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Diversity Summit

your story matters hereThe SUNY Geneseo Diversity Summit is a full day of diversity-focused sessions hosted by members of the campus community. 

The theme of the 2022 Diversity Summit is:

Our Journey from Inclusion to Belonging

Questions can be directed to the Diversity Summit Committee (

Pre-Register for the Summit

Summit Program Image2022 Diversity Summit Program

Diversity Summit 2022 Program

Overview of Previous Diversity Summits

Creating an Antiracist Community - March 2, 2021

Protest by Design: Learning Diversity and Activism from Craftivists
by Alla Myzelev
Craftivism (activism + craft) is the style of protests that originated with Postfeminism. The presentation will introduce student to the history of feminist protests from Suffrage to the present. The special attention will be on the role of the crafts traditionally associated with femininity such as embroidery and knitting. We will discuss how feminists art in the 1970s had a great impact on feminist struggle because it was openly political but also understood by the majority. We will then turn to Craftivist strategies and will discuss the power of "soft" or non-violent rebellion using examples of the craftiest actions across the world. We will finish with in depth examining two Craftivist protests for comparison: one in the US and one in Ukraine. After that we will introduce the participants to the fundamental techniques of crochet to create craftiest tags for creating yarn graffiti. If time remains, we will design a site specific action for a campus peaceful protest.

Processing Feelings and Creating Effective Responses to Racial Remarks from a BIPOC Perspective
by Becky Leathersitch and Alessandra Otero Ramos
This interactive discussion will focus on techniques and tactics to acknowledge and express our emotions when confronted in a discriminatory situation. Participants will have the opportunity to practice expressing their emotions in a polite response. Tactics to do so will be provided by the facilitators. The first part of the workshop will create a safe space for all participants and provide information about emotional intelligence and tactics to respond effectively in a discriminatory situation, either as a victim or bystander/ally. The second part of the workshop will allow participants to practice in a small breakout room with a moderator. Participants will select a scenario (perhaps one from their own experiences) and take turns identifying what emotions they feel, and considering an emotional response and a constructive response.

GOLD Workshop: Trans 2.0: Gender, Privilege, and Misconceptions
by Charlotte Wade  
This workshop covers the differences between gender identity, gender expression, and biological sex. Participants will learn about the great diversity within the transgender community, as well as gain an understanding of power, privilege, and misconceptions as they relate to trans people. We will go over common transphobic microaggressions and misconceptions. This workshop is intended to be intermediate, and is most suited for cisgender people who want to be allies to trans folks but need help in doing so.

Beyond the Ashkenorm: How to be an Intersectional Ally
by Claire Shroder '23, Misha Firestein-Rudder '22, Shira Dubin '23
Come learn with Hillel at Geneseo E-board what it means to be an intersectional ally to minority communities in this workshop. We will examine how identities are often conflicting, and how to navigate these issues as a college student.

Racism In A Barbie World
by Denise Reed Lamoreaux '84
As children begin to recognize complex ideas and form their own opinions, parents, educators and caregivers can become agents of change so that young people can take ownership of the antiracist part of their identity and their own allyship.

Race and Ancestry
by Dr. Betsy Hutchison, Dr. Josie Reinhardt, Dr. Kevin Militello, and Dr. Hristina Nedelkovska
Presenters will introduce basic concepts of inheritance and population genetics. Presenters will discuss the concept of ancestry from a genetics standpoint, with an emphasis on how it compares and contrasts to the sociological concept of race, and how misuse of racial identifiers can lead to harmful misconceptions and generalizations. It is important to talk about race and ancestry in a Genetics course, in terms of educating students and creating an inclusive environment, and we will present guidelines on how to do so in a way that is both informative and respectful of racial identity.

Teaching for DEI: Lessons Learned during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Dr. Cathy Adams, Dr. Hanna Brant, Dr. Susana Castillo-Rodriguez, Dr. Michael Masci, Dr. Alla Myzelev, Dr. Bruno Renero-Hannan, Dr. Amanda Roth, and Dr. Jewels White
This roundtable is organized as an informal, cross-disciplinary conversation for sharing insights, experiences, concerns, and innovations that can enhance our DEI efforts across campus. To focus our conversation we will consider ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has led us to innovate creatively in our teaching.

