Center for Ethnic, Racial & Religious Understanding Hosts November 15 Discussion on Immigration Policy During Trump’s First Year

— This Sixth Annual Presentation is Being Introduced as the Susheel Kirpalani Innovation Exchange, Named for Alumnus and New Sponsor Kirpalani —

Queens, NY, November 7, 2017— The challenges to immigration and immigration reform that have developed in the first year of the Trump presidency will be the focus when the Center for Ethnic, Racial and Religious Understanding (CERRU) holds its sixth annual Innovation Exchange. It will take place Wednesday, November 15, from 4:30–9 pm in the Dining Hall Patio Room at Queens College.

This marks the first year the Innovation Exchange will be presented as the Susheel Kirpalani Innovation Exchange, in honor of Queens College alumnus Susheel Kirpalani, who now provides funding for the event. It is open to the public with a suggested donation of $10 per ticket. Dinner will be served. Those who RSVP through Eventbrite by November 8 will be entered into a $25 gift card raffle (attendance at the Innovation Exchange required to win).

Among the topics in discussion for this year’s presentation, Trump’s First Year: Impressions on Immigration from Across the Political Spectrum, are the proposed U.S.–Mexico border wall; the travel ban affecting individuals from six predominantly Muslim countries; and the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which enabled children brought here as immigrants to study, pay taxes, and work legally in this country.

Participants include individuals lobbying, advocating, and engaging in bipartisan work on the issue of immigration reform, who will examine legislation pending in the House and Senate. There will also be a “walkabout” featuring displays of various immigration-related narratives from the community. Participants will have a chance to work together to develop their own innovative approaches to addressing the evening’s topics.

Each year CERRU engages in an evening of discussion, debate, and dialogue on a challenging social issue, interacting with experts working to transform and transcend the issue by examining it from different perspectives. This year’s Innovation Exchange will also serve as the kick-off event for CERRU’s “Political Leaps of Faith” project, which will bring students together from across the political spectrum to work toward collaborative legislative campaigning.

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CERRU is a diversity training and education center on the Queens College campus devoted to building relationships across differences and creating opportunities for respectful but honest conversations around difficult and divisive issues in the belief that cultivating the ability to understand inequality and the biases that underwrite it is crucial to creating a more inclusive society.

CERRU works with students, faculty, and staff to co-create a safe, vibrant, and inclusive space for communication. It offers fellowships, dialogues, and open trainings on the Queens College campus and other college campuses that enable participants to become leaders equipped to navigate an increasingly multicultural society. It also hosts events exploring multiple perspectives on controversial issues, providing context and opportunity for dialogue.

About Queens College

Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, Queens College helps its over 19,000 students realize their potential in countless ways, under the guidance of an accessible, award-winning faculty. The college was recently ranked tenth among U.S. public colleges by the Chronicle of Higher Education for upward social and economic mobility. The Center for World University Rankings placed Queens College in the top 3.5% of schools worldwide, based on the quality of its education and faculty, the number of its alumni who find employment, and other factors. Located on a beautiful, 80-acre campus in Flushing, the college is cited each year by the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, and is routinely ranked a U.S. News & World Report Best College and Forbes Magazine Best Value College, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Visit to learn more.

A leader in preparing future educators, Queens College graduates the most teachers, counselors, and principals in the New York metropolitan area. It also contributes to New York City’s talent pool as a powerful economic engine and a leader in tech education, with more undergraduate computer science majors than any city college. Students from across the country and around the world come to Queens College’s Aaron Copland School of Music. Its renowned faculty and alumni include nationally recognized composers, conductors, and performers who have received nearly 40 Grammy Awards and nominations over the past 40 years.

Yael Rosenstock
Associate Director