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Mount Vernon Library, Purchase College Gain Latin American History Grant

Leandro Benmergui, the head of Casa Purchase, our Latin American Studies Outreach Center.
Leandro Benmergui, the head of Casa Purchase, our Latin American Studies Outreach Center. Photo Credit: Contributed

HARRISON, N.Y. – In collaboration with the Mount Vernon Public Library, Purchase College, SUNY has announced that Casa Purchase, the college’s outreach center for Latin American Studies, has received a grant to develop public programs at the library around a PBS documentary.

Titled "Latino Americans: The 500 Year Legacy That Shaped A Nation," the six-hour film starts in the 1500s and travels through hundreds of years of events and experiences that have changed history. The film includes interviews with over 100 Latin Americans sharing their personal stories, making this project a unique overview of a large and diverse American cultural group.

This is the first grant that Casa Purchase has received, and the organization looks forward to promoting community conversation about this vibrant history and culture.

Leandro Benmergui, assistant professor of history and coordinator of Latin American Studies at Purchase College, heads Casa Purchase, which serves as a hub of collaboration between the college and local communities. Launched during the summer of 2014, Casa Purchase has several initiatives in motion, including free English classes for those wanting to learn English as a Second Language, internships for Purchase students to provide service-learning opportunities in the local community, creative youth development programs for Westchester high school students, and a Transmedia Oral History Lab.

According to Benmergui, “Casa Purchase weaves together the educational, artistic, and research opportunities at Purchase College with the needs of local residents, officials, schools, and organizations.” He adds, “The major in Latin American Studies at Purchase College is designed as a multidisciplinary immersion experience that prepares students for life in a globalized world.” For more information on Casa Purchase, visit www.purchase.edu/casapurchase. For more information on the Mount Vernon Public Library, visit www.mountvernonpubliclibrary.org.

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