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Tenth Conference on Diversity Planned

Tenth Conference on Diversity Planned


Noelle Chaddock energized thousands of SUNY Cortland students as the College’s principal diversity representative for eight years until 2016. Many students and faculty still mention her deeply positive impact on campus life.

Chaddock, now the associate provost and deputy Title IX coordinator at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., will return to Cortland Saturday, April 13, to have a conversation about the social and individual responsibilities of those working to make the world more just.

She will deliver the keynote speech during the 10th annual Student Conference on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Corey Union.

Chaddock, who also served as SUNY Cortland’s chief diversity officer and directed the College’s Multicultural Life and Diversity Office, will discuss “Performing the Social in Social Justice: Mindfulness, Intentionality, Co-conspirators and Persistent Resistors” at 12:30 p.m. in the Function Room.

“This year we are expecting 300 in attendance with representation from about 16 institutions across New York state,” said Lima Stafford ’12, assistant director of multicultural life and diversity at SUNY Cortland.

This year’s conference will offer 28 presentations, with more student presentation proposals submitted than ever before, Stafford noted. The lunch hour will feature cultural performances.

Students attend an academic seminar on the SUNY Cortland campus.

Participation in the keynote lecture as well as other conference activities is free to SUNY Cortland students, but registration by Friday, April 5, is required. The registration fee is $23 for non-SUNY Cortland students and is $28 for outside institution representatives, community members and SUNY Cortland faculty, staff and alumni. The price for all registrations includes a breakfast buffet, lunch and giveaways.

Chaddock returns to SUNY Cortland as one of the co-founders of the conference. She served SUNY Cortland in diversity, equity, inclusion, access and social justice roles from 2009 to 2016. Chaddock helped create, and then in 2014 was appointed, as the inaugural chief diversity officer at SUNY Cortland. She chaired the SUNY system-wide Faculty Senate’s Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Committee, which helped shape SUNY’s chief diversity officer hiring requirements.

She will invite participants to unpack the roles of “white feminism,” “allyship (serving as allies to disadvantaged groups)” and “warrior” as they relate to social justice behaviors in higher education and student populations.

“We need everyone at the table to do this work, that has been proven,” Chaddock said. “What we are not doing well, however, is examining the intrarelationships between those with privileged socio-racial locations and those who are living the realities of oppression and marginalization.”

A transracial adoptee — African American child raised by a white family — in Binghamton, N.Y., she has a Ph.D. in philosophy, interpretation and culture from Binghamton University.

Chaddock’s recent scholarship and forthcoming book, Antagonizing White Feminism: Women’s Studies, Feminism, Gender Identity, and the Academy look at the construction of privileged identities within social justice work.

Chaddock teaches in Africana Studies and theatre, having recently directed the production “Harlem to Hamilton” to a sold-out audience in the McCoy Theatre at Rhodes College. Her current scholarly interests include womanism, critical race theory, the realities of genealogical artifact and inheritance, equity and inclusion in higher education and faculty governance’s role in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and outcomes.

Currently residing in Memphis with her daughter, Morgan Celeste, Chaddock has been appointed the vice president of equity and inclusion at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. She will begin that role on June 1.

The Student Conference on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice was created to provide undergraduate and graduate students with an opportunity and a venue to share their academic research and work product, build their resumes and network with other students across New York state around the core values of diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice. The student-led conference allows participants to problematize, conceptualize, research and present across a wide range of disciplines. The conference focus is in line with the strategic goals of the SUNY system as well as those of SUNY Cortland.

For more information, contact the Multicultural Life and Diversity Office at 607-753-2336.