CUNY Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Conference 2023

The Illusion of Inclusion:
Collaborative Solutions for Performative Diversity

Thursday, March 30, 2023 - Friday, March 31, 2023

Thursday, March 30 Workshop Sessions

Fostering Student Advocacy in the Classroom: Empowering Students to Explore What it Means to Belong in Higher Education

Track: Designing Inclusive Pedagogies

Panel

For a number of years, faculty and staff in the Department of Social Work at Lehman College attempted individually and collectively to make our curriculum and culture more inclusive, responsive to and representative of our study body, and anti-racist. However, it took a groundswell from students to effectuate systemic change. In this panel, we describe a movement led by students that resulted in a committee composed of students, faculty, and alumni designed to holistically change the department to one that is explicitly anti-racist in all areas. Initiated by Master of Social Work (MSW) students, the committee called SW Heals (Social Workers Honoring Education with Anti-Racist Learning Standards) began in 2020. Some major contributions from the committee include a complete evaluation and overhaul of our curriculum, a revision of our mission statement, and implementation of an alumni-led anti-racist training program.

Jay Chopra
Acad Program Specl
John Jay College

Creating Social Justice with Computational Thinking: Teacher Education & STEM Fields

Tracks: Designing Inclusive Pedagogies

Presentation

Teacher educators are driven to develop and support the next generation of future teachers through exposure to subject matter knowledge, pedagogical theories and practices, and supervision of meaningful clinical experiences. CUNY students come from many backgrounds and present a varied degree of proficiency and expertise in their disciplines. Their engagement is the CUNY classroom is essential for their success. This is an especial challenge in the STEM fields where research has demonstrated that the US may be falling behind in the development of skills needed to be competitive in a global economy. Indeed, the pandemic has exacerbated a series of stressors, not the least of which is STEM anxiety in this new digital environment. Two Medgar Evers faculty will provide an analysis of students who are biology majors, childhood ed majors, and early childhood majors, all of whom are required to demonstrate their understanding and knowledge of STEM concepts. Examples will demonstrate how teacher candidates’ understanding the concept of Computational Thinking ideas and practices will improve without and with use of computing devices. Effective strategies will also promote social justice and equity for pre-service teachers (PSTs) in a post-pandemic world through creativity, collaboration, and communication.

Shiraz S. Mujtaba
Professor
Medgar Evers College
Rupam Saran
Professor
Medgar Evers College

Getting Started with Using Trauma-informed Teaching and Learning in the Classroom

Track: Physical & Mental Health Pre- & Post Quarantine: Our New Syndemic Normal

Workshop

Drs. Emma Tsui and Spring Cooper will present on the Public Health Education Now (PHEN) Oral History Project. This project asks students, faculty and staff at CUNY SPH how our lived experiences since 2020 have shaped our vision of what we want public education to be. We’ll discuss the oral history interviews that the team conducted, focusing on experiences of not only the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the increased visibility of racism and other oppressions, and movements for racial justice that are reverberating both in and out of the classroom. The results of this project have asked us to be more intentional about our pedagogy; demanding that we incorporate trauma-informed teaching into our repertoire. This workshop will cover trauma-informed principles, how to apply them, and workshop classroom examples with participants.

Spring Cooper
Associate Professor
CUNY School of Public Health
Emma K. Tsui
Associate Professor
CUNY School of Public Health

Inclusivity Beyond Numbers: Asian/Asian American and Pacific Islanders at CUNY

Track: Organizational Equity - Systems/People/Culture

Presentation

Neo-assimilation theory suggests that cultural, economic, and social parity with native-born, White Americans results in successful immigrant assimilation into mainstream United States (Alba and Nee 2004; Bean and Stevens 2005). Yet, despite aggregate Asian Americans’ ascendance in socioeconomic status, they are still met with prejudice and discrimination based on their race. At the same time, mainstream understandings of race and racism do not include the Asian American experience. As such, Asian American elite professionals – physicians, professors, and attorneys – do not necessarily attribute race to their treatment because they have “made it” by all markers of success. However, despite achievement, race, foreignization, and presumed difference continue to control elite Asian American professionals’ interactions with colleagues, patients, students, and clients. These experiences further reify white/nonwhite boundaries between those who truly belong and those who do not.

