The mission of the AALANA Program is to assist first-year students in getting acclimated to a new environment while providing leadership, guidance, and support that present opportunities for our students social and academic development. AALANA is an acronym which stands for African-American, Latino, Asian, and Native American. At Pace University, we understand that there are students of color who do not fit exactly into those rigid categories. With that said, when we say "AALANA," we include all students of all racial and ethnic identities.
The program was created in the spirit of building community amongst diverse Pace students in order to secure academic and social success. Negotiating the differences between high school and college is often a challenge for first-year students, especially first-generation college goers. Peer mentors are chosen and trained to assist their first-year peers in transitioning to campus life. Mentors meet with their mentees to offer strategies for academic and social success through dialogue and example. This program also provides first-year students the opportunity to connect with professional staff and faculty members.
AALANA first-year students benefit from programming designed to assist in managing: roommate issues, managing academic and personal pressures, meeting people on campus, balancing finances, navigating through the array of opportunities that Pace provides.
Participation in the program is optional. Students who wish to participate in the AALANA Mentorship Program are required to attend meetings as well as all AALANA Mentorship Programming.
Friday February 9, 2018
Pace University (Pleasantville Campus) - Willcox (Hall) Multipurpose Room
Keynote Speaker: Yusef Salaam
On April 19, 1989, a young woman in the prime of her life was brutally raped and left for dead in one of New York City’s most iconic spaces, Central Park. Five teens from Harlem—four black and one Latino—were tried and convicted of the crime in one of the most frenzied cases in the city’s history. The woman was dubbed the “Central Park jogger” and the accused teens became known collectively as the “Central Park Five.” One of those boys, Yusef Salaam, was just 15-years-old when his life was upended and changed forever.
In 2002, after the Central Park Five spent between seven and 13 years of their lives behind bars, the sentences of the boys—now men—were overturned. A convicted murderer and rapist serving a life sentence confessed. The unidentified DNA in the Central Park Jogger case (unlinked to any of the five) had finally met its owner, and the Central Park Five were fully exonerated.
Ten years later, documentarian Ken Burns, his daughter Sarah Burns and her husband David McMahon released the award-winning film, The Central Park Five, which told of this travesty from the perspective of Yusef and his cohorts. In September 2014, the Central Park Five received a multi-million dollar settlement from the city of New York for its grievous injustice against them.
As an exonerated African-American man and an influential transformational speaker, Yusef has traveled all around the United States and the Caribbean to deliver powerful lectures and facilitate insightful conversations as he continues to touch lives and raise important questions about race and class, the failings of our criminal justice system, legal protections for vulnerable juveniles, and basic human rights.
The Urban Male Initiative (UMI) is designed to facilitate the retention, scholarship, graduation and leadership of historically underrepresented Black and Latino males. We are a collective of committed faculty and staff that represent the diversity of New York City. Some of us are from down south and others from the south Bronx. We come from Africa, the Caribbean and the U.S. mainland. We're white, black, Latino, and everything in between, and we have all come together for one reason: to ensure your successful graduation from Pace.
What We Do
As young men of color and emerging scholars, we know your potential as future leaders in your respective communities as well as the global arena. The Urban Male Initiative seeks to cultivate your growth at Pace by providing a host of programs and services that include:
- One on One mentoring
- Access to research, internship, conference, and travel opportunities
- Discussion/rap sessions
- Guest speakers
- Community service volunteerism
- Assistance with Graduate School Application Process
- Extracurricular Activities (Film screenings and more)