Office of Recruitment and Diversity
205 East 42nd Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Led by experts in the field, CUNY Faculty Diversity Dialogues are forums for CUNY administration, staff, and faculty to build awareness around a range of issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This series will provide a forum for discussion focused on matters of inclusion, implicit bias, intercultural communications, and efforts to increase diversity through faculty and staff recruitment, retention, and advancement in the workplace.
“People who collaborate and bring a range of perspectives to the table can better navigate the intricate layers that constitute the fabric of the academy. Collectively, we have the power to leverage the best in our faculty, staff and students to create new tapestries and to change culture.” Dr. Arlene Torres, University Dean of Recruitment & Diversity.
Spring 2018 Speakers
The Spring 2018 series will feature focused discussions by national leaders in higher education on faculty and staff recruitment, retention and advancement.
A Conversation with John L. Jackson, Jr., Ph.D. Dean, School of Social Policy & Practice, University of Pennsylvania
February 20, 1-4pm, Roosevelt House
A Conversation with Yolanda T. Moses, Ph.D. Anthropology, University of California-Riverside
March 12, 1-4pm, Roosevelt House
A Conversation with Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner, Ph.D. Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, Sacramento State
April 19, 3-5pm, The Graduate Center, Proshansky Auditorium
Fall 2017 Speakers
The Inclusive Academy: Achieving Diversity and Excellence
Invited Speaker: Dr. Virginia Valian
September 26, 2017, 1pm-4pm
Implicit Bias and Microaggressions Roundtable/Workshop
Invited Speaker: Dr. Kevin Nadal
October 24, 2017, 9:30am-12pm
Intercultural Communication Roundtable/Workshop
Invited Speaker: Dr. Deidre Cooper Owens
November 27, 2017, 1pm-3:30pm
Diversity or Inclusivity?: Why it takes so much work
to get either one right?
Dean Jackson focused on how faculty and administrators can fall into the trap of seeing themselves or
being seen by others as experts on identity and diversity. In fact, he noted identity still confounds us. As
academics we can and do rally around the mission and lofty benefits of diversity. However, dragging
diversity down to the brick and mortar of policy and practice is where we can and do observe fissures.
It’s hard work to talk about the concepts of identity and diversity when we are metric based. We want
to make it about the optics. True diversity he argued, requires ways of being and doing that are
sometimes off-putting. Exploring forms of difference including radical difference may engender new
roads, new stones, new possibilities for excellence and change. These inclusive possibilities if attended
to can and will allow us to reconfigure the edifice of the academy.
The Inclusive Academy: Achieving Diversity & Excellence, Distinguished Professor Virginia Valian, Hunter College & The Gender Equity Project
Professor Valian described her work with the NSF-funded Gender Equity Project at Hunter College, that began in 2002, whose aim was to examine and evaluate institutional practices in the academy rather than individual faculty behaviors. Valian was part of the first cohort of ADVANCE, an initiative that worked to increase the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers; currently, 50 institutions participate. Secondly, Professor Valian noted the soon-to-be published book written in collaboration with University of Michigan Professor Abigail Stewart, The Inclusive Academy: Achieving Diversity & Excellence. The book builds on research Valian published 20 years ago, Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women. MIT Press.
Microaggressions and Implicit Biases in the Academy, Professor Kevin Nadal, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Dr. Kevin Nadal is a Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and former Executive Director of the Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS), the first university-based LGBTQ research center in the United States. As a member of the University Advisory Council on Diversity (UACD), Dr. Nadal provides guidance that supports the Office of Recruitment and Diversity’s efforts to create diverse and inclusive campus communities.
In his presentation, Dr. Nadal reviewed the history and outlined a set of key terms and definitions while providing relevant examples to help the audience identify microaggressions in everyday situations. A person’s worldview, the collection of beliefs about life held by an individual or a group, shapes understanding of what is ‘normal.’ Each person carries a set of identities and we need to reflect on which of our identities has power and privilege. If you are a person with a historically marginalized identity, you become hyper-vigilant about the potential for the next slight. Likewise, it is not the sole responsibility of a member of a marginalized group to educate others.
On Race and Cultural Competencies, Professor Deirdre Cooper Owens, Queens College
Beginning the session with the recent CUNY TV interview on race and racism, Professor Cooper Owens moderated a lively discussion. The segment is one in a series that resulted from the Chancellor’s Campus Climate Working Group; its hyperlink follows: Interview on Race and Racism. Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens with Bob Herbert CUNY TV .Though the civil rights era ended just over 50 years ago, the notion of systemic and structural ‘racial amnesia’ remains a powerful force when examining the cumulative effects of deficit education, housing, healthcare and policing on communities of color. Professor Cooper Owens further underscored this by emphasizing that Jim Crow was not too far in the past. As a self-styled storyteller, Professor Cooper Owens offered the audience clear and cogent examples while she presented her research on race and cultural competencies in the academy.
OHRM Initiates “Faculty Diversity Dialogues”
The Office of Recruitment and Diversity launched a new initiative in the Spring of 2017 to promote the recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty at The City University of New York: the “Faculty Diversity Dialogues.” Representatives from each of CUNY’s campuses participated including, campus Chief Diversity Officers, members of the University Advisory Council on Diversity, and representatives of college faculty diversity councils.
“When diverse perspectives are linked to a common purpose, organizations thrive,” said Dr. Arlene Torres, University Dean of Recruitment & Diversity. “People who collaborate and bring a range of perspectives to the table can better navigate the intricate layers that constitute the fabric of the academy. Collectively, we have the power to leverage the best in our faculty, staff and students to create new tapestries and to change culture.”