Great meeting last night of Fordham Alumni for Change. We had alumni there from the class of 1971, 1979, 1997, 2000, 2004 along with one Fordham senior and several more recent grads Marlene Taylor-Ponterotto brought the food and we had many productive discussions about strategy. For those alums who weren't able to make it, or who live in other parts of the country, here are a few highlights of the discussion
1. Some kind of permanent organization is going to be created in the next few months, either by reviving and transforming the Black and Latino Alumni Association or creating an entirely new group. Either way, the group will be open to ALL alumni who want Fordham to be a more diverse community, a place where people of all back grounds are welcomed and where the Bronx, its people and culture are honored rather than walled off and shunned.
2. Some time in April there is going to be an Anti-Racism/ Anti-Gentrification vigil organized outside the gates of the Rose Hill Campus organized by alumni, students and community groups. More information about this will be available as plans for this event proceed
3. One of the biggest goals of the group is to entirely change the Narrative about the Bronx that shapes student recruitment, campus tours, student orientation, and campus life generally.
To this end, Alumni all over the country can push for the following policy changes on the Rose Hill Campus:
1. A one hour session on the Bronx, its people and its culture, be a REQUIRED part of every Freshman orientation at Rose Hill, starting this summer.
2. The admissions office staff, including guides for campus tours, should be exposed to workshops on Bronx history and culture, which point out how the Bronx is a GREAT AMERICAN SUCCESS STORY in terms of rebuilding once devastated neighborhoods, creating new musical forms, and providing a home for immigrants from every part of the world.
3. Fordham should begin providing walking tours and bus tours of Bronx neighborhoods jointly led by community leaders and Fordham faculty.
4 The resources of the Rose Hill Campus, including the library, should be made more available to community residents, and more events held on the campus which are open to community residents
4. The group will be involved in long term efforts to change admissions and financial aid policies to recruit more talented students from low and moderate income backgrounds from the NY Metropolitan area. This will require years of effort, but there is no better time to start than the present.
More later. Fordham Alumni for Change is HERE TO STAY.F