Center for race and equality established

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, NEW YORK— Niagara University held a press conference to unveil the Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko Center for Race and Equality in the Multi-Purpose Room on Friday, Feb. 24. Named after the great philanthropist and entrepreneur, the center will be an entity used for research and student engagement. It will also provide the NU community with professional development and service to continue educating the campus on challenges regarding race, equality and equity in education.

The press conference began with an introduction from Thomas Burns, Associate Vice President for Public Relations, Communications and Marketing giving a thoughtful declaration that it is time to reach beyond the ridge. His remarks were followed by an opening from The Director of Multi-Cultural Affairs, Averl Harbin.


“It will be a wonderful addition using research and evidence based practice to inform real action from Niagara University,” said Harbin. “It will become a central gathering place for students, faculty, and staff to further the mission of this university under the guidance of Father Maher.”

Other speakers included Ezra Scott, a city councilman for Niagara Falls and Ferrah Staley, a Junior Sociology major.


“The diverse characteristics and backgrounds of our student body is central to NU’s Vincentian inspired commitment to racial equality and social justice,” Staley mentions. “I am very happy that the establishment of the Ostapenko Center will enhance this commitment  and reinforce the importance of the University’s work in this critical area.”

The Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko Center will be established in the fall of 2017.

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