Alumni Association to Hold Diversity Seminar

Alumni Association to Hold Diversity Seminar


We live in a time of increased division and conflict in our world and local societies. Unfortunately these divisions appear to only be gaining momentum rather than slowing down or retreating.

Some SUNY Cortland alumni want to do something about it.

“We live in a world that is diversifying rapidly, on campuses as well as in the larger society,” said Brian Newman ’84. “We must ask ourselves how we can engage in this diversity constructively. I hope this conversation on Saturday evening will help us do this.”

Newman is the founder of The Isaac Ishmael Initiative, a foundation that seeks to promote peace among the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. He also is co-author of Speaking Peace Together: Unlikely Allies Share Their Perspectives on Peace (Isaac Ishmael Initiative, 2016) and has shared his knowledge around the world, including in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

The SUNY Cortland Alumni Association committee of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will host “Speaking Peace Together, a Seminar Thriving in Diversity” from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, at the Lynne Parks ’68 SUNY Cortland Alumni House on 29 Tompkins St. The event is free and open to the public.

The seminar will be delivered by Newman, who will offer a straightforward process for relating to others who hold different beliefs and live different lives. Newman aims to answer three major questions on how to thrive in an increasingly diverse society.

  • How do we actively and practically seek to understand “the other” in our lives?
  • What does it look like to fully respect and engage others while disagreeing?
  • Why is it important to live with the tension of diversity and how can we learn to thrive?

 A member of the SUNY Cortland Alumni Association Board of Directors, Newman serves on its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

For more information about Newman, visit on Facebook at

For more information about the Alumni Association, contact Alumni Engagement at 607-753-2516 or

Prepared by Communications Office writing intern Charlie Beeler