QUEENS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The Borough President’s Queens General Assembly (QGA) is an intergroup dialogue project that brings together diverse community leaders to unite as “One Borough.”
Through honest and respectful dialogue, participants build new relationships, break down silos, and find common ground on critical social issues. At monthly meetings and forums, individuals enhance their leadership skills, organizations expand capacity, and groups build coalitions that, in turn, benefit the people of Queens.
Appointed by Borough President Richards, QGA Delegates serve for one year, and active members are invited to continue as Alumni. The group welcomes the opportunity to make presentations, facilitate workshops, and engage in dialogue with Queens residents in socially distant settings or on virtual platforms. The QGA also organizes community action projects to promote diversity and equity in the borough.
Recruitment for the 2023 session is ongoing through Friday, February 17. Applicants will be contacted by the end of February, and approximately two dozen finalists will be appointed as delegates by the Borough President. An installation ceremony for the new cohort of delegates will be held on Tuesday, February 28.
This year’s delegates will serve for the remainder of 2023, with an option to continue as alumni after their term concludes. Applicants must be Queens residents who are at least 18 years old and demonstrate an interest in community service and bridging societal divides.
- John Bahia, Woodside On The Move
- Kavish Batra, Queens Community Board 6
- Dana Caraballo, Eta Nu Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
- Emily Cheng, Queens Community Board 10 & South Queens Women’s March
- Jerianne Cusipag, Filipino Americans for Racial Action & National Federation of Filipino American Associations
- Kenneth Davis, Greater Allen AME Security Ministry & Queens Board of Elections
- Amanda Deebrah, Queens Community Board 10, South Queens Women’s March, Jahajee Sisters, The Campaign Against Hunger
- Jonathan Forgash, Queens Together
- Daris Garnes, Rise Rockaway & Ladies of Business Rockaway Beach
- Jian Xing (Fulton) Hou, Flushing Community Cleanup & New Life Church
- Paula Johnson, 113th Precinct Community Council Executive Board
- Christina Jorge, Rockaway Women for Progress
- Dustin Joyce, Jamaica 1st Ward, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- Cathleen Laporte, Athletes for Charity
- Sheena Pachón, Start SMART New York Coalition
- Atiq Qadri, 103rd Precinct Auxiliary Police
- Sherry Reisner, Civic Association of Utopia Estates
- Megan Rha, MS67Q PTA & Community Church of Douglaston
- Clara Salas, Queens Community Board 4 & Community Advisory Board, H+H-Elmhurst
- Michael Scotland, Addisleigh Park Civic Organization & Southeast Queens Leadership Coalition
- Jean C. Silva, Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy
- Fahad Solaiman, Queens Community Board 3 & Jackson Heights Bangladeshi Business Association
- Titilayo Yasukawa, Queens Community Board 6 & Color of Justice Forest Hills
- Paul Engel, Flushing Jewish Community Council & QLICS
- Andrew P. Jackson-Sekou Molefi Baako, Board of Trustees, Queens Public Library & GSLIS, Queens College
- Madhulika Khandelwal, Urban Studies Department, Queens College
- Joyce Moy, Esq., Asian American/Asian Research Institute (AAARI)
- John Y. Park, Korean American Community Empowerment Council
- Sila Asa, Queens Community Board 11 & Turkish Women’s Club/Turkish Cultural Center of Queens
- Jagir Singh Bains, Queens Community Board 8 & Sikh Cultural Society
- Aida Bartolome, Foundation for Filipino Artists, Inc.
- Ronald Britt, Rosedale Civic Association
- Carolyn Brown, Queens Community Board 8
- Chris Brown, Queens Alumni Chapter, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
- Latchman Budhai, Queens Community Board 9, 102nd Precinct Council, Federation of Hindu Mandirs
- Jim Burke, Out Rockaway & 34th Avenue Open Street Coalition
- Robert Cermeli, Queens Community Board 5
- Rosemary Ciulla Frisone, Queens Community Board 10 & Italian Heritage & Culture Committee, St. John’s University
- Victor Dadras, Queens Community Board 11 & Douglaston Local Development Corporation (LDC)
- Bess DeBetham, Queens Community Board 13
- Lara Gregory, Esq., Queens Community Board 4, Filipino Americans for Racial Action, Legal Good
- Josette Grippo, Esq., Rockaway Women for Progress
- Adjoa Gzifa, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
- Lourdes Villanueva Hartrick, Queens Community Board 13 & Bellerose Commonwealth Civic Association
- Laura James, Queens Community Board 11 & Bayside Historical Society
- Gail Johnson, DYCD Neighborhood Advisory Board (NAB) – Queens District 14 & Community Serenity Garden
- Joyce Julian, Queens Community Board 3 (former)
- Richard Khuzami, Queens Community Board 1 & Old Astoria Neighborhood Association
- Eva Kornacka, Polonians Organized to Minister to Our Community (POMOC), Inc.
