Kassandra Khalil studied "Caribbean Communities and the Culture of Resistance," focusing on immigrant movements to the United States. While she was a full-time student, Khalil became the program coordinator for Haiti Cultural Exchange (HCX), a Brooklyn-based nonprofit organization established to develop, present and promote the cultural expressions of the Haitian people. HCX presents a myriad of programs dedicated to presenting Haitian art including a film festival, concert series, an afterschool program, and recurring public forums. The development of Khalil's concentration was closely linked to her work with the Haitian community.
When thinking of her course selections, Khalil notes "It all felt so unintentional but also incredibly intuitive." Consuming the Caribbean with Millery Polyné was a formative class for her, offering alternative views on how we interact with individuals and groups on the global stage. She found Kathy Engel’s course, Language, Imagination, Community & Activism, especially inspiring, calling it “an incredible community learning class.” Through Marie Cruz Soto’s Great World Texts tutorial, she was a mentor at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School in the Bronx. “It was a case study and a self study,” she says. The importance of learning ways to use the arts as a tool for activism revealed a passion for program coordinating. "Both classes made me really analyze why I choose to learn the way I do and why I choose to do the work that I do." Another faculty member she admires: Stacy Pies: “Taking her class made me love words and literature twice as much.”