Yung-Yi Diana Pan
Associate Professor
Brooklyn College

Pedagogy Grounded in Reality: Incorporating Chattel Slavery's Contribution to Business & Management into Curricula

Track: Designing Inclusive Pedagogies

Workshop

Traditionally, the fundamentals of management teaching have been aligned with the belief that conventional management theories were separate and apart from the institution of chattel slavery and the management of race (Aufhauser, 1973; Blackmon, 2008; Cooke, 2003; Roediger & Esch, 2012). As a contribution to the academy, this workshop will present a qualitative study that examined the exclusion of chattel slavery in the teaching of the history of American business (Baptist, 2014; Katznelson, 2005). Faculty are encouraged to enhance their research knowledge to include the true origins of business and management concepts, providing a throughline to current management practices that include harassment, coercion, and even brutality as part of a routine management dictum. Future faculty will gain the requisite tools to acknowledge that the origin of management tenets is historically connected to the practice of chattel slavery (Aufhauser, 1973; Cooke, 2003).

TARA BARCA
Lecturer Doc Sch
School of Professional Studies
Dr. Linda Ridley
Lecturer Doc Sch
Hostos CC

Cultivating a BRES Community at CUNY

Track: Designing Inclusive Pedagogies

Join BRESI leaders and student participants in a lively discussion about the impact of the Black, Race, and Ethnic Studies Initiative at CUNY. We’ll reflect on the initiative’s ambitious goals, hear about emerging accomplishments, and discuss how this CUNY-wide collaboration to drive change and build community in this important space across the University is progressing. We look forward to audience participation in an engaging conversation about hopes and plans for the future of BRES at CUNY.

The Black, Race and Ethnic Studies Initiative (BRESI), generously funded by the Mellon Foundation, seeks to reimagine and further develop University programs in Black, Race and Ethnic Studies CUNY-wide. In Fall 2022, a total of 126 competitive grants totaling $1.8 million were awarded to CUNY faculty, staff and entities including centers and institutes to seed promising work advancing BRESI’s mission. An additional $250,000 was awarded to the CUNY Graduate Center to develop a Ph.D. Program in Black, Race and Ethnic Studies. This new multidisciplinary program intends to expand existing BRES academic programs at CUNY and build on their contributions to this interdisciplinary academic field. The newly established BRESI Collaboration Hub will support the development of the Ph.D. program.

Grisel Acosta
Professor
Bronx CC
Anthony P. Browne
Assc Professor
Hunter College
Tsedale Melaku
Asst Professor
Baruch College
Rachel Stephenson
Univ Chief Trnsf Off-UAdm
Central Office
Van C. Tran
Assc Professor
Graduate Center

The Inclusive Workplace

Track: Organizational Equity - Systems/People/Culture

Workshop

In sum, The Inclusive Workplace is a training that addresses various misconceptions which could lead to conflict in the workplace due to diverse thoughts and beliefs. The training focuses on how to avoid those misconceptions and how to co-exist and contribute to a healthy work environment. Attendees are also provided information on how to file discrimination on the bases of race, religion and various other protected classes or activities. CUNY's Nondiscrimination Policy, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin and ancestry (among many other protected classes) is incorporated into this training.

Anthony Brown
Executive Chief Diversity Officer and Special Assistant to the President
Brooklyn College

The Perennial Challenge of the Italian American in Higher Education

Panel

Culturally responsive curricula development must include a broad outreach to ensure that the inclusion part of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion engages all groups who have experienced discrimination in the educational sphere rather than choosing select groups or communities that have been targeted more recently. That there has been a challenge for the Italian American in higher education is well-documented, especially at The City University of New York where Italian Americans are considered an affirmative action category. Despite supposed attention to the issues of discrimination and underutilization, the percentage of faculty and staff who claim Italian American as their heritage group has declined in the 46-plus years since then Chancellor Kibbee pronounced this decree. The aim of this presentation is to highlight the continued failures of the efforts to include Italian Americans and offer a curricular approach to address the perennial challenge.

