Big smiles and enthusiasm in the air characterized the mood this week as we welcomed our 2017 cohort with a series of events beginning Monday, August 28. From registering to class and meeting advisors, to familiarizing with the Latin American and Caribbean City of New York, these activities were designed to help our new cohort get settled in school and getting a broader perspective of their new home.
Day 1 – Included an overview of CLACS with faculty, students and alumni, as well as a “nuts and bolts” session with the new cohort and a campus tour.
Day 2 – Two museum visits. One to El Museo del Barrio that included a guided visit to the NKAME and Debtfair exhibits. The other, to the Museum of the City of New York‘s exhibit Rythm and Power. This last one was guided by its curator and this year’s CLACS Visiting Scholar Derrick Leon Washington. The activities ended at the New York City Mayor’s West Indian American and Caribbean Heritage reception at the Gracie Mansion.
Day 3 – Started with the new cohort’s meetings with academic advisors. This was followed by a walking tour of the historic sites of the Puerto Rican community of Loisaida in the city’s Lower East Side neighborhood. Led by community leader and activist Iyawó Pepe Flores, the sightseeing tour took the group through various blocks that included lunch at Casa Adela, stops at gardens and casitas, the Nuyorican Poets Café, and a view of the current exhibit at Loisaida Inc.