Italian-Americans say CUNY must uphold their affirmative action status

Feb 08, 2021 1170

BY: Carl Campanile

Italian-American activists are demanding that the City University of New York reaffirm its decades-old pledge to give the group preferential treatment in staff recruitment, hiring and promotions. The Italian American Legal Defense and Higher Education Fund is accusing CUNY officials of failing to honor a settlement that treats Italian-Americans as a disadvantaged group — and grants them affirmative action status in staff hiring and promotion decisions.

CUNY is believed to be the only higher education institution in the country giving special consideration to Italian-Americans for employment purposes. “CUNY is not a welcoming institution to Italian-Americans,” said Joseph Scelsa, president of the Italian-American legal group, founder and president of the Italian-American Museum and former head of CUNY’s John Calandra Italian-American Institute.

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