Stephen Cerulli
Lecturer
Hostos Community College
Donna Chirico
Professor
York College
Anthony Julian Tamburri
Dn Calandra Institute
Queens College

Confronting Professional Inequities in Faculty Development Programs

Track: Organizational Equity - Systems/People/Culture

Panel Presentation

When faculty commit to open teaching practices and using open resources, they are instrumental to increasing student access to knowledge and economic equity. While embracing openness can be transformative to teaching, the process is not immune to systemic issues of organizational (in)equity. CUNY has a strong record of OER work, often positioned as advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the academy. In this presentation, a pair of OER practitioners / library faculty will explore how they address labor stratification and grapple with inequitable professional designations in designing faculty development programs. Utilizing an ethic of care in teaching as a loose framework, presenters will share encounters with structural impasses, how power dynamics and teacher identity figure into their work, and actions they have taken to challenge organizational inequity. Questions to be explored include how to offer professional development opportunities that don’t exclude faculty in stratified labor designations (adjunct, tenure-track, etc.).

Cailean S. Cooney
Assc Professor-Librarian
NYC College of Technology
Joanna Thompson
Adjunct OER Librarian
New York City College of Technology

CUNY Students Communicate Slavery Histories to Thousands of Towns and Cities

Tracks: Designing Inclusive Pedagogies; Organizational Equity - Systems/People/Culture

Panel

Begun in 2017 and permanently located at https://nesri.commons.gc.cuny.edu/,the Northeast Slavery Records Index (NESRI) is an ongoing digital public history initiative that currently indexes over 64,000 original records of slavery from the 1500s through the 1860s in eight northeastern states from New Jersey to Maine. NESRI provides free reports on slavery records to thousands of towns, cities and counties. The reports instantly deliver comprehensive documentation of slavery records for each locality. This project is partially supported by an American Council of Learned Societies Digital Justice Grant, funding searches for and indexing of additional records of enslavement. It is also supported by CUNY’s Black, Race and Ethnic Studies Initiative. (BRESI) The project engages students in original historical research to enhance and expand documentation of slavery, and to diversify the historical record by reconstituting records of enslaved persons as individuals.

Ned Benton
Professor
John Jay College
Judy-Lynne Peters
Lecturer Doc Sch
John Jay College

Lessons from the Sharing Economy: Addressing Student Homelessness

Tracks: From Data to Action; Organizational Equity -Systems/People/Culture; Physical & Mental Health Pre- & Post Quarantine: Our New Syndemic Normal

Workshop

This workshop addresses the needs of the homeless and housing insecure among CUNY students. Whispers of an unidentified homeless population among college students has been increasing and will continue to grow as inflation hinders students’ ability to earn a sustainable wage without a safety net. Affordable housing in NY is scarce, making CUNY students particularly vulnerable. This problem is often swept under the rug or deemed unsolvable, exacerbated by undocumented cases due to feelings of shame and embarrassment which leads students to conceal their plight. This highly interactive workshop attempts to identify potential solutions as well as develop a pilot proposal in order to actively address this issue. The sharing economy was designed to match underutilized resources with individuals in need of them. This workshop takes lessons from the sharing economy to create a practical framework to take action as a first step in addressing this problem.

Laura Sue Rifkin
Asst Professor
Brooklyn College

Moving from Headspace to Heartspace: Inclusion through Contemplative and Anti-Racist Practices

Track: Organizational Equity - Systems/People/Culture

Workshop with some Presentation Components

This session will explore moving from the traditional headspace of academia to the heart-space, while learning about DEI Fridays at Baruch College (organized by the Marxe School DEI Committee and funded by BRESI). The program’s objectives are to deepen our understanding of equity and justice; to build community around our shared humanity; and to learn practical strategies to transform our institution by centering the voices and experiences of traditionally marginalized groups. In this session, we will use contemplative practices (meditation, deep listening, and journaling), active learning, and anti-racist principles to embody education as the practice of freedom, hope, and love (bell hooks, 1994, 2003). Participants will learn how to organize a session grounded in the heart-space by experiencing one. Participants will reflect on their own identities (mirrors), learn about the experiences of those with different identities than their own (windows), and bridge differences by engaging in one-on-on connection (doors).

Cristina M Balboa
Assc Professor
Baruch College
Anna DSouza
Associate Professor
Baruch College

The Transformative Power of Social Justice Humor: Jewish Humor as a Specific Example

Tracks: Designing Inclusive Pedagogies; Organizational Equity - Systems/People/Culture; Physical & Mental Health Pre- & Post Quarantine: Our New Syndemic Normal

Panel

Some humor, while making us laugh, contains shadows of hostility toward those who cause strife – the racists, the bigots, the unaware and uneducated. Although humor can perpetuate and preserve stereotypes, it can also redress a wide variety of prejudices and preconceptions. Humor may not have been a powerful enough weapon to overthrow despotic regimes such as, for example, the US during slavery, Nazi Germany, or the former Soviet Union, but it did provide hope to the oppressed. Humor can educate the educable, counter stereotypes and, if all else fails, possibly get even. Humor provides marginalized groups with psychological strength, and enables them to rise above despair and hopelessness. Jewish humor is used here as a specific example of how humor has been used over hundreds of years to help survive oppression and teach the history of a people.

