Racial, Equity and Justice Institute (REJI)

Developing Equity-minded Practitioners

The Racial Equity and Justice Institute (REJI) is a higher education consortium committed to identifying and implementing data-informed strategies that eliminate racial equity gaps in higher education.  The work of REJI aligns powerfully with Queensborough’s Strategic Plan goals to close equity gaps in student outcomes.

Queensborough joined the REJI consortium during summer 2022 and convened a working group of diverse stakeholders from offices across the college. Participants attend a minimum of two meetings per month. One meeting is specifically for the Queensborough team and focuses on building community and the competencies of the campus team. The second meeting is with the entire REJI consortium. Each month, the REJI facilitates virtual convenings to offer information and experiences that will be useful in member campuses’ work to become equity-minded institutions.  In addition to providing critical professional development, the REJI consortium meetings offer an opportunity to dialogue with other higher education professionals who are also engaged in closing equity gaps. The meetings facilitate fellowship and also information and strategy-sharing about challenges and successes.

Click here for a handbook detailing some of the successes REJI institutions have had.


Queensborough is actively recruiting its second cohort of the Racial Equity and Justice Institute. The fall semester will be dedicated to intensive professional development via campus-based and consortium-wide meetings. During winter break, REJI team members will apply what they learned during the fall and develop office-specific projects to assess and/or address equity gaps. The spring semester will be dedicated to implementation.


Cohort Two AY 2023 – 2024

Team Lead(s)

Amaris Matos, Assistant Vice President for Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

Team Member(s)

Natalie Roopchand, Associate Director, Academy Advisement

Robert Cortes, Director of College Discovery

Elizabeth Nercessian, Director of Student Success

Ivan Mak, Student Athletics Trainer

Karen Alleyne, Enrollment Coordinator

Gail Patterson, Associate Director, Academy Advisement

Belinda Delgado, Confidential Executive Officer/Title IX

Yessenia Garcia, Diversity Program Manager

Lourdes December, Administrative Coordinator

Robin Ford, Associate Professor, English

Raymond Volel, Student Life Specialist

Saji Sheerazi, Development Officer

Stephanie Guilbaud, ASAP Program Coordinator

Brian Mitra, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

Jennifer Klein, Student Life Manager for Student Conduct

Chanpreet Singh, Director of Counseling Center

Jeremy Manishor, Financial Aid Specialist

Pati Ramos, Director of Admissions

Francis Del Gaiso, Senior Admissions Counselor


Cohort One AY 2022 – 2023

Team Member(s)

Martha Aspromatis, Acting Human Resources Director

Lorena Castro, Math Start Program Specialist and Advisor

Stephen Di Dio, Vice President of the Division of Strategic Initiatives and Advancement

Bonnie Flaherty, Director of CUNY Start and Math Start

Robin Ford, Associate Professor, English

Yessenia Garcia, Affirmative Action Specialist, OEIB

Stephanie Guilbaud, Program Coordinator, ASAP

Jennifer Klein, Program Manager, Office of Community Standards

Elisabeth Lackner, Director of Institutional Research

Veronica Lukas, Dean of Enrollment Management

Amaris Matos, Assistant Vice President of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Brian Mitra, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

Maz Nikoui, Director of the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP)

Patricia Ramos, Director of Admissions

Gisela Rivera, Director of Student Activities

Saji Sheerazi, Development Officer

Michael Verdino, Director of Academic Advisement

REJI Virtual Convenings

The REJI will host five consortium-wide virtual convenings during the 2023-2024 academic year. These meetings are open to the entire Queensborough community. 


September 21, 2023, 1:00 - 2:30 PM EST

Title: Leading for Racial Equity During the Counteroffensive

 This session will be facilitated by Dr. Tia McNair Brown, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success and Executive Director for the Truth and Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Centers, American Association of Colleges and Universities.

Zoom Registration Link

 October 10, 2023, 1:00 - 2:30 PM EST

Title: Validating Students’ Presence & Abilities: Practices of Belonging & Mattering

Dr. Isis Artze-Vega, College Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs, Valencia College & Primary Author of Norton's Guide to Equity-Minded Teaching. 


Structures for Belonging: A Synthesis of Research on Belonging-Supportive Learning Environments, Student Research Network, 2021. 

Zoom Registration Link 

 November 9, 2023, 1:00 - 2:30 PM EST

Title: Equity-minded Human Resources Practices

This session will be facilitated by Dr. Roman Liera, Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership, Montclair State University.

Zoom Registration Link 

 February 1, 2024, 1:00 - 2:30 PM EST

Title: Emotional Labor in Shared Equity Leadership Environments: Creating Emotionally Supportive Spaces

This session will be facilitated by  Darsella Vigil, Senior Research Analyst, American Council on Education 

 Zoom Registration Link

March 21, 1:00 - 2:30 PM EST

Title: Racial Equity Policy Frameworks

This session will be facilitated by Elena Quiroz-Livanis, Chief of Staff and Assistant Commissioner for Academic Policy and Student Success and  Christine Williams, Assistant Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at the MA Department of Higher Education

Jinann Bitar, Director, Higher Education Research and Data Analytics; Wil Del Pilar, Senior Vice President; Victoria Jacson, Assistant Director of Higher Education Policy; Philip Martin, Director, Higher Education Policy Implementation at The Education Trust

Zoom Registration Link 



Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center exterior lit up at nightOpens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

The KHC uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Russian Ballet performing at the Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art Gallery exterior in the afternoonOpens in a new window
QCC Art Gallery

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.