Brooklyn Public Library and Prospect Park Alliance Announce Open Call for Immigrant Professors, Researchers, and Academics to Teach the Inaugural Semester of University Open Air
Program invites scholars who have immigrated to the U.S. to submit applications to teach a course in the sciences and humanities in Prospect Park this June, offering an open and welcoming space for learning and civic engagement to all New York Residents
Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) and Prospect Park Alliance (PPA) announced today an open call for immigrants to teach a course at University Open Air, a “pop-up” university taking place in Prospect Park’s Rose Garden June 11 through June 30, 2019. University Open Air invites professors, researchers, and academics who were trained outside of the United States and are no longer able to teach in their respective fields due to their citizenship, visa status, or other constraints, to submit an application by Friday, April 26 to be considered for the first series of classes. Applicants are encouraged to teach courses in the language they are most comfortable; translators will be provided. An expansion of BPL’s mission to promote civic literacy and Prospect Park Alliance’s mission to engage the community, the University Open Air will offer courses in the sciences and humanities, as well as other disciplines, offering a platform for the myriad immigrants from around New York to share their knowledge with the community.
In addition to the open call, BPL and PPA will work closely with the Library’s robust immigration and outreach services team, along with Upwardly Global, Emma’s Torch, and World Education Services, to bring together a diverse range of professorial candidates. Eligible candidates will be asked to facilitate a 45-minute lecture, lecture series, or workshop on a subject in their field. While the curriculum of the University is open, organizers are seeking substantial and relevant subjects that demonstrate the expertise of the candidates. To apply, candidates must submit their subject of choice, along with a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, April 26. In advance of the lectures, organizers from BPL And PPA will hold a teacher’s training workshop to help structure the class. Chosen candidates will be compensated. All valid submissions will be kept on file for consideration to participate in future semesters of University Open Air.
“Creating welcoming, safe, and intellectually stimulating opportunities for the Brooklyn community is at the heart of everything the Library does,” said László Jakab Orsós, BPL’s Vice President of Arts and Culture. “No person should be denied the ability to share their knowledge because of immigration status, and it is essential to bring communities together to engage with and learn from one another. I look forward to launching University Open Air with the Prospect Park Alliance and our other important partners, as we bring together people from all corners of the city to learn in Brooklyn’s backyard.”
“Prospect Park is a haven for all communities that call Brooklyn home," said Maria Carrasco, Vice President of Programs at Prospect Park Alliance. "The Alliance is focused on revitalizing the Rose Garden, home to University Open Air, as the park's next community hub. There is no better way to foster community than welcoming the public for the educational and cultural exchanges provided by this program.”
The program will take place in the Rose Garden, located in the northeast corner of Prospect Park, an area that has been the focus of community visioning sessions as part of Prospect Park Alliance’s plans for restoration of this area of the park. University Open Air invites immigrants to share their knowledge and experience freely with others. A mobile library will be on site, offering free coffee and a meeting area for staff and students of University Open Air. All participants will be invited to a commencement celebration on June 30 in Prospect Park, with complete details to be announced.
Part of the Library’s ongoing BPL Presents programming, classes are free and open to the public, expanding BPL’s role as a catalyst for civic engagement for the borough’s 2.6 million residents, and PPA’s core value to provide innovative opportunities in the park for patrons of all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. Following last summer’s Democracy Lab, the continued partnership with Prospect Park Alliance broadens both organizations outreach to engage with citizens, as well as serve as a vital resource for Brooklyn’s diverse immigrant communities. Details on the class schedule and registration process will be announced at a later date. For more information please visit www.bklynlibrary.org/university-open-air.
About Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library is the nation’s sixth-largest library system and among the borough’s most democratic civic institutions. We offer 65,000 free programs a year for people from all walks of life—immigrants learning a new language, students preparing for college, older adults seeking companionship, aspiring entrepreneurs launching their dreams, children discovering the world, and people of all ages exploring arts and culture. And we provide patrons 3.9 million opportunities to enjoy one of life’s greatest satisfactions: the discovery of a good book. Learn more at bklynlibrary.org
About Prospect Park Alliance
Prospect Park Alliance is the non-profit organization that sustains, restores, and advances Prospect Park, Brooklyn's Backyard, in partnership with the City. The Alliance provides critical staff and resources that keep the Park green and vibrant for the diverse communities that call Brooklyn home. Learn more at www.prospectpark.org.
Julie Danni / Josh Balber
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Prospect Park Alliance