Hershey H. Friedman
Professor, Business
Brooklyn College
Linda Friedman
Professor
Baruch College

The Impact of Connecting and Mentoring Marginalized Faculty in Academia

Track: Organizational Equity - Systems/People/Culture

Panel

Non-marginalized faculty within higher education have long benefited from informal knowledge networks and mentorships that are often inaccessible to marginalized faculty. Without such networking and mentoring opportunities, marginalized faculty often can not understand the expectations of tenure and promotion committees, advance their careers, or band together to fight against injustices. Fortunately, there is a growing network of marginalized academics who are able to create new networks and mentorship programs to support marginalized junior faculty. In this presentation, four marginalized CUNY academics (including two junior academics) speak on the critical impact that accessing knowledge and mentors has had on their career and on their ability to overcome obstacles related to being first-generation academics, revise cultural barriers towards asking and accepting help, balance parenthood with academia, and garner senior faculty supporters. Finally, they share insider secrets on how to attain tenure and promotion as a marginalized junior faculty member.

Tanzina Ahmed
Assc Professor
Kingsborough CC
Catherine Ma
Professor
Kingsborough CC
Joseph Verdino
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Kingsborough Community College
Midori Yamamura
Assc Professor
Kingsborough CC

Bringing Black Joy and BIPOC History and Pop Culture into the Community College Classroom

Tracks: Designing Inclusive Pedagogies

Presentation

In this panel, Drs. RaShelle Peck and Jayashree Kamblé discuss ways to center Black and POC experiences in the classroom through the lens of wonder and positive emotions.

For Dr. Peck, one of our answers to Black precarity should be a commitment to abolitionist teaching that both upends power structures that disenfranchise students and grounds the classroom in the radical search for beauty, as such approaches create spaces of nurture that attend to Black suffering. When we intentionally build abolitionist classrooms that include notions of wonder, students can experience joy, freedom, and curiosity. Her presentation will cover how she incorporates wonder in the classroom through pedagogy, taking up Sylvia Wynter’s inquiry, but what does wonder do, to consider how classrooms can be abolitionist spaces. In assignments, she builds concepts of wonder into how students examine Black politics, Africana histories, and decolonizing philosophies. For example, she asks students to complete a project that centers imagination, creativity, and academic rigor, which accomplishes three things: pushes students to examine course readings thoroughly and comprehensively; has them produce reflections on readings that incorporate artistic elements; and has them envision themselves in conversation with the authors that students read and as a part of the historical events that are covered. Ultimately, she intends for such assignments to tap into the imaginative impulses that should be central to learning.

For Dr. Kamblé, while almost 90% of the students at LaGuardia Community College identify as BIPOC, they do not see their communities’ optimistic stories and histories in the curriculum. But teaching romance novels like Office Hours (2020) in the college’s English First Year Seminar has revealed that students perk up when they read about people falling in love—people they identify with and whose authors resemble them. With the support of a CUNY Black, Race, and Indigenous Studies Initiatives (BRESI) grant, she aims to infuse literature and writing courses with her research on the forgotten work(s) of BIPOC writers and editors in mass-market romance publishing. The classes can be further enlivened when she introduces LaGuardia students to obscured BIPOC contributions to popular American literary culture. She plans to design lessons and assignments that model how to counter such erasure. Sandra Kitt’s Color of Love (1995), for instance, pairs a Black heroine with a white NYPD officer; by reading it closely, students can examine themes of inter-racial love, policing, feminism, and New York in the 1980s, and also research Kitt’s road to publishing success. The goal is to keep LaGuardia’s English major and its Liberal Arts as well as Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies offerings in step with our present moment, and prepare students for higher-level thinking on race and romance, whether in a Bachelor’s degree program after transfer or outside the academic classroom.

Jayashree S. Kamble
Professor
LaGuardia CC
RaShelle Peck
Asst Professor
Borough of Manhattan CC

We Can Only Teach What We Practice: Reparative Social Justice & Narrative Med @ CSOM

Track: From Data to Action

Panel

The Narrative Medicine Track of Distinction at CSOM centers principles of healing through interconnected creative and academic arts as essential to student learning. This pedagogical framework lives in the classroom, in the development of educational programming, and in the work environment that is informed and shaped by the diverse experiences and knowledge of our faculty and board of advisors. Narrative Medicine offers our learning community strategies and practices including: self-reflection through close reading and writing, and attentiveness to the lived experiences of others, building the capacity of our students, educators, and staff to express empathy and solidarity towards one another. It assists CSOM in creating responsive and inclusive spaces to meet the diverse needs of our community, reimagining the arts as integral to medical education. This panel will explore how our team structures student engagement, educational experiences, and administrative meetings from a holistic, self-care focused, and trauma-informed point of view.

Samantha Barrick
Lecturer & Director of The Humanities in Medicine Program
CUNY School of Medicine
Antoinette Cooper
CUNY School of Medicine
Mario de la Cruz
Lecturer
CUNY School of Medicine
Tonya Hegamin
Associate Professor
Medgar Evers College
MaryAnne Marshall
Research Analyst
Jersey Shore University Medical Center
Maura Spiegel
Co-Director for the Division of Narrative Medicine, Department of Humanities and Ethics
Columbia University

From Margin to Center: Queer & Trans Advocacy at CUNY

Track: Organizational Equity - Systems/People/Culture; Physical & Mental Health Pre- & Post Quarantine: Our New Syndemic Normal

Panel

This panel discussion will discuss where we are today in meeting the diverse needs of LGBTQ students at CUNY. Enrolling almost a quarter of a million students per year, the University likely represents the largest population of LGBTQ+-identified college students in the NYC metropolitan area. Yet the needs of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals within the CUNY system (students, faculty, and staff) have historically been critically underserved. Egregious violations of the Gender Identity/Gender Expression law (established by the New York City Commission on Human Rights) have been documented over the past five years. Following widespread cross-campus advocacy through the University LGBTQ Council and Wellness Centers, there are now significant improvements. Panelists will discuss the current status of preferred names and gender identification at CUNY, access to gender neutral bathrooms, mental health support, student engagement within and outside of the classroom, trainings designed for faculty and staff, and offer a useful roadmap forward for the larger CUNY community

Bibi Amin
Admissions Counselor & Pipeline to Justice Liaison
CUNY School of Law
Elvis Bakaitis
Instructor-Librarian
Graduate Center
Spring Cooper
Associate Professor
CUNY School of Public Health
Jeremiah Jurkiewicz
Student Life Specl
College of Staten Island
Jan Oosting
Assistant Professor of Nursing
CUNY School of Professional Studies

Building a Sustainable Anti-Racist and Restorative Community on Campus

Tracks: Designing Inclusive Pedagogies; Organizational Equity - Systems/People/Culture; Physical & Mental Health Pre- & Post Quarantine: Our New Syndemic Normal

Panel

Organized by Co-PIs of the Campus Climate BRESI grant Addressing Racism on Campus with Restorative Practices, this panel presents anti-racist projects grounded in restorative justice at Lehman College. We highlight our focus on actionable activities. Each presentation shows how engaged dialogues take place on our campus, and how they aim to call out white supremacist structures and enact strategies to counter them on campus. As a group, we illustrate how to engage the campus community on anti-racist and restorative justice actions, with an overview of the work being done at Lehman College during challenging times.

Takiyah Ali
Acad Program Dir
Lehman College
Austin Bailey
Ph.D. Candidate, English
CUNY Graduate School and University Center
Evelyn Duran Urrea
Asst Professor
Lehman College
Sophia Hsu
Asst Professor
Lehman College
David Hyman
Assc Professor
Lehman College
David Manier
Assc Professor
Lehman College
Sarah Ohmer
Assc Professor
Lehman College
Mary Phillips
Assc Professor
Lehman College
Ruby S. Phillips
Assc Professor
Lehman College

