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SUNY Cortland shines light on 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge

SUNY Cortland shines light on 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge


SUNY Cortland wants you to notice that the lights at the university’s three entrances are an uncharacteristic green.

Hopefully, they make you think about color.

Skin color, to be specific. To continue raising awareness about its commitment to fight racism, the university will shine green lights at the entrances through Sunday, Sept. 5. The lights represent the green color that combines with red and black in the Pan African flag.

The entrances are located at Court Street, Route 13 and Route 281. The awareness campaign also will include social media and posters on the visual messaging boards.

Campus community members are invited to immerse themselves in Black history and culture by participating in the interactive “21-Day Challenge.” First launched during last February’s Black History Month, the challenge continues to foster awareness and understanding and encourage dialogue surrounding difficult topics.

Every day of the challenge has a theme and lists several options for reading, listening or watching. Individuals may choose at least one activity per day and are welcome to explore more.

The multimedia subcommittee of SUNY Cortland’s Anti-Racism Taskforce created the webpage, where a link called gives students, faculty and staff a chance to track their participation, reflect on their daily activities and engage in discussion with others.

“The Challenge was created as a way to understand issues of power, privilege, oppression, equity and social justice,” said committee member Paul van der Veur, professor and chair of the Communication and Media Studies Department. “The goal is for participants to explore a daily activity and, over the course of the 21 days, to learn and ultimately be empowered to recognize and actively take a stand against racism.”

Follow the 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge on Instagram at

Information about the Campus Entrance Lighting Change can be found on SUNY Cortland’s website.