Standard Fare: An Antiracist Approach to Standardized English
by Dr. Gillian Paku and Brian Vargas '21
Contending with what has traditionally been called "Standard English" affects writing-intensive endeavors at Geneseo, most obviously via the first-year writing seminar which fulfills the SUNY Gen. Ed. requirement (INTD 105 & 106). This session considers the viewpoints of students who identify as BIPOC and presents pedagogical approaches connected to the scholarship on "antiracist writing assessment ecologies.”

Economic Inequality: The Challenge and Hope of Sustainable Development
by Dr. Karleen West, and panel
This session focuses on the topic of economic inequality and sustainable development.

The Hair Monologues
by Dr. Kristen Gentry, Charlotte Wade, robbie routenberg '05, and Cast Members
Although seemingly just dead skin cells hanging from our bodies, hair can represent so much related to race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, disability, and other identity categories. Come listen to Geneseo community members speak about their relationships with their hair. Attendees will gain an intersectional understanding of the importance of hair to personal identity development and expression.

Hunger and the Pandemic: A View From The Field
by Dr. Robert Boyd (School of Business Faculty and Treasurer at Westside Farmers Market and St. Peter's Kitchen), Mitch Gruber (Chief Partnerships Officer, Foodlink Rochester), Patricia Lorenzen (Executive Director, St. Peter's Kitchen), Hoody Miller (Volunteer Westside Farmers Market)
The panel will discuss the impact of the pandemic on hunger. Each speaker will discuss what they do, how it was impacted and how certain societal groups were impacted differently.

Preparing Culturally Responsive Teacher Candidates through Online Learning
by Dr. Thea Yurkewecz and Dr. Crystal Simmons
The goal of this session is to: (1) self-reflect on our virtual teaching approaches around culturally responsive pedagogy, (2) provide strategies that foster and promote anti-racism, and (3) share the stories/experiences from current/previous teacher candidates.

Microaggressions, Communication & How To be An Anti-Racist Introduction
by Dr. Tomicka Wagstaff and Stephanie Paredes
Let's dive into microaggressions and communication. Communication is key when having complex or vulnerable conversations. Let interact and discuss how communication and microaggressions impact dialogue. We also give a brief look into the book How to be an Anti-Racist.

Successful Antiracism Strategies in Higher-Education and in the Food System
by Jared Strohl
It is a challenge for most institutions to be antiracist, both because they are hierarchical, top-down structures that rely on relationships of power and oppression, and because they often lack BIPOC representation in their leadership. Through reflections from both diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work at a large university and food justice work in the city of Buffalo, this session describes successful strategies in the face of these challenges. At the University at Buffalo, one successful approach has been formally creating leadership positions across the campus that are focused on equity and justice. Another strategy in the fight against food apartheid in the city of Buffalo is supporting collective forms of leadership that provide BIPOC community members with more sovereignty and control over the food system. Finally, in both higher education and in the food system, organizational members and leaders must become allies by supporting BIPOC led initiatives to address racism, thereby avoiding the pitfall of creating “inclusive” policies and programs that are not BIPOC led. After describing these strategies, the presentation will conclude with a group discussion amongst attendees about successful strategies they have been a part of that have challenged institutional racism and injustice.

Don’t Delay Disarmament: Nuclear Colonization
by Jess Rivera '22, Yaro Bautista Martinez '23, and Margaret Hewitt '22
Nuclear Disarmament is an ongoing effort that has taken place over decades with the goal to reduce and eliminate the use of nuclear weapons. In this session, we will introduce related terms, themes, and developments, and use them to analyze and discuss the relationship between a failure to undergo nuclear disarmament and themes of neo-colonization.

Deliberate Anti-Racist Practice in an Educational Setting
by John Strong
Participants of this session will be first welcomed into a brave space and then begin the process of introspection regarding their understanding of anti-racism. The process will build through breakout room discussions and facilitator led information briefings, and then culminate with a look at a booklet that can facilitate the process of first dealing with anti-racism in the self, then the students, and finally the academic community.

How Does Race Relate to Food Insecurity?
by Jordyn Costello '21, Tessa Kilian '21, Caitlin Callanan '21, and Jill Demaria '22
The ongoing pandemic has contributed to the most severe food insecurity crisis since the Great Depression. Black, latinx, and Indigineous families are more than twice as likely to be food insecure than white families. This session will discuss how racism works against BIPOC and give room for open discussion on possible solutions to this issue.

