Twenty-two staff members recently developed a greater understanding for diversity, inclusion and social justice issues and how to use inclusive practices in the classroom, workplace and society at large at SUNY Cortland’s Summer Institute for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice.
Sponsored by the Institutional Equity and Inclusion Office, the 12 faculty members and 10 professional staff attended the institute for three days from May 31 to June 2 in Moffett Center.
Guest speaker was Lydia X. Z. Brown, an autistic disability rights activist, writer, attorney and public speaker and presented on the topic of ableism. Brown founded and leads the Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment, in partnership with the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network.
Institute facilitators included: Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Lorraine Lopez-Janove; Assistant Professor of Physical Education and Diversity Faculty Fellow Tracy Hudson, and; Philosophy and Africana Studies Professor Mechthild Nagel.
“Thank you for the rich dialogue,” wrote one participant. “Thank you for providing a safe space for perspective and learning to take place and for modeling and incorporating various teaching strategies.”
“When a group of professional staff and faculty members come together to increase and strengthen their awareness and knowledge of racial equity and social justice with the intent to apply the learnings in their classrooms with students and in offices with their colleagues, our campus becomes that place of belonging where we all succeed,” said Lopez-Janove.
The Summer Institute for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion began in 1995 when four faculty members received faculty development training for multiculturalism, now called diversity, at Williams College in Massachusetts. Diversity facilitator training has continued ever since for our faculty and administrators and the institute continues to be an important and very personalized training program for SUNY Cortland.