The Role of CUNY Students in Fostering Intergroup Relations in the Next Millennium

As part of its overall mission to further the constructive management of intergroup relations, The City University of New York Dispute Resolution Consortium is hosting an event on November 12, 1999 entitled “The Role of CUNY Students in Fostering Intergroup Relations in the Next Millennium”, which will be the starting point of a series of activities for CUNY students that will foster opportunities for safe, ongoing dialogues, networking, and strategic planning for respectful interactions in New York City.  These activities will also provide the students with useful conflict resolution skills that can be readily used in managing difficult conversations which constantly surface in urban, culturally diverse settings.  The event will include interactive workshops that will provide opportunities for students to enhance their abilities to manage complicated urban intergroup relations.

This program is a direct outgrowth of the highly successful conference held on November 20, 1998, entitled “The Role of the University in Fostering Interethnic Coexistence on Campuses, in Communities, and Beyond” which was co-sponsored by the Abraham Fund and supported by Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, who also gave welcoming remarks.  The enthusiasm expressed for continuing the dialogue on finding better ways to coexist has been so tremendous that a Steering Committee of CUNY faculty, staff, and students has been hard at work to plan innovative and far reaching intergroup relations activities.  In addition to the November event, the Committee will propose a variety of workshops for CUNY students to continue their work.

This program will also build upon the CUNY DRC’s two year project entitled “Days of Dialogue on Black-Jewish Relations at CUNY” funded by the New York Times Company Foundation, the Town Meeting Project funded by the Surdna Foundation, and the Cops and Kids Conflict Resolution Dialogue Project.  Collectively, these programs help to build a culture of respectful dialogue and intergroup relations through the use of forums designed to foster constructive and respectful intergroup interactions.