Supporting LGBTQ+ Adolescents: Discussing LGBTQ+ Health Disparities & Preventing Adverse Outcomes
by Julia Deacon '20
LGBTQ+ adolescents face unique health and mental health disparities that serve as life-long stressors. By taking a look at both the statistics behind these disparities and the Minority Stress Model, this session will begin a discussion on the intersections between identity and health status. This session will encourage participants to begin thinking about, discussing, and planning ways they can advocate for and support LGBTQ+ adolescents on both a micro- and macro-cosmic level. While this session will focus on LGBTQ+ identities, participants will be tasked with thinking about how all social identities a person inhabits impact their health and mental health outcomes.

Group Discussion on Superior: The Return of Race Science
by Maya Craig '21, Jasmine Yeoh '21, Dr. Suann Yang, Dr. Mackenzie Gerringer, and the Biology Diversity Committee
“Science is not just a series of facts, it is a series of narratives.” - Angela Saini As part of the Biology department’s commitment to supporting racial justice and building a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community, we invite you to join us in our Spring 2021 Group Read of Angela Saini’s Superior: The Return of Race Science - Science Books of the Year (Smithsonian Magazine) · Best Science Books of the Year (NPR’s Science Friday). Our reading of the book will allow us to engage with topics such as race as a social rather than biological construct, the false safety of objectivity in science, the role of systemic racism in medicine, and what actions we should take from what we learn from our reading. It takes everyone to build an equitable and inclusive community, so all - students, staff, and faculty from any field - are welcome to join in this discussion. We ask that participants read the book prior to our discussion. There are a few copies of the book in the biology office to borrow. For questions, comments, or concerns, please reach out to the Biology Diversity Committee at

Experiences of BIPOC students with immigrant identity in STEM
by Mouhamad Berte '22, Syndou Cissé '22, and Dr. Suann Yang
The STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) attract relatively more immigrants than U.S.-born college students. For BIPOC students who are immigrants, how do these intersecting identities affect our persistence and sense of belonging in STEM classrooms? In our conversation, we will explore how immigrant narratives of work ethic and valuing education intersect with our racial and ethnic identities in this space. In addition to sharing our experiences, we also seek to connect members of our community who also have these intersecting identities, as well as allies.

Keynote Debrief
by The Student Association
After the Keynote speaker, the Student Association will be hosting a student-led debrief in which they lead a candid discussion around the sessions held, the keynote speakers’ topic, and the overall Diversity Summit. We will also be sharing our information on where to find our google form that gathers feedback on this year’s summit, but to also hear ideas related to the focus of next year’s Diversity Summit. This session also plans to gather student ideas and perspectives regarding NEXT year’s Diversity Summit’s T-shirt.

Mindfulness in Different Abilities
by Yuki Morita '22, Rocio Ruiz '23, Kyle Waltenberg-O'Brien '21, and Dr. Emi Kanemoto
In this workshop discussion and activities, attendees will better empathize with students of differing ability and gain an understanding of just some of the barriers that are faced by our peers on a daily basis. Attendees will gain communication skills and knowledge to create a more inclusive community. We hope that attendees walk away with more mindfulness and understanding of the importance of support and encouragement to our peers.

The Importance of Representation in Leadership
by Kaitlyn Bertleff '21, Xiara Colon '21
An interactive panel where SA exec members and participants dive deep into conversations about identity, leadership and the importance of representation in leadership. This panel discussion will be a space where we hope to set the tone in which you can feel free to rant, talk about personal narratives, and participate in our mini-activities.

Building an Inclusive Community w/ Support, Allyhood, and Activism - March 2, 2020

Teacher Candidates Application of Diversity and Inclusion in Public Education
by Thea Yurkewecz and Crystal Simmons; Student Panelists: Amy Forrest, Maria Ruiz Luna, Taya Coniglio, Leslie Mast, Emmy Lundquist, Ryland Frost, Jaylen Martinez
Teacher candidates from the elementary and adolescent education programs in School of Education will serve on a panel to reflect on the importance of diversity and inclusion.  This panel features a question/answer session facilitated by Dr. Crystal Simmons and Dr. Thea Yurkewecz.  Omékongo Students will identify how they apply course content in their planning and design of lessons that integrate multicultural perspectives and identities in the classroom. 

The Intersections of Mental Health and Social Identity
by Julia Deacon
Rooted in empirical findings, this session will address how social identities we inhabit and our mental health interact. Participants will be able to interactively begin to understand how their own social identities (ie: their race, sexuality, ability, and gender) are currently affecting their mental health. Participants should walk away with a better understanding of their own identities and wellbeing, as well as being able to identify areas of support they can access.

How to Be an Activist
by Kelsey Dux
Understanding how to be an effective activist is crucial in being a good ally and agent of change. Within this program, we will discuss the various avenues in which one can achieve change, the different types of change, and how our identities empower us as activists. Join us to share your perspective on activism and start your plan of action.

Microaggressions in Everyday Life
by Trillium Health (Andre Dixon)
Microaggressions are all around us. People who perpetuate them may never know that they’re doing it until they are given that awareness. It can be pretty eye-opening for folks to look deep and realize how they contribute to bias without even knowing it, but when you’re aware of microaggressions you can stop them. Let's pick apart and understand a piece of these issues we see on a daily basis.

Using Images that Reflect an Inclusive Student Population
by Alexis Clifton
Visual representations are important; what images are included to represent a college community in our presentations, course materials, and other campus documents can convey a lot to viewers. This session will explore opportunities for broadening our use of images depicting under-represented groups. Even changing out one icon on a slide deck can have a dramatic impact on inclusivity. New collections of images with a diversity/equity/inclusiveness focus, such as The Gender Spectrum Collection and the Redefining Women Icon Collection, allow us a good starting point to broaden our visual offerings. We will explore existing resources, identify opportunities to use these visuals, and talk about opportunities to create and share additional inclusive images with the world.

Black & Queer: Understanding Out Culture, Contributions, and Struggles
by Eunisha Tucker
Due to the idea that "normal" means being white, cisgender, and heterosexual, Black individuals and LGBTQIA+ folx are unable to exist without experiencing discrimination and dehumanization. What if you're both Black and LGBTQIA+, though? In this workshop, Eunisha will talk about the issues Black, LGBTQIA+ individuals face, and the culture and contributions of this marginalized community. To finish off, there will be a game of jeopardy that educates participants on Black, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and allies, past and current.

White Male Allyship and Our Place in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
by Garth Freeman
This workshop will provide a space where white men can speak about their lived experience as it relates to being allies. Being an active, white, male ally entails mindful self-reflection and a reimagining of how our privilege can be utilized while breaking from traditional roles of dominance, power, and influence. This workshop will allow participants to discuss how they intersect with this important work, how and when their voice can and should be used, and how they can respectfully and earnestly work towards the collective goals of a more equitable society and culture.

Indispensable Participation: LIVES and Literary Disability Studies Collaborations
by Gillian Paku & student panelists: Claire Corbeaux, Melisha Gatlin, Alexis Herman, Christina Luongo, Laura Newton, Brianna Riggio
“We act politically by sharing a meal—when doing so makes others uncomfortable or challenges what is deemed fit for public space. We act politically when we throw our bodies in dance—when dominant norms insist that our bodies are best hidden […]. We act politically when we open our classrooms to students with intellectual disabilities—as we find ways to practice alliance in academia” (Stacy Clifford Simplican). Our panel of students from English literature classes and Geneseo’s LIVES program aims to highlight a range of empowering, mutual experiences happening on, around, and beyond campus.

I'm Black: Imposter Syndrome at PWI's
by Kareem Hayes and Antonio Williams
This interactive workshop will equip individuals with the knowledge and understanding of how to combat Imposter Syndrome (IS) on predominantly white campuses. Discussions will focus on experiences both personal and professional with IS. Historically, African Americans have experienced some form of IS. Statistically, the transition from high school to college is still challenging due to students experiencing a lack of a sense of belonging and trust from peers, professors and school administration. Participants will engage in group discussions along with the movie, “Higher Learning '' as the backdrop of the discussion. Dialog will be centered on student retention and increasing graduation rates through understanding best practices to support student development and academic achievement.

Classroom Conversations: Leaning into Difficult Dialogues
by Sim Covington and Mary Bonderoff
The goal of this session is to engage in a discussion about difficult conversations in the classroom. We will share experiences, expertise of the group to allow faculty to develop a tool kit of resources. Navigating unexpected conflicts in the classroom can be difficult-being prepared for those situations is critical for our students.

Advancing Cultural Competency Certificate Program
Have you been hearing about the new Advancing Cultural Competency Certificate Program and wondered what it was all about? Maybe you've heard someone reference their experience in "A - Triple C" and wanted to know more? Come join us for a conversation about this new program, how it came to be, and the transformative impact it is already starting to have on campus.

