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Prospect Park's First Pop-Up University Is Looking for Immigrant Academics to Teach

The University Open Air aims to provide a platform for immigrants in New York to share their knowledge with the community.
Prospect Park, Rose Garden, BK Reader
The University Open Air will take place in Prospect Park’s Rose Garden. Photo credit: Bianca Nelson/ Prospect Park Alliance

Brooklyn Public Library and Prospect Park Alliance have teamed up to launch a pop-up university and are inviting immigrant professors, researchers and lecturers to teach. "University Open Air," as the initiative is titled, will be taking place in Prospect Park's Rose Garden from June 11, through June 30.

BPL and the Prospect Park Alliance are encouraging academics who were trained outside of the United States and are no longer able to teach in their respective fields due to their citizenship, visa status or other constraints to apply.

"Prospect Park is a haven for all communities that call Brooklyn home," said Maria Carrasco, vice president of Programs at Prospect Park Alliance. "The Alliance is focused on revitalizing the Rose Garden, home to University Open Air, as the park's next community hub. There is no better way to foster community than welcoming the public for the educational and cultural exchanges provided by this program."

In addition to the open call, BPL and PPA will work closely with the Library's immigration and outreach services team, along with Upwardly Global, Emma's Torch and World Education Services, to bring together a diverse range of professorial candidates.

Eligible candidates will be asked to facilitate a 45-minute lecture, lecture series or workshop on a subject in their field. While the curriculum of the university is open, organizers are seeking substantial and relevant subjects that demonstrate the expertise of the candidates. In advance of the lectures, BPL And PPA instructors will hold a teacher's training workshop to help structure the class.

An expansion of BPL's mission to promote civic literacy, the University Open Air will offer courses in the sciences and humanities, as well as other disciplines, providing a platform for the myriad of immigrants who call New York their home.

"Creating welcoming, safe and intellectually stimulating opportunities for the Brooklyn community is at the heart of everything the Library does," said László Jakab Orsós, BPL's VP of Arts and Culture. "No person should be denied the ability to share their knowledge because of immigration status, and it is essential to bring communities together to engage with and learn from one another."

Interested candidates should submit an application by Friday, April 26, to be considered for the first series of classes. To apply, candidates must submit their subject of choice, along with a resume to Applicants are encouraged to teach courses in the language they are most comfortable; translators will be provided. Chosen candidates will be compensated.