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Date: Jul 23, 2009
Long Island Leaders to Gather at Hofstra for a Celebration of Suburban Diversity
Charles Wang to be featured speaker at event hosted by National Center for Suburban Studies
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY – The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University (NCSS) will host an extraordinary Celebration of Suburban Diversity banquet this fall to raise funds for scholarships and research into diversity-related issues. The event, connected to a major Hofstra academic conference on the "The Diverse Suburb," will be held October 22, 2009 at 6 p.m. in the Main Dining Room of the Sondra and David S. Mack Student Center, North Campus.
"Long Island's multi-cultural diversity is the key to our social and economic survival," said NCSS Executive Director Lawrence Levy, whose research institute has taken the lead in creating the conference and banquet. "People of color and in the disabilities and gay and lesbian communities are the new workers, employers, customers and students -- and they are transforming suburbia before our very eyes.
Mr. Levy said the banquet was the largest ever Long Island-wide gathering of people from so many communities to celebrate our diversity. "The ability of people from different races, religions and regions to live together, peacefully and productively, is crucial to our prosperity," he said.
“This banquet is a celebration of the reality and richness that diversity brings to suburbia, and will be one of the highlights of the Diverse Suburb conference,” said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz. “Renowned scholars from around the country will come to the Hofstra campus on Long Island to consider some of our nation’s most pressing issues in suburbia.”
The October 22 event will occur as a part of “The Diverse Suburb: History, Politics, and Prospects,” a three-day international and interdisciplinary conference that will consider the challenging and emergent phenomenon of suburban diversity. The conference, directed by NCSS Academic Director Dr. Christopher Niedt, will be held at Hofstra on October 22-24.
On June 12, Mr. Levy and banquet Founding Co-Chair Mohinder Singh Taneja, director of outreach initiatives for the Nassau County Office of Minority Affairs, led a luncheon for an impressive group of Long Island leaders who have stepped up to support the goals and principles of the banquet. Mr. Levy announced that Charles Wang, founder of Computer Associates and co-developer of the Lighthouse project in Nassau County, has agreed to be the keynote speaker at the evening event. National Grid and Roslyn Savings Bank Foundation are among the major corporate sponsors. The banquet committee co-chairs currently are seeking sponsorships to underwrite the Oct. 22.
The impressive list of co-chairs is led by retiring National Grid CEO Robert Catell, Long Island Federation of Labor chief John Durso, Long Island Association President Matthew Crosson, North Shore-LIJ Vice President Jeffrey Kraut, former state senator and homeland security czar Michael Balboni, Suffolk Legislature Majority Leader Jon Cooper, the Rev. Reginald Tuggle, disability rights activist and consultant Donald Dreyer, Nassau Health Care Corp CEO Arthur Gianelli, Asian-American Cultural Association of LI chair Tai Wang, Hispanic Network Founder Maria Morales-Prieto, philanthropist and entrepreneur David Ochoa, American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin leader Dr. Shakir Mukhi, Networking Magazine Publisher Christine Conniff Sheahan, Jaspan Schlesinger partner Thomas J. Garry, Long Island Business News Publisher John Komenicki, former Panama Canal Commission Chair Robert McMillan, Vision Long Island CEO Eric Alexander, Sustainable Long Island director Sarah Lansdale, former Sen. Hillary Clinton's LI chief of staff Resi Cooper, CDC of LI director Marianne Garvin, Brookhaven IDA chief Rich Kruse and Shelter Rock Strategies attorney Jessica K. Taneja, chair of the Youth Committee. Others may be added.
The evening will feature inspiring speeches and dramatic presentations, as well as musical performances, art work and awards to students and others. NCSS and Eastern Suffolk BOCES are co-sponsoring an essay and video production contest for high school students on subjects related to diversity. The winners will receive scholarships and every school that enters a student will receive a cash award to promote diversity projects.
The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University is a non-partisan research institution dedicated to promoting objective, academically rigorous study of suburbia's problems, as well as its promise. Rooted in the laboratory of Long Island’s diverse and aging suburbs, almost literally in the shadows of the iconic Levittown, the NCSS will study a broad range of issues from local and national perspectives and, whenever possible, collaborate with researchers at other respected institutions. The suburbs have emerged as the nexus of dynamic demographic, social, economic and environmental change in New York and throughout the United States. The tasks of identifying, analyzing and solving the problems of suburbia are essential for the health of the country, and central to the Center's mission.
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution where students can choose from about 150 undergraduate and more than 160 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business; engineering; communication; education, health and human services; and honors studies, as well as a School of Law. With a student-faculty ratio of 14-to-1, our professors teach small classes averaging 22 students that emphasize interaction, critical thinking and analysis. Hofstra offers a faculty whose highest priority is teaching excellence.