The CUNY Digital History Archive (CDHA) used its 2020-2021 METRO Equity in Action grant to support the digitization and curation of historical materials documenting three movements that aimed to make access to public higher education more equitable toward and inclusive of New York City’s diverse residents. Based at the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), the CDHA, established in 2011, is a community-curated digital public archive and portal that provides scholars, students, and the broader public online access to archival materials related to the rich history of CUNY, the nation’s largest urban public university system.
Working under the direction of Professor Stephen Brier (CDHA Co-Director and Chief Historian) and Chloe Smolarski (CDHA Collections Manager), the CDHA hired three Urban Education doctoral students to select documents, create metadata, and add descriptive materials to make accessible collections related to:
The efforts in the late 1960s of African American residents in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood to push CUNY to found a new public college in their community (Juliet Young)
The movement to found a Puerto Rican Studies Program at Brooklyn College in the early 1970s (Gisely Cólon López)
The activities of SLAM! (Student Liberation Action Movement), a group of CUNY activists in the 1990s that fought for increased public funding for CUNY (Lucien Baskin)