The planning of the Center involves the developing of main research programs reflecting immigrants’ needs according to the scholarly expertise of the Center’s members and affiliates.
The following is a list (work in progress) of some of our main thematic areas.
Promoting Environmental Literacy
Oral History and Immigrants' healing Traditions
The growing market of folk and religious healing in the US in recent decades has called attention to the multiplicity of coexisting healing systems that reflect America’s cultural diversity.
This research area is aimed at examining immigrants’ reliance on traditional healing systems amid their combination with biomedicine. To that end, our focus addresses both the “exotic” and the familiar among us at the symbolic corners where Asian, African, Caribbean, European and Latin American healing cultures cross paths in Queens’ unique urban health fabric.
QC students (both immigrants and the children of immigrants) will be actively involved in the research process, mostly by retracing their families' healing traditions. This will be accomplished through a two-fold objective based on a research component and a community-based participatory action plan. In this way, this project will encourage students to become familiar with their own cultural and healing legacies while sharing their learning experiences with their peers and communities at large.
Nostalgic Foods: Highlighting Immigrants' Culinary Practices
The rising rates of obesity and related conditions (e.g., diabetes and cardiovascular disease) among minorities and immigrant populations in the US, has led to an increasing research interest in their eating patterns in their places of destiny vis-à-vis their countries of origin. The examination of immigrants’ nutritional patterns is key to the designing of successful health promotion interventions, including weight-control and healthy eating programs.
This area has three components:
a) Research on the culinary practices and eating preferences of the most representative immigrant groups in our borough. b) The development of food programs aimed at raising nutritional awareness including the promotion of “healthy nostalgia.”
c) Dissemination activities including sponsoring community events (e.g., Community Health Fairs) aimed at providing healthy alternatives and low-fat ethnic recipes.