Founded in 1992 at The City College of New York, the Dominican Studies Institute of the City University of New York is the first and only university-based research institute in the United States devoted to the study of people of Dominican descent.
Message from Dr. Ramona Hernandez
Join the CUNY DSI Family! Become a Friend of CUNY DSI
March 29, 2011
Queridos y Queridas,
I am very happy to announce the Institute's first membership campaign, Friends of CUNY DSI!
Yes, we are asking for your financial support, but more than that, we are asking that you become an important partner with us in assuring the future growth of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute.
A History of Community Support
Throughout its history, but especially in the formative years, the Institute has been able to count on the support of friends and colleagues. Many of you can remember that our Library, which now has more than 4,000 bibliographical references, including an important audiovisual collection, was started by Sarah Aponte with a call for donations to the Council of Dominican Educators. To this day, Sarah can still walk into the homes of Council members and walk out with a suitcase full of books. Even more amazing, more than 50% of the entire collection was donated by members of the community!
The Institute has been built by vision, passion, hard work, endless hours, many gifts-in-kind, and steadfast support from the City University of New York, from our home college The City College of New York, and an extraordinary capital grant from the New York City Council for the construction of our new Archives and Library facility to house the Dominican Archives and the Dominican Library, two entities without equal in the United States. But, like all other not-for-profit institutions, we are looking to build alternative funding sources as budget cuts start to impact our ability to grow and expand. And we need to expand to reach the level that academic research on Dominicans, and the dissemination of that knowledge, ought to have.
20th Anniversary in 2012
The Institute will mark its 20th Anniversary in 2012, and we can be proud of the international reputation it has achieved through the publication of pioneering research and other support for scholarship on Dominican Studies. But one important goal remains elusive despite 20 years of advocacy: There does not yet exist in any academic institution in the United States a comprehensive and regularly offered college-level program in Dominican Studies. This remains one of the challenges still ahead.
Now more than ever, with a rapidly growing second generation and a migration that is now over 40 years old, we need the support of all those who believe that a people’s history and contribution to humanity must be preserved and shared so that all that is good continues and all that may shame us is not repeated.
Building an Endowment to Secure the Future
I have identified the growth of our endowment as the most important opportunity we have to assure the Institute's ability to survive and grow. As you know, an endowment is a very special savings account, one that is created, invested, and managed in such a way that the interest generated, and only the interest, is used as a steady source of income for its beneficiary institution. But the capital invested in the account needs to reach a sizable level, so that the interest allows for the type of initiatives we want to fund. Our challenge is to grow this account to a sum that will generate enough income to help shelter the Institute from the vicissitudes of external funding.
You may, of course, prefer to designate your gift for a specific area of operation such as the Institute’s Dominican Archives or Dominican Library. When you are ready, please click on the DONATE link below to access our donation form. You will find a menu of options from which to choose the one that is dearest to you.
Donations to CUNY DSI will go to The City College Fund. The account will be managed on behalf of CUNY DSI in accordance with the City University of New York’s guidelines regarding receiving and soliciting donations for its units. Your gift is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Dominicans in the U.S. Deserve a World-class Academic Institute!
By becoming a member of the CUNY DSI family, you express in unequivocal terms your commitment to the future growth of the Institute, your support for the academic and cultural work it carries out, and your belief that people of Dominican descent in the United States deserve to have a world-class academic institution devoted to documenting and preserving their cultural and historical legacy.
I hope that you will join us by sending your membership gift in support of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute. Send what you can, any amount you send will be deeply appreciated, and please encourage your family and friends to donate. Every gift is a demonstration of support for the Institute's future.
Ramona Hernandez, Ph.D.
Director, CUNY Dominican Studies Institute
Professor of Sociology, The City College of New York
The City College of New York
North Academic Center (NAC), 4/107
160 Convent Avenue at 138th Street
New York, NY 10031
Institute Main Office: 212.650.7496
Archives and Library: 212.650.7170
CUNY DSI is a member since 1998 of
Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR)