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Wednesday, May 22, 2013 (Bronx, NY) — Hostos Assistant Professor and Acquisitions Librarian Jennifer Tang has helped secure a second grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) “Bridging Cultures” initiative, which disseminates books, films and other resources about the complex history and culture of Muslims in the United States and throughout the world.

NEH recently announced that the Hostos Library is one of 125 libraries and state humanities councils selected to receive a monetary grant for “Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys,” a scholar-led reading and discussion project sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.

Thanks to the work of Professor Tang, Chief Librarian Madeline Ford and assistance from Grants Officer Lourdes Torres, the Hostos Community College Library will receive an additional $4,500 to support promotional activities related to the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf collection.

“I am excited and grateful that NEH has chosen to support our upcoming programs related to the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf collection. The funds will be used toward a series of activities aimed at spreading tolerance and understanding of Muslim culture. I would like to thank Chief Librarian Madeline Ford, professors Mohammed Sohel, Ian Scott, Rees Shad, Lourdes Torres and many others who expressed their commitment and support for our project,” said Professor Tang.

The team secured a grant earlier this year that provided 25 books and three DVDs that are currently available in the library. The funds also secured a one-year subscription to Oxford Islamic Studies Online.

Congressman José E. Serrano (NY-15) complimented Hostos on the project and getting the grant to support it, saying, “I applaud the work of Hostos for both setting up a dialogue like this and successfully acquiring federal funding for the project. Fostering an understanding of Muslim culture and history is very important in this multicultural nation where we live. Muslims are our neighbors, friends and co-workers, and it is important that we understand their experiences. This grant will help with that in the Bronx and I applaud Hostos for leading the way.”

More about the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Muslim Journeys Bookshelf award:

Developed by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association (ALA) based on the advice of scholars, librarians, and other public programming experts, the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf is intended to address both the need and desire of the American public for trustworthy and accessible resources about Muslim beliefs and practices and the cultural heritage associated with Islamic civilizations.

All libraries that have received the Bookshelf will also be eligible for upcoming public programming grant opportunities. Support for the development and distribution of the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf was provided by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York, with additional support for the arts and media components from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

The first in a planned series of Bridging Cultures “Bookshelves,” the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf project is a leading effort in Chairman Jim Leach’s Bridging Cultures initiative, which has highlighted the importance of civility in American life and embraced the role of libraries in fostering community conversations that bring the humanities to the public in new ways. “There may be no institution more civil than the public library,” Leach said. “Libraries are centers of learning that offer a welcome space where members of the public can learn about the history we share and express different points of view in an ethos of openness and mutual respect.”

About Hostos Community College: Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, part of The City University of New York (CUNY) system, was founded in 1968. In addition to associate degree programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions, Hostos also has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development that offers courses for professional development and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. In four decades, Hostos has grown from a class of 623 in 1970 to more than 7,000 students in 2012. The college also serves an additional 12,000 students through its Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development. For more news and stories about Hostos Community College, visit www.hostos.cuny.edu.

Media Contact: Soldanela Rivera - srlopez@hostos.cuny.edu
Rich Pietras – rpietras@hostos.cuny.edu
Phone: 718-518-6872 or 917-627-9097 or 718-518-6513

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