Reaffirming Stony Brook’s commitment to maintaining a safe, civil and equitable community, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, hosted a Town Hall meeting on the University’s Plan for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity on November 30.
Along with University administrators and other community members, President Stanley outlined progress toward implementing the plan, which arises out of a University-wide effort to enhance the campus community and in consideration of the persistent issues of inequality in our society. Moderators also responded to questions and heard feedback from an overflow audience.
The meeting included updates from several diversity working groups, including Human Resources, Undergraduate Students, and the Faculty, Graduate Postdoc and Professional Students groups.
The event also featured statements from students Dwayne Moore and Sydney Gaglio, members of the Diversity Plan Advisory Council, as well as Robbye Kinkade, director of the R.E.D.I. Project (Responding to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion)
Moore noted that the plan was “about inclusiveness. You don’t feel different, you feel you have support” from classmates, faculty and the university at large. Gaglio said that “there are a lot of student voices” on campus and all should be heard as the plan is implemented. Both stressed the importance of student involvement.
Kinkade described R.E.D.I., a program for faculty and staff aimed at broadening the definition of diversity, raising awareness of implicit bias and providing an experiential activity that brings diversity issues on campus into sharp focus. The University conducted five R.E.D.I. seminars in November and will hold eight more in December.
In response to audience questions, President Stanley outlined steps toward enhancing recruitment and retention and professional development opportunities for African-American faculty and staff. He also reiterated his support for DACA, the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and the DREAM Act, proposed legislation offering support and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
A second Diversity Town Hall meeting for Stony Brook Medicine and the East Campus community was held December 14.