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March 15, 2019

Spotlight on Adelphi’s DACA, International and Immigration Task Force and Its Co-Chairs: Achievements and Priorities

The co-chairs of this 16-person task force looked ahead at this year’s top priorities and last year’s major accomplishments.

This group aims to ensure that Adelphi continues to monitor issues related to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), immigration status, and visa and international student information, and to serve as a coordinating body for resources and information, among other things.

Adelphi University Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Perry Greene, Ph.D., developed and initially co-chaired this group in 2016 with Esther Goodcuff ’74, M.A. ’77, who has since retired as associate vice president of student affairs. Sidney Boquiren, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Music in the College of Arts and Sciences, said, “Perry invited me to join him as co-chair starting in Fall 2017; CarolAnn Daniel [’87, M.S.W. ’91, Ph.D. ’05], came in as co-chair in Fall 2018 as Perry stepped down.”

Also called DII in shorthand, this task force was very active in 2018, due to students’ concerns over President Trump’s moves against immigration and DACA students.

Both co-chairs agreed that Adelphi’s International and Immigration Film Festival last November was a major 2018 task force highlight. The five-day, 10-film event, which drew 250 faculty and staff members, students, and community residents, was spearheaded by Dr. Daniel and may well become an annual event, Dr. Boquiren said.

“We wanted to show the immigrant experience in all its complexity and the multiplicity of who we are as a community,” Dr. Daniel said. “Film is also an important tool to humanize immigrants, educate the community about the issues and challenges of the immigrant experience, and to create empathy and understanding.”

“We hope to revisit a couple of the films this spring in a more focused and targeted way,” Dr. Boquiren added. Dr. Daniel said they are considering follow-up panels to delve deeper into some of the issues raised and perhaps encourage collaboration between University students and area high schools’ immigrant students.

Another major accomplishment, Dr. Boquiren said, was development of “an immigration LibGuide by task force member [and Swirbul Library adjunct professor] Sally Stieglitz, J.D., that provides information and links to useful resources on current immigration issues. “The LibGuide also has a tab for Common Threads, which one might say is a precursor to the Adelphi Story Project,” he said. Common Threads is an immigration stories blog from the Adelphi University Libraries.

The co-chairs cited the Adelphi Story Project, funded in part by the Women’s Giving Circle, as a significant 2019 initiative. This involves “stories we have collected—audio only—from our community that are being edited in the spirit of NPR’s [National Public Radio] StoryCorps project,” Dr. Daniel said. “The stories highlight one of the goals of the task force,” she said, namely “to create a more inclusive community.”

Task force member John Drew, assistant professor in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Communications, is developing the project, which will feature Adelphi community members sharing their stories of immigration, Dr. Boquiren noted.

Task Force Co-Chairs: Sidney Boquiren, Ph.D., and CarolAnn Daniel, ’87, M.S.W. ’91, Ph.D. ’05

Dr. Boquiren, now in his 15th year at Adelphi and an associate professor and the music department’s current chair, was also chair of that department from Fall 2013 until Spring 2017.

He agreed to serve as task force co-chair “because I felt this was an opportunity for me to contribute to efforts supporting our DACA students as well as international and immigrant members of our community.”

Dr. Daniel, besides being faculty director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion since January 2017, is a professor in the School of Social Work and heads the Faculty of Color Network, which aims to engage faculty of color, especially new ones, with the University’s overall academic life while also promoting scholarship and tenure. Members collaborate on research, provide peer mentoring and hold intensive research writing workshops.

Dr. Daniel said her greatest task force satisfaction comes from “the opportunity to create change—in particular, the opportunity to create greater awareness and deeper conversations about immigrants and their situations that go beyond the sound bites and historical discussion we hear in the greater society. I think this is the only way to foster the compassion and care that all people, including immigrants, deserve.”


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