Beyond the Ashkenorm: Immigration and Diversity in Jewish Community
by Hillel at Geneseo
Participants will challenge their worldview about what they think of when they hear the word “Jew” through a combination of case studies and discussion with members of the Geneseo Hillel. There will be an exploration of Jewish identities through the view of immigration and Jewish diaspora.

Words Matter: Language Choice and Mental Health Stigma
by Laura Swanson
This session will explore how the language we use can impact those around us. We will talk about the power of word choice and why precision of language matters on a micro and macro level. We will examine common phrases that perpetuate stigma, discuss the impacts of that stigma, and reflect on how to express ourselves in ways that reflect a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Say What?: Reflecting on Microaggressions
by Teddy Gyamfi, Alessandra Otero, Brandon West
The purpose of this workshop will provide a discussion on how individuals deal and handle comments, remarks, suggestions, opinions, and views of using to minimize others. A microaggression is a brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignity, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicates hostile, derogatory, or negative racial, gender, sexual orientation, and religious slights and insults to the target person or group (Wing Sue, 2019). This approach of communicating among two or more parties can be hurtful. The presenters will briefly describe the term "Microaggression" to provide participants a general understanding of the concept and contextualize the discussions to follow. The workshop activities involve reenacting tweets and real-life scenarios to show how microaggressions can be orchestrated. Each scenario will proceed with a discussion based on a series of questions. Disclaimer: This workshop is not intended to hurt or belittle any of the participants, as a series of scenarios will be reacted amongst the participants and host.

Is sustainability only for the privileged?
by Karleen West, Dan DeZarn, Meg Reitz
Meeting our climate goals (both locally and globally) depends upon our ability to explore the social justice pillar of sustainability by looking at the history of sustainability in underrepresented communities. In this workshop, we'll examine how social justice frameworks help us better understand sustainability. Further, we will consider how fostering sustainability inevitably also advances social justice. Through interactive exercises and conversations and focusing on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, we will explore how to weave social justice and sustainability more thoroughly into all of our work, advocating for meaningful change for all people.

Identity: The Path to Cultivating Inclusivity
by Alana Martin, Ousmane Sam, & Naomi Seid
Participants will engage in two activities that explore their social identities. This interactive session will include small group discussions and exchanges that aim to define social identities. This workshop will also explore how social identities interact with and influence systems that challenge inclusive communities. There will be an identity exploring ice breaker and then the Drawbridge activity which will explore how identities function in systems.

Planting Seeds of Inclusion and Education in our Community TOGETHER
by Shannon Curley
This presentation will show how programs like TOGETHER are effective in tackling and empowering college students in their understanding, connectedness, and integration of communities different from their own. To do so, it will utilize approaches and results from students who, over the past three years, have worked on our campus with non-English speaking families of farm-workers from different Latin-American countries and Puerto Rico residing in Livingston County in New York. Next, current United Nations goals, European Union policy, and theories from education professors will be used to demonstrate how TOGETHER is connected to global discussions about educational change and inclusion. Finally, the paper will include testimonies from tutors to show the impact that TOGETHER has had on Geneseo students. Labeled as a win-win program, TOGETHER shows how, in a short time, inclusive learning tactics can foster cross-cultural connections and enhance the meaning of community.

Ally: Noun vs. Verb
by Jada Atwood and Emma Lynch
Being an ally can be a complicated idea, as many times we don’t know where to start. This Wokeshop will explain what it means to be an ally, outlining the difference of ally as a noun vs. verb. Furthermore, this wokeshop will raise more self-awareness of one’s own privilege and the role of privilege in allyhood as well as the ways that anyone can become and act as an ally to marginalized communities.

Building Inclusive Programming on Your Campus
by Stephanie Paredes
In this interactive workshop, we will explore how to collaboratively work with academic and administrative units to provide a holistic range of programmatic efforts that support education and ensure a welcoming, inclusive, vibrant and accessible environment for everyone.

State of the community: Immigration policies and their powerful impact
by Student Coalition for Migrant Workers, Alianza Agrícola
This panel will feature accounts from members of Alianza Agrícola, a local im/migrant farmworker organization that is focused on advocating for immigrant rights in New York State, as well as immigration policy research presented by SUNY Geneseo’s Student Coalition for Migrant Workers. Each panelist will share some of their background and how immigration policies affect them and their communities. Attendees will learn about the history and the important role of local im/migrant farmworkers in our community, the evolution of our immigration policies, and the effects of current legislation on immigrants and the entire country. Panelists will also educate attendees on the positive impact of the new N.Y. legislations: the “Driver's License Access and Privacy Act” and the “Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act”. Attendees will leave this session with a better understanding of immigration issues in the U.S. and a way to get involved in their own communities through advocating for im/migrant rights and supporting their essential role in our communities.

Helping First-Generation College Students Understand Why and How to Pursue a PhD
by Kate Torrey
For most first-generation college students, a Ph.D. feels out of reach. This session examines tools used at RIT to increase the number of first-generation undergraduate students pursuing Ph.D. programs. These tools include a “PhD Exploration” program, which utilizes faculty mentors for lab tours, workshops, and research experiences; a “Roadmap to Graduate School,” which provides a timeline of tasks to help students be competitive graduate school candidates; and a “Pathways to Graduate School” class to help students write fellowship and grad school applications.

Celebrating Diverse Abilities at Geneseo
by Dr. Amy Fisk, Morgan Hernandez, Grace McMahon and Annika Mounts
The workshop will begin with a discussion of disability advocacy and the recent shift toward viewing disability through a social justice lens. Student Accessibility Advocates will discuss their own experiences as diverse individuals on a college campus, and help identify ways that students, faculty and staff may serve as key allies for access and inclusion across the Geneseo campus.

SA: Building an Inclusive Network for the Student Body and Administration
by Student Association
The Student Association (SA) is a multifaceted organization that works to advance undergraduate academic and co-curricular life through programming, allocation of funds, as well as advocacy efforts on behalf of students. As a major liaison between students and administration, SA strives to inform, engage, and connect all students with Geneseo affairs and resources. This session introduces the active network among student organizations, administration, and the student population as a whole while discussing how SA can increase visibility of advocacy efforts within that network. Additionally, it opens a conversation as to how SA can better facilitate opportunities for connections between students and a diverse network of on and off campus professionals. Lastly, this is also an opportunity for people to share take-aways with each other and learn about sessions for those who were unable to attend.

Unspoken Narratives - March 1, 2019

LGBTQI and Law Enforcement: Why the divide?
by Lieutenant Matthew Austin, University Police Department
A presentation and encouraged discussion on the intersections of LGBTQI communities and Law Enforcement over the last 40 (or so) years. An emphasis will be placed on victimization of members and under reporting of LGBTQI victims.

The Intersectionality of Men and Sexual Assault Prevention
by Jeremiah Knowles
Attendees will learn about the intersectionality of men and sexual assault prevention. The role of men in sexual assault prevention is two fold, not only to support women who stand against sexual assault and speak out, but to decrease the rate at which sexual assault occurs by changing men’s attitudes towards gender equality and consent. Increasingly, research is showing that peer led programs focusing on redefining masculinity and incorporate a deep respect for women and their autonomy has had a powerful effect at reducing toxic masculine norms and the objectification of women. In this approach, men are needed to engage other men to change the social dynamic away from sexist behavior and sexist humor towards gender equality. The goal of this session is to talk about the role of men in sexual assault prevention, and what SUNY Geneseo is doing to get men-identified students involved.

Oppression Faced in Black Greek Life
by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
The members of the Zeta Iota Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. plan to have a presentation to dispel the myths of multicultural greek organizations and help the Geneseo community understand why these greek organizations were created and why they are important to the community.

Nothing Goes Without Saying: Geneseo and The Arc
by Gillian Paku, Christian Alfieri, David Beyea, Virginia Eley, Kim Faulkner, Laura Newton, Krystin Petzoldt, Autumn Piletz, Emma Ranney, Sean Welch
Students in the English Department and members of the LIVES program and The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming have been working together on highly flexible approaches to talking about ourselves. On this panel, both Arc and SUNY Geneseo presenters join their voices in literal and figurative ways to share stories from a traditionally underrepresented group, individuals with developmental disabilities. Where typical narrative isn’t the most effective method of communicating, we employ different technologies and media. Some students pair with individuals to help write difficult end-of-life narratives, but also write self-reflectively about the challenges of that experience. In celebrating the reciprocity at the heart of service learning, we point out that when we become aware of our assumptions about effective communication and advocacy, nothing “goes without saying.”

What's in a Name?
by Diversity and Inclusion Community Educators (DICE): Karilyn Nieves & Shekiqua Reid
Names are a key part of our identities, and they can also tie heavily into our cultures and backgrounds. This Wokeshop focuses on why names are so important to us even when they may be taken for granted, and also helps us to explore the significance of our own names.

Culturally Responsive Classrooms through Critical Literacy and Learning
by Thea Yurkewecz, PhD and Crystal Simmons, PhD
This session examines how we are preparing educators and students to promote social justice action through the use of children’s literature and primary sources.   Join us as we share resources that give voice to those traditionally silenced or marginalized and strategies to promote critical conversations.

Teaching with a Focus on Social Justice
Melanie Medeiros, PhD and Jennifer Guzmán, PhD
This session, facilitated by faculty from the Department of Anthropology, will provide an opportunity for participants to consider how social justice can be adopted as a principle in our teaching. Centering our discussion on the college mission "to advance knowledge and inspire students to be socially responsible and globally aware citizens," the session will provide an opportunity for participants to share and discuss how social justice and our teaching practice can relate to and promote our college values of civic responsibility and sustainability. The facilitators will open this conversation by sharing from their own experiences with applying a social justice framework in introductory courses, upper-division methods courses, and student research mentorship.

If I were you, and you were me.
by Donat De La Cruz of the Geneseo Poet’s Society
Using writing as a medium of restorative justice we explore personification as a form embodying an entity other than our own.

Language: The Ebb and Flow of Power
by Kazon Robinson
To bring about dialogue on what language means for all of us. What power dynamics come from learning one language over another? Furthermore, what words describe what and what things do not have words for.

Hearing from Our Neighbors: Local Im/migrant Farmworkers Share Their Stories
by Student Coalition for Migrant Workers Jennifer Guzmán, PhD, and Melanie Medeiros, PhD
This panel features presentations by members of Alianza Agrícola, a local im/migrant farmworker organization that is focused on advocating for immigrant rights in New York State. Each panelist will share a little about their own personal story. Attendees will learn about makeup of the local Latin American immigrant community, what work in the dairy industry is like, and major challenges facing immigrants today. Panelists will talk about the difficulties posed by lack of access to driver's licenses and share information about the Green Light: Driving Together campaign, which is focused on ensuring equal access to driver’s licenses for all residents of New York State, regardless of immigration status.  Members of the Student Coalition for Migrant Workers will talk about the initiatives they are involved in to support local migrant and immigrant workers. Attendees will walk away with tangible action items they can take to support the local immigrant community. This panel is organized by the SUNY Geneseo Student Coalition for Migrant Workers and Department of Anthropology faculty Jennifer Guzmán and Melanie Medeiros.

Uncovering Your Personal Bias Through Theatre of the Oppressed
by Sharon M. Peck, PhD and Tracy Cretelle
What role does our personal narrative play in developing our personal bias? The goal of the session is to engage participants in theatre of the oppressed techniques aimed at active exploration of our own identity and bias. We will explore ways to acknowledge and move beyond our understanding so that we can act without bias. We will seek ways to eliminate barriers that prevent us from seeing the whole person, rather than a cultural identity. Participants will collaborate with others to break down barriers and explore ways to eliminate institutional racism and bias.

Privy to Your Privilege
by Diversity and Inclusion Community Educators (DICE): Margaux Carmel & Kevin Vazcones
By looking at the different personal and social identities that build up each individual, we're able to see how each of those pieces impact their perspective and privilege. This Wokeshop focuses on the deep impact each of these identities have, as well as acknowledging how to properly use them to be a better ally.

Learning from Unheard Voices: Campus Climate and Underrepresented Students’ Experiences
by Atsushi Tajima, PhD, and Monica Schneider, PhD
This session explores the college experiences of underrepresented students, with a focus on how faculty/staff can help create a campus climate that is inclusive and supportive to all students. Our Community Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion reads, “We recognize that our own identities are many and varied, forged by culture, circumstance, and choice. Some of us inhabit multiple identities where histories of exclusion or injustice intersect.” Yet, there are many student voices and perspectives that we often do not hear. We can learn much from those voices to create a better campus climate. We will present two studies examining Geneseo’s campus climate issues from the perspective of underrepresented students. Both quantitative data on how faculty/staff support is experienced by students and impacts student outcomes and qualitative data based on focus groups with students with diverse identities will be presented. We will emphasize major themes that emerged across both studies. A panel of students representing diverse identities will discuss how those issues/themes have impacted their personal experiences at Geneseo. The goal is for participants to engage in meaningful dialogue regarding their role in creating a campus climate where all members are valued and can thrive.

