The Office of the President is pleased to announce the Educating for Diversity Initiative Grant Awards for Spring 2022. The Educating for Diversity Initiative is generously supported by the Ms. MacKenzie Scott’s Gift: President’s Initiatives for Student Success, College Growth and Stakeholders’ Engagement. The grants represent Hostos’ continued commitment to fostering student and community engagement in scholarly discussions and creative activities that will spark dialogue and communal learning on important issues relevant to diversity, equity and inclusion. We extend our warmest congratulations to all the grant recipients and wish them much success as they carry out their proposed events and activities. Programming is scheduled for Spring 2022 and announcements of upcoming activities will be shared with the college community.


1. Awardee: Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) Faculty Council

Project Lead: Elizabeth Porter, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English and WGS Coordinator

Project Title: Intersectional and Interdisciplinary: Women’s and Gender Studies Programming

Award Amount: $250

Project Description: In honor of Women’s History Month, the WGS Council will host “COVID-19 and Gender: A Student Panel” where an invited group of students will reflect on how the COVID-19 pandemic affects their school, work, and family lives based on their positionality.

2. Awardee/Project Lead: Alexandra Milsom, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English

Project Title: Hostos Student Podcast – “Somos Hostos”

Award Amount: $1,700

Project Description: Professor Milsom will lead the development of a student podcast series comprised of five episodes in which two students (per episode) will interview one another about their personal histories, what brought them to Hostos, and how their education here will help them to achieve their dreams.


3.  Awardee/Project Lead(s): Social Sciences Unit Faculty: Marcella Bencivenni, Ph.D., Professor of History and Kristopher Burrell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History

Project Title: Social Sciences Speakers Series and Emerging Scholars Speakers Series

Award Amount: $800

Project Description: The Social Sciences Unit faculty seek to bring back and expand the Social Sciences Speakers Series and Emerging Scholars Speakers Series (which had been on hold due to the pandemic) to host a series of events to introduce Hostos students and community to cutting edge research and engaging scholars that will help to expand knowledge on the contributions of social sciences to public conversations about race, class, culture and society. Activities will also provide opportunities for discussion and inquiry on topics relevant to the South Bronx and broader American communities.


4. Awardee/Project Lead(s): Own Your Power Committee: Tovah Thompson, Allison Lee, Leo Coodin, Linda Delerme, Alana Greenberg and Sara Rodberg

Project Title: Own Your Power (OYP)

Award Amount: $1,008

Project Description: The Own Your Power initiative seeks to bring the Hostos community together by hosting educational workshops and activities that serve to empower participants with a deep sense of their value, identity, and purpose. This spring Own Your Power will host a series of workshops in collaboration with faculty and students that will invite guest speakers from interdisciplinary backgrounds and varied experiences to discuss strategies and stories about owning one’s power.


5. Awardee/Project Lead: Inmaculada Lara-Bonilla, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Director of Latin American Writer’s Institute, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies Unit Coordinator. Supporting faculty include Professor Victor Torres-Vélez, Ph.D., Professor Emmanuel Velayos Larrabure, Ph.D., and WGS Faculty Council.

Project Title: Documenting Experience, Imagining Diverse, Inclusive Worlds Through Creative Writing

Award Amount: $1,700

Project Description: Faculty from the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Unit are planning a series of curriculum-integrated activities that will use the power of creative writing to engage Hostos students and community members in expressing their lived experiences and intersectional identities to promote social transformation through the sharing of our community’s collective voices. This spring will feature the Comics Writing Workshop, “Vengeful Goddesses, Warrior Queens and Other Monsters,” led by Bronx-based cartoonist Ivan Velez, Jr., which will engage students in learning about the myths and legends that helped define gender roles and stereotypes and how to create comics with heroic and diverse characters.


6. Awardee/Project Lead(s): Victor Torres-Vélez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Unit

Project Title: Finding Latinx – A Velada Hostosiana/Hostos Culture Talk

Award Amount: $927

Project Description: Professor Torres-Vélez will host a Velada Hostosiana/Hostos Culture Talk in April featuring Paola Ramos, the author of Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity. This Velada Hostosiana/Hostos Culture Talk will be open to the whole Hostos community and provide a rich discussion on Finding Latinx, a timely book that explores the complexities of Latinidad in the 21st Century.


7.  Awardee: HEO Executive Committee

Project Lead: Elizabeth Wilson, Director of School-College Partnerships

Project Title: Racial Justice and Liberation Workshops for HEOs

Award Amount: $1,000

Project Description:  The HEO Executive Committee will convene two Racial Equity and Liberation workshops that will help HEOs identify themselves and their roles as part of the movement for racial equity, support stronger relationship-building between staff and students, and help to promote a more inclusive campus for students, faculty, and staff.