Robin Hood Foundation Awards Queensborough Community College A $450,000 Grant To Create A Male Resource Center
Robin Hood Foundation, New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization in New York City, has awarded Queensborough Community College (CUNY) a nearly half million-dollar grant to support the development of the Queensborough Male Resource Center (QMRC), an initiative dedicated to increasing the retention and graduation rates of male students, with a particular focus on self-identified Black and Latino males who are disproportionately impacted by equity gaps in student outcomes.
“This is a transformational opportunity for the College that will make a positive, life-changing difference for our male students who consistently experience lower retention and graduation rates,” said Queensborough Community College President, Dr. Christine Mangino. “This partnership with Robin Hood will allow us to advance our mission of providing holistic student support services that will ensure academic success and create a sense of belonging.”
In the last year and a half, the College made significant investments in support of its commitment to equity and has laid a powerful foundation to launch the College’s partnership with Robin Hood.
Highlights of these activities include the creation of a full-time Cabinet-level position to provide college-wide leadership of equity-focused initiatives and the development of an equity-focused five-year strategic plan. Queensborough is also host to New York City’s only AAC&U Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Center.
In fall 2021, a team of 20 Queensborough colleagues representative of nearly every division across the institution participated in the USC’s Equity Institute, an eight-week workshop designed to result in action plans to advance equity in four key opportunity areas. One of the areas examined during the Institute was the College’s structure for programs that support Black and Latino males.
“What we discovered was that while Queensborough offers multiple, effective small-scale initiatives that serve Black and Latino males, the College lacks a comprehensive infrastructure to maximize the impact of the available resources,” said Amaris Matos, Assistant Vice President of Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, and Principal Investigator for the grant. Following this discovery, the group started to brainstorm the ideal structure and that idea formed the foundation for the grant proposal. In addition to Assistant Vice President Matos, group members were Dr. Danny Sexton, Associate Professor, English; Emani Ramos-Byam, former Academic Student Support Manager, NYC Men Teach; Bonnie Flaherty, Director, CUNY Start; and Renee Rhodd, Director, Transfer Resource Center. It was Queensborough’s $40,000 investment in the USC Equity Institute that facilitated the $450,000 grant from Robin Hood.
“The workshop provided a platform for meaningful discussion to address and advance equity,” Matos continued, “Now we can begin supporting our students in a new, warm and welcoming space with a dedicated full-time Program Manager and Peer Mentors who will offer essential guidance and support.” Mr. Jamal Biggs, formerly of CUNY Start, will serve as the QMRC Manager.
A $30,000 grant from Alliance Bernstein will help supplement the cost of building the Center and equipment such as furniture, laptops, and desks.
Queensborough Community College, a campus of The City University of New York (CUNY), is one of the most diverse colleges in the country. Queensborough proudly reflects the diversity of the Borough of Queens, with students representing 111 countries and speaking more than 60 languages.
ABOUT THE ROBIN HOOD FOUNDATION
Founded in 1988, Robin Hood finds fuels, and creates the most impactful and scalable solutions lifting families out of poverty in New York City, with models that can work across the country. Robin Hood invests $120 million annually to provide legal services, housing, meals, workforce development training, education programs, and more to families in poverty in New York City. Robin Hood tracks every program with rigorous metrics, and since Robin Hood’s Board of Directors covers all overhead, 100 percent of every donation goes directly to the poverty fight. Learn more at www.robinhood.org; and follow Robin Hood on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
Contact: Alice Doyle