What We Do
The Calendar to Promote Diversity and Inclusion serves as a centralized place to promote and highlight events and programming surrounding issues of diversity and social justice. The Calendar calls attention to the wide-ranging programming efforts and levels of community engagement occurring across the university. We also develop themes to ensure that every group is being heard, validated, represented, and supported. Each month is devoted to recognizing and honoring the culture, traditions, contributions, and struggles of identity groups that have historically experienced oppression.
This site falls under the purview of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee under the division of Campus Residences. The chair of the committee is Judy Jaquez, Quad Director of Tabler Quad. Under her leadership, the committee designs and executes programming such as the Diversity Film Series and ensures that the tough conversations around diversity are had across campus and highlighted on the Calendar.
Where does your interest in diversity and inclusion stem from? What sparked your interest in social justice and what are you most passionate about? If you had to suggest one book/article/activity as an entry point to understanding diversity, what would you recommend?
My first exposure to exploring diversity didn't come until I was in college taking a Latin American and Caribbean Studies course where I was learning about my own ancestral history. While I was immersed in my own culture growing up, I had never before really reflected on my own identity and how I experienced social-political issues. With one tough professor who pushed his students to resist passive learning and to be curious enough to dig deeper about themselves, and the knowledge they had up until then thought they had mastered about the world, I was exposed to information I had no idea existed. Through this initial contemplation, I began to examine how I fit in the world and where I could learn more. In my own identity development, I began to seek people and experiences- other classes, clubs/organizations, campus events, etc- that further connected me to a deeper understanding of myself and my heritage. While I don't claim to be an expert in diversity, I am fascinated by the human experience, how people develop an identity and how cognitively we process information we see in the world. I would recommend the following articles/books:
1. “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” is an essay written by Peggy McIntosh and published in Peace and Freedom magazine in 1989. https://www.tolerance.org/classroom.../white-privilege-unpacking-the-invisible-knapsa...
2. "I Could Hear You If You Would Just Calm Down": Challenging Eurocentric Classroom Norms through Passionate Discussions of Racial Oppression by Eileen O'Brien in Counterpoints, Vol. 273, Identifying Race and Transforming Whiteness in the Classroom (2004), pp. 68-86
3. Readings for Diversity and Social Justice edited by Maurianne Adams, Warren J. Blumenfeld et al
4. Creating Inclusive Campus Environments edited by Shaun Harper
5. Identity and Leadership edited by Alia Fedelina Chavez & Ronnie Sanlo
The first time that I was exposed to diversity was during my sophomore year of undergrad. I was taking an African American History course and I was being taught by my first Afro-latino professor. In this class, I learned about so many important historical figures such as Marcus Garvey, Robert F. Williams, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B Du Bois, and many more. I was absolutely intrigued by the plethora amount of knowledge I gained from taking this course that I embarked on learning more about Black history and soon before I knew it, I was learning about religion, spirituality, the LGBTQ* community, and more. I would go to the general body meetings of the clubs and represented these communities just to learn more. I am genuinely passionate about uplifting and educating the neoindigenous (Brown and Black) community. To be more specific, neoindigenous children and teens who live and grow up in urban communities. I have been fortunate enough to be able to go off to college and go to graduate school because I met people who were able to educate me and provide me the necessary resources and tools to go and get through college. I would love to be able to give these same opportunities to the young neoindigenous community. I would also love to continue to educate students on the importance of diversity, inclusion, social justice, and the power of knowledge and education. I would recommend the following books and videos:
- For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood... and the Rest of Y'all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education (Race, Education, and Democracy) by Christopher Emdin
Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs by Rachel L. Pope, Amy L. Reynolds, and John A. Mueller
Student Engagement in Higher Education by Stephen John Quaye and Shaun R. Harper
Video: 2 Fists Up by Spike Lee
1) While sitting in a jail cell, Martin Luther King wrote one of the most powerful documents in history. Anyone with an interest in dismantling racism and engaging in protest should read Dr. King’s "Letter from A Birmingham Jail."
2) Many Minds, One Heart: SNCC's Dream for a New America by Wesley Hogan tells the story of college students who became activists during the Civil Rights Movement. Reading about how these 18, 19, and 20 year olds organized and risked their lives for freedom never ceases to amaze me.
3) Michelle Alexander's, The New Jim Crow powerfully explains our current moment of mass incarceration and its ties to the legacy of slavery.
Initiatives and Contributions to Stony Brook University's Diversity Plan
Diversity Film Series
Originally a recipient of the Presidential Mini-Grant, the Diversity Film Series highlights issues of diversity that span race, religion, class, gender, ability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and age. Now in its second year, the amount of topics covered has become more comprehensive, and the connections with other departments and student groups have been expanded. The Diversity Film Series aims to foster an inclusive environment and promote student growth through thought-provoking dialogue. In fulfillment of the Stony Brook University’s Diversity Plan, these spaces often serve as places where SBU arts and humanities majors are promoted as viable pathways into careers that combat injustice. Furthermore, as acknowledged in the Stony Brook Diversity Plan, implicit bias remains a pervasive problem in our society. Therefore, we do our part in mitigating implicit bias by highlighting its insidious nature and harmful consequences. By raising awareness about the ways in which implicit bias infiltrates institutions, the Diversity Film Series promotes tolerance and social justice. Lastly, the Diversity Film Series encourage students to learn about different cultures and helps provide the tools to possess cultural competency. The Diversity Film Series is a popular extra credit opportunity among faculty.
Tunnel Of Oppresion
Tunnel of Oppression is an interactive tour of identities that seeks to raise awareness about issues of oppression by presenting content grounded in real-world, lived experiences. Participants move through spaces filled with images, scenarios and videos that reflect examples of social injustice. The experience ends with a guided debriefing session led by professional staff members. Tunnel of Oppression is a campus grassroots diversity program that originated in 1993 at Western Illinois University. Using the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, California, as a model, Tunnel strives to give people a way to experience oppression in a hands-on way. By engaging emotions of the participants, it allows for the accounts expressed in the program to be truly effective. People may have never been placed in these types of situations, and they obtain a sense of what it actually feels like to be oppressed or discriminated through the sights and sounds they experience. While Tunnel may be disturbing, it is an effective tool used to teach people how it really feels to be in the various situations. Since its inception, many universities have hosted the event, including some of our neighboring institutions such as Pace University, New York University, SUNY College at Old Westbury and Adelphi University. In the past, Tunnel of Oppression at Stony Brook has explored topics such as class and homelessness, gender identity, sexual orientation, rape culture, race, religion, and ability.
Training of Students, Faculty, and Staff
Developing strong cultural competencies are of the utmost importance to our campus community. Therefore our committee designs and executes trainings that teach individuals to critically examine privilege and to challenge conventional thinking when it comes to race, gender, class, sexuality, religion, and ability. Our committee also trains students and staff on the importance of remaining up to date with the paradigm shifts in discussions of diversity. By creating a space that fosters a productive dialogue and providing experienced moderators, we help construct a diverse and inclusive campus community. If you are interested in having us give a talk in your department/division/group--please contact Judy.Jaquez@stonybrook.edu