Immigration conversations forum at CSI brings together Islands cultural communities

March 22, 2004 | College of Staten Island

Community leaders from across Staten Island convene for A Conversation on Staten Island Immigration on Monday, March 29, in the Center for the Arts at the College of Staten Island.

The evening’s forum, focusing on foreign-born immigrant populations, will bring together diverse members of the Island’s cultural communities to discuss the state of immigration on Staten Island from a community-based perspective.

“I believe that the better we understand the community, the better we [the college] can hope to serve it,” said Marlene Springer, CSI president.

Panelists will speak about the most salient issues affecting their particular communities. The program will conclude with a question and answer session and general discussion.

Presentations will provide statistical data and anecdotal information, addressing such questions as “Who is coming to Staten Island, and why?” “What do they do when they arrive, and where do they live?” “What are the biggest obstacles immigrants to Staten Island face?”

Panelists will also identify ways in which the changing demographic make-up of Staten Island may result in a transformation of both public and private sector services, and reflect on how immigration to Staten Island may affect economic as well as sociological aspects relating to the borough’s self-identity, voting trends, wages, housing, and race relations, according to Lin Wu, special assistant to the president at CSI and the evening’s program coordinator.

“Dynamic immigrant populations contribute greatly to the multi-faceted richness of Staten Island,” said Wu, “and this forum will present an opportunity for cultural leaders and the Staten Island community to join together.”

A Conversation on Staten Island Immigration takes place Monday, March 29, in the Recital Hall of the Center for the Arts at the College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Boulevard, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The program, a joint venture of President Marlene Springer’s Community Advisory Council and the college’s public affairs initiative, Staten Island Project, is free and open to the public.

For more information or to place a reservation, please contact Manuel Gonzalez at (718) 982-2310.

Participants and Panelists

The evening will be moderated by Francisco Soto, acting dean of humanities at CSI, and will include a demographic overview of Staten Island immigrant populations by Jonathan Peters, business professor at CSI.

Panelists include Wilma Jones representing the African Community; Edward Seto, past president of the SI Asian Coalition representing the East Asian Community; Alexander Korkhov, deputy director of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, SI Branch, representing the Eastern European/Russian Community; Doris Ruiz, president of the SI Latino Civic Association, representing the Latino community; and Dr. Mohammed Khalid, president of the Pakistani Civic Association, representing the South Asian Community.