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Supporting Our Students In Difficult Times

Classes have started again this month at LaGuardia Community College, and the Humanities Alliance’s Graduate Teaching Fellows are already in their third and fourth weeks of teaching this semester! Throughout the 2016-2017 year, the Fellows have been learning about and sharing strategies for student-centered pedagogy, alongside other critical pedagogical approaches, and have been discussing how to prioritize their students’ needs. I am excited to see how the Fellows are translating their scholarly interests and research into the introductory-level courses they have designed for LaGuardia students.
Along with excitement, the start of a semester often comes with nerves and jitters. This week, I’m thinking of a question I’ve returned to again and again this semester, and this year: How should educators approach the task of teaching and supporting our students in these times? (In these difficult, frustrating and violent times of virulent nationalism and xenophobia? And amid a continuing onslaught of white supremacy and anti-Blackness, settler colonialism, Islamophobia, transphobia, and homophobia?)
As a scholar of migration, diaspora, colonialism, and race, and a reader of U.S. history, I recognize and understand that there are many continuities between our past and present governments. I’ve also written elsewhere about the critical role of educators–scholars and activists, among others–in analyzing and taking action against xenophobia and racism unearthed during last year’s election cycle. As the election gave way to a new government administration, one thing has become very clear to me and my colleagues: CUNY students have serious concerns about their lives and safety under the new administration, as do many of their peers around the country. We share their concerns. And as educators, many of us are also a part of racialized, colonized, and oppressed groups; we too have to contend with the impact of xenophobic laws, policies, and discourses on our lives, and in our classrooms.
What resources and tools are available as we prepare to support our students? What is specifically available for historically under-resourced students (or staff) at CUNY, who are undocumented, Black, Latinx, Muslim, immigrant, dis/abled, LGBTQ, and gender non-conforming?

CUNY Resources and Advocacy

Community Resources

You can also find lists of resources from our partners here:

If you have other suggestions for supporting students at CUNY and beyond, please comment on this post!

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