Diversity Equity Inclusion: Understand and appreciate multiple perspectives

Diversity can be discussed in many ways. Instructors are encouraged to promote discussion of diversity in classes, as well as utilize current events and campus issues to address diversity.


  1. Review SUNY Cortland's commitment to Anti-Racism by exploring the anti-racism resources the institution has put together online. You can also make sure that students understand how to fill out a bias incident report with the Institutional Equity and Inclusion office.
  2. Encourage students to think about how they can address their instructors in a respectful, and professional manner, inclusive of their identities.
  3. Have students write down what defines them as a person. How do they think others categorize them when they first see them?
  4. Encourage students to participate in campus events via the Voice Office and/or Multicultural Life and Diversity Office.
  5. Watch #DontBoxMeIn video then allow students to give feedback and/or ask questions about the video. This is a good exercise to talk about stereotypes, where stereotypes come from and why they still exist. Instructors could also springboard this topic to the relationship between media and stereotypes in our society (see #12,13,14 below).
  6. Watch the #DontBoxMeInToo video (the follow-up to #DontBoxMeIn) to discuss the broad range of stereotypes.
  7. A different take on discussing stereotypes is to play the #DontBoxMeIn video  or the #DontBoxMeInToo video then host the game, "Stomping Out Stereotypes". Write different races on large pieces of paper and place on the walls of the classroom. Students would then write any stereotype they've heard, read, or even said about a specific race.  After a few minutes, have the students read what was written on the paper. Ask them to share where they think the stereotypes came from and why.  Based on your level of comfort, the class could share personal stories of their experience regarding stereotypes. You can springboard this activity to discuss religions and sexuality, etc. 
  8. Brainstorm all the different ways that we see similarities and differences between people. Why do we do this? Is this ok? What happens when we do this?
  9. Least-Most (PDF): an activity that asks students to reflect on their perceptions of people and how certain groups of people are treated by others.
  10. Have students do a cultural audit of Cortland. Where is it diverse, where is it not? What cultural images do you see here? Discuss what multiculturalism means using links from Dr. Kathryn Russell's (Philosophy) website.
  11. Play Cultural Bingo (Cultural Bingo with answers) or Cultural Diversity Bingo (second version).
  12. Have students attend a campus group meeting.
  13. Have students bring in representations of stereotypes and share those types with the class.
  14. Ask students to reflect on how our media outlets and television programs represent different cultures/individuals.
  15. Multi-cultural Stereotypes (PDF): a small group exercise for students to think about the ways groups of people are characterized in every day life.
  16. Diversity is a great topic for a journal or reflection paper.
  17. Find out about library games, tours, instruction - SPECIFICALLY designed for your COR 101 class on Diversity!!
  18. Play the Ivan Coyote TED Talk video, "Why we need gender-neutral bathrooms" (PDF transcript of video) and discuss the need on our campus.
  19. Have students dig into their own cultural heritage. What factors have shaped their identity?
  20. The Choice (PDF): a small group activity that offers students an opportunity to make a decision about groups of people who may be different than their high school peers
  21. Have students do the "This Is My House" (PDF)exercise.
  22. Perception Game (PDF) An activity that has students follow verbal directions to fold paper blindfolded.
  23. Identity and Diversity Worksheet (PDF) Reflection exercise on how you think the world sees you.
  24. Life Experience Assessment (PDF) Encourages students to reflect on multicultural life experiences.
  25. Crossing the Line Activity (PDF) Activity meant to show the general background of the class in response to racial, social, sexual, and cultural differences in our society.
  26. Ask the class to read a blog from John Metta called I, racist. You could follow up the discussion by reading a reply to John's blog called I, racist, sexist. A Letter to a Black man in America from a White woman in Rwanda. This is a response written in agreement and expansion to John Metta's article/blog in The Huffington Post.  There is a lot of information to unpack with these articles so you are encouraged to discuss this with your teaching assistant as well as the Multicultural Life and Diversity Office.
  27. Watch the video from RSA Animate and discuss Changing Education Paradigms.
  28. Great leaders are those who inspire action, and light the fire for change. Show your class How Great Leaders Inspire Action, a TED Talk by Simon Sinek, and then discuss the 10 Characteristics of Superior Leaders, which are discussed in this article.
  29. What Kind of Asian are You? is a popular, humorous video that addresses a similar to scenario which one with Asian heritage may encounter.