‘Casa Purchase’ Comes to Westchester

Professor Leandro Benmergui announcing the Casa Purchase initiative. (Photo via Westchester Hispano)

Professor Leandro Benmergui announcing the Casa Purchase initiative. (Photo via Westchester Hispano)

The renowned Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY) in Westchester County recently inaugurated Casa Purchase, a center that will focus on deepening relations between the campus and the county’s Latino community.

Directors of local nonprofits attended the opening ceremony, as they already work closely with Latino residents.

“Casa Purchase aims to offer solid academic training to members of the college community who want to channel their professional interest towards Latin America and Latinos in the United States,” said Leandro Benmergui, the director of Casa Purchase and an assistant professor of history.

“We also want to provide students with opportunities to learn about the multigenerational immigrant populations [here] and work with them to find solutions to the self-defined challenges they face,” explained Benmergui. “Students at SUNY Purchase will participate in Casa Purchase through internships, volunteering, as well as research, art projects, and oral history projects.”

“We want to have a wide presence in the community,” said Ross Daly, chair of the School of Humanities. “But we also want the community to take [advantage of] a huge opportunity [to use] the resources at Purchase College. Starting this semester, we’re very happy to be welcoming a group of children from the Port Chester schools to the Neuberger Museum of Art.”

Benmergui is also the coordinator for the college’s Latin American studies program, a bachelor’s degree that prepares students for a globalized world, examining key topics such as history, culture, the environment, social justice, human rights, identity formation, and immigration.

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