The Willowbrook project at the College of Staten Island grew out of the historical project initiated by the Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council partnered with other stakeholders – the College of Staten Island/CUNY, and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) – to establish a memorial walking trail that is now the Willowbrook Mile. The Willowbrook Mile consists of 12 stations that mark the history of the site with benches and landscaping.
It has involved campus faculty, staff, and administration since 2013. The first public- facing element of the project has been the Willowbrook Mile, which will open officially on September 17th, 2022, the 35th anniversary of the closing of Willowbrook. This project has been funded by NYS Assemblyman Michael Cusick and the College of Staten Island, with support from the CSI Foundation and community donors.
If you have a Willowbrook experience you would like to share, please contact us through the email address Willowbrook@csi.cuny.edu and we will send you the materials for creating a testimonial entry.
Press inquiries should be sent to David.Pizzuto@csi.cuny.edu
The Willowbrook Mile Committee Members:
- Diane Buglioli (community advocate/activist; former Chair of Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council (SIDDC); co-founder and board member of A Very Special Place, Inc.; co-chair of the SIDDC Willowbrook Legacy Committee; creator/host, CTV series Willowbrook Revisited)
- Eric Goldberg (self-advocate, GED graduate through continuing education and CSI’s Melissa Riggio Program)
- Dr. David Goode, PhD (CSI Sociology professor emeritus)
- Laura J. Kennedy (parent advocate; past President, The Arc New York Board of Governors; current Treasurer of the Arc of the US)
- Dr. Catherine Lavender, PhD (CSI History professor and Director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program), Co-Chair
- Jorma Loci, RA, LEED AP BD+C, Campus Planning Office (Architectural Designer of the Willowbrook Mile)
- David Pizzuto (CSI’s Interim Director of Communications)
- Jose Rivera (community advocate and brother of a former Willowbrook resident)
- Nora Santiago (CSI Urban Policy Analyst), Co-Chair
- Timothy Smolka (self-advocate and CSI professional staff member)
- Dr. Nelly Tournaki, PhD (CSI Special Education professor)