to say what. And for some people, it’s easy to just not say something, and then for others, it’s not. And learning how to do that is so important. It saves lives.” – (Dialogue Fellow 2014-2015)
“[T]hey were really impressed with CERRU because, you know, when I was telling them about [how] we had this dialogue about Black Lives Matter, about undocumented immigrants, about stereotypes, about social identity…they were really…taken aback by that, like, ‘Wow…you’re actually engaging in these very tricky conversations, because a big part of the job is…what if you call and someone’s just like, I don’t care about this issue? Or what if you have to deal with someone who is…very conservative? …What if you start getting backlash for helping a certain community and things of that nature?'” – (Dialogue Fellow 2015-2016 discussing interview for their internship)
“[B]eing part of CERRU definitely helped me to cross a lot of emotional barriers that detached me from where I come from because of the conflict…CERRU…facilitated a very psychological, transformational environment for me to grow, and to appreciate where I come from and to appreciate my culture and my differences, and cherish them as part of me, as a human being, rather than as something very alien and…negative…While I was with CERRU, I was able to…find true appreciation of my cultural background…It feels good to appreciate where you come from…[I]t really heals wounds because hating where you come from, or feeling shame about where you come from and your background and your look, and everything about you – they’re wounds. They’re wounds caused by environment, they’re wounds caused by international politics, they’re wounds caused by societal discrimination – and it needs healing, and I think, finding an environment that fosters understanding, and [seeing] people that see you and appreciate you for who you are, definitely helps you appreciate who you are.” – Dialogue Fellow 2014-2015, Social Change Fellow 2015-2016)
“[F]acilitating dialogues makes you always…present, and listening – not just listening to hear, but listening to understand and respect, and create this environment of sharing different views of other people, and that helped me a lot.” – Dialogue Fellow 2014-2015, Social Change Fellow 2015-2016)

Programs @ Queens College



CERRU engages in several forms of research. First and foremost, we evaluate our student programs to ensure that our practices remain relevant and useful....


Over 470 students, staff, faculty, and community members attended CERRU events and trainings during the 2015-2016 academic year.

Our Impact

To date, we have done intensive training with one hundred fifteen highly motivated leaders on the Queens College campus. The cohort has been as...

CERRU Spotlight

Innovation Exchange

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

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.

Upcoming Events

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!