- Kevin Ly, Queens Community Board 6 & Forest Hills Asian Association
- Yves Mompoint, Kappa Alpha Psi
- Eric Mouchette, My Brother’s and My Sister’s Keeper
- Stephanie Mulcock, Esq., Garra (DBA Cidadao Global)
- Toyin Omolola, DSI International, Inc.
- Yvonne Plummer, Certified Ombudsman, CID-NY
- Mohamed Z. Safie, Queens Community Board 9
- Lobsang Salaka, Queens Community Board 3 & United Sherpa Association
- Harbachan Singh, Esq., Queens Community Board 8 & Sikh American Friendship Foundation
- Saleem Syed, Interfaith Council for Community Development
- Sergio Toxqui, Teens for Racial & Ethnic Awakening (TREA)
- Mirna Velasquez, Baha’I Community of NYC
- Semonti Wahed, Srijonology, Inc.
- Linna Yu, Queens Community Board 7 & NY Chinese American Association
This calendar lists major holidays, celebrations, and observances throughout Queens, the most culturally diverse county in the United States. It also includes the names of the Queens General Assembly Advisors, Alumni, and 2022 Delegates. Click here to download the Diversity Calendar.
SPOTLIGHT ON RESOURCES
Here are resources that you can use to replicate QGA dialogues in your communities and organizations:
CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN QUEENS
We all know that Queens is the most diverse county in the United States, but how did it come to be this way? In this recording, Dr. Madhulika Khandelwal of Queens College and an Advisor of the QGA shares historical perspective (3/29/22).
Here are discussion questions to consider:
- How do you define cultural diversity?
- We celebrate diversity, but many of us still live in silos (meaning: side-by-side, not really interacting). Why is this, and how do we feel about it?
- Do different generations experience cultural diversity differently and, if so, how?
- We are seeing an increase in hate crimes against specific groups. Why is this happening in a place as culturally diverse as Queens?
- What can we do to break down silos, to bridge barriers with neighboring communities?
Here are questions to spark discussion on the topic of identity (thanks to Queens Memory at QPL for some of these ideas):
- What does identity mean to you?
- What is your identity?
- What is it like to have a hyphenated identity?
- Who decides what your identity is? (Do you, do others, does the government?)
- How has one of these experiences shaped your identity?
- Living in Queens for a long time
- Immigrating to the US and moving to Queens
- Being a person of color
- Being a community activist in Queens
- How do generational differences figure into identity in your family? Do you identify differently from your parents, or do your kids identify differently from you?
- What role does faith have in your identity?
- What languages do you speak at home, work, or other places in your life? What parts of yourself are connected to different languages you use?
A dialogue about identity can encourage people to share their life experiences. Similarly, in this recording, Natalie Milbrodt, Director of Queens Memory at Queens Public Library, describes how she and her staff partner with Queens residents on capturing and preserving the borough’s rich history through personal stories and photos (4/26/22).
THE AAPI COMMUNITY’S HISTORY OF STRUGGLE AND ACCOMPLISHMENT
With the recent surge in anti-Asian hate, it’s important to know the history of discrimination against the AAPI community and also the role of AAPI activists in organizing for civil rights. In this recording, Joyce Moy, Esq., former Executive Director of the Asian American/Asian Research Institute (AAARI) of CUNY and a QGA Advisor gives a compelling power point which leads into a discussion about how we can all stand up for each other against hate (5/24/22).
THE MEANING OF FREEDOM
How does the meaning of July 4, 1776 compare to the meaning of June 19, 1865 in the history of Black Americans? What can we all learn from this about freedom as diverse residents of Queens? Andrew P. Jackson – Sekou Molefi Baako, Professor of Library Science at Queens College and a Member of Queens Public Library’s Board of Trustees as well as an Advisor on the Borough President’s QGA, offers a powerful talk on this subject (6/28/22).