The Power of (Counter)-Narratives: A Focus on Identity
by Miguel Baique, McNair| Access Opportunity Programs
This session will allow participants to understand their dominant and minoritized identities in the various spaces they enter. By being open and vulnerable with “story-telling” practices, participants will share their narratives and experiences to understand how their identities (dominant or minoritized) affect their behaviors in the various spaces they enter. Participants will also hear the narratives and experiences of those that hold the “opposite” identity in similar spaces.

Ally: Noun vs. Verb
by Diversity and Inclusion Community Educators (DICE): Margaux Carmel & Morgan Hernandez
Being an ally can be a complicated idea, as many times we don’t know where to start. This Wokeshop will explain what it means to be an ally, and ways that anyone can become and act as an ally to marginalized communities.

Deliberative Dialogue: Identifying the Gaps in Mental Health Care
Beth Cholette, PhD, RYT, Sarah Covell, LMHC, NCC, Laura Swanson, LCSW
Join the presenters for a discussion of accessible and appropriate mental health care.  We would especially like to hear from those who have had challenges obtaining or receiving appropriate treatment due to factors such as culture, race, identify, stigma, (dis)ability, finances, or other concerns.  We invite you to sign our poster "What My Counselor Needs to Know About My Identify" as a means to have a voice.  (Note: posters may be displayed at this year's Mental Health Town Hall on March 11th at 4 p.m., Newton 204.)

You might be a redneck…
by Christa Aldrich
I am a descendent of an original redneck. This session will explore the origin of the term “redneck”. We will discuss the negative connotations associated with the term. I will present an alternate point of view, by presenting historical information on coal miners in Appalachia who were striking for better working conditions. I will share some data on the current state of the job market, lack of education and social issues in Appalachia.

2021 Keynote - Qurrat Ann Kadwani

Geneseo alum Qurrat Ann Kadwani is an actress, producer, MC, TV Host and philanthropist. Her one woman show 'They Call Me Q' played Off-Broadway at St. Luke’s Theatre in NYC. Her keynote focused on representation of BIPOC in media, and promoting social change through theater, dance, and other special events, as she has done through her multicultural not-for-profit organization eyeBLINK.

2020 Keynote - Dr. Omékongo Dibinga

Dr. Omékongo Dibinga author of 'The UPstander’s Guide to an Outstanding Life' a life balance book for students, has the mission to inspire all across the globe to take a stand when they witness an injustice, no matter how small or large. His keynote lead a focus on Finding Common Ground in Uncommon Times.

2019 Keynote - Dennis Childs

Dennis Childs, author of 'Slaves of the State: Black Incarceration from the Chain Gang to the Penitentiary', lead a keynote on creating a Social-Justice-Centered Approach to Diversity. As a scholar-activist, Dennis has worked with various social justice organizations including the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, All of Us or None, and the Chicano Mexicano Prison Project.

The Diversity Summit Planning Committee includes representatives from the Office of Diversity & Equity, the President’s Commission on Diversity and Community, Student Association and Student Senate and members of our campus community. 

Quick Facts

  • Date: February 16, 2022
  • Cost: FREE
  • No Classes!
  • Concurrent Sessions All Day! 
  • Anyone Can Participate!

Schedule and pre-registration

LIVE Captioning for the keynote will be provided by Vital Signs LLC click here to follow along!

2022 Diversity Summit Keynote Speaker 

2022 Keynote Diversity Summit Speaker Keith Boykin

Keith Boykin is a CNN political commentator, New York Times best-selling author, and a former White House aide to President Bill Clinton. Boykin teaches at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University in New York and previously taught at American University in Washington, D.C. He is a co-founder and first board president of the National Black Justice Coalition. He was a co-host of the BET Networks talk show “My Two Cents,” starred on the Showtime reality television series “American Candidate,” was an associate producer of the film “Dirty Laundry,” and he has appeared on many other TV shows, including BET’s “Being Mary Jane.” A graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School, Boykin is a Lambda Literary Award-winning author of four books. He lives in New York City.