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Tuesday, January 22, 2013 (Bronx, NY) – An essential component of Hostos Community College’s mission is to educate students from diverse ethnic, racial, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and to foster a multicultural environment on our campus and in the surrounding community.

In keeping with this responsibility, Hostos Assistant Professor and Acquisitions Librarian Jennifer Tang has secured a grant that will provide the Hostos Library with materials about Islamic culture from the “Muslim Journeys Bookshelf.” The bookshelf is part of 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.

Last fall, Professor Tang submitted a grant application to the NEH, in which she explained how Hostos would use these materials to educate its students and the public about Muslim culture. With the support of Chief Librarian Madeline Ford and assistance from Grants Officer Lourdes Torres, Professor Tang’s efforts proved successful, and Hostos became one of the 842 institutions that received these grants.

The library is expecting the materials by the end of January. Included will be videos of the HBO documentary, "Koran By Heart," as well as two other videos, “Prince Among Slaves" and "Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World."

“Hostos’ role is not only to educate our students, but also to provide information for the entire community,” Tang said. “We have a growing population of Muslim students here and also living in the Bronx. Our library is a center of teaching and learning, and we are in a strong position to bring individuals of different ethnicities together and introduce them to other cultures.”

The grant will provide Hostos with 25 books and three DVDs on Muslim culture, as well as a one-year subscription to Oxford Islamic Studies Online. As one of the 842 grant recipients, Hostos will also be eligible to receive a $4,500 grant from NEH next year.
At Hostos since 2007, Professor Tang is starting a multicultural book that she plans to launch in mid-February.

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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