Closing the SUNY/CUNY Faculty Access Gap for Minority Students

Track: From Data to Action; Organizational Equity - Systems/People/Culture

Presentation

Professor Benton authored the CUNY University Faculty Senate study on the “faculty gap” which is available online: https://ufsbac.commons.gc.cuny.edu/. The study found that, between 2003 and 2019 in senior colleges, SUNY’s faculty positions grew almost twice as fast as enrollment, while CUNY’s enrollments grew three times faster than CUNY’s faculty positions. As a result, in 2019 the SUNY senior college ratio of faculty per thousand full-time equivalent students was 44% higher than CUNY’s ratio. The study also found that in NY state’s publicly funded (SUNY and CUNY) senior colleges in 2019, white students had substantially greater opportunities for full-time faculty instruction, compared to Black and Hispanic students. Professor Benton will provide updated statistics and explore how $53 million in FY 2022 investments in SUNY and CUNY faculty positions could affect these findings. Are we narrowing the “faculty gap” and are we improving minority student opportunities for access to full-time faculty instruction.

Ned Benton
Professor
John Jay College

Facilitation of Inclusion When Students Manifest Verbal and Expression Differences

Track: Disability Inclusion

Interactive Presentation

The facilitation of inclusion and equity constitutes a perennial social justice mission, a point underscored for students with expression and verbal differences, whether documented or differences which do not fit DSM categories. These students may not express inclusion needs or may express indirectly without clarity. Students need not self-advocate when needs are apparent, but may face self-advocacy challenges when needs are not obvious. Who are these students with expression differences, what are some common issues, and how can faculty and staff assist with the facilitation of inclusion and equity needs? This interactive presentation will address these questions and discuss developing awareness of this growing student subset to remain mindful of their inclusion needs, albeit unexpressed or indirectly indicated, and will focus on engagement and advocacy strategies to move towards improved inclusion and equity. Scenarios will be presented for attendee input of best practices with this population.

Faith Fogelman
Director of The TRiO Student Support Services Program; Adjunct Assistant Professor
Kingsborough Community College

Prioritizing Learning: Transforming CUNY from the Classroom Up

Tracks: Designing Inclusive Pedagogies; Disability Inclusion

Workshop

In this interactive workshop, brief presentations will cover an array of transformative learning methods that structure equity into a classroom, build community, and interrogate the racist and ableist norms that influence teaching and learning. These methods work at any level, at any institution, and in any discipline, and are based on decades of research in the learning sciences showing the efficacy of active learning. As part of each presentation, the audience will engage in a short activity to put these empirically driven, classroom-tested active learning techniques into practice.

Matt Brim
Professor
College of Staten Island
Shelly Eversley
Professor
Baruch College
Christina Katopodis
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Associate Director of Transformative Learning in the Humanities
CUNY Office of Academic Affairs
Khanh Le
Asst Professor
Queens College
Jessica Murray
Director of Digital Communications
CUNY Office of Academic Affairs

The Youth Refugee Crisis: Advocating for Access to Resources for Acclimation in the NYC Public School System

Track: Organizational Equity - Systems/People/Culture

Workshop

Refugees are, by definition, little more than people in crisis. Driven from their homes to escape war, persecution, disaster, or some other painful ailment, refugees flee to the United States in search of a better life for themselves and their children. In 2022, 1,775 refugees were resettled in New York State (Monroe, 2022). The refugees largely came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Afghanistan, Burma, and Ukraine, as well as 57 other countries in crisis (Monroe, 2022). Of these refugees, approximately 40% tend to be under the age of 18 and thus require admission into the education system (Baugh, 2022). Therefore, the increasing need for social justice is a direct response to the continuous growth in the number of refugees from diverse countries. To support teachers, administrators, students in training, and counselors in developing a more thorough understanding of the three levels of advocacy for social justice, this workshop will provide knowledge about the refugee crisis and the necessary tools to develop advocacy on behalf of this group.

Abdelaziz Elmadani
Asst Professor
Brooklyn College
Maya Levinson
Graduate Student
Brooklyn College
Will Saunders
Grad Student
Brooklyn College
Lukas Shayo
Graduate Student
Brooklyn College

Using Participatory Program Planning to Create Inclusive Academic Programs

Track: Designing Inclusive Pedagogies

Workshop

Often when designing inclusive pedagogies, we keep a diverse group of students or perspectives in mind. What if we involved them in the design process of program development? This workshop uses the development of a Bachelors of Arts in Youth Studies as a case study in participatory program design. Participants will learn about how a BA in Youth Studies was developed with input from current Youth Studies Masters students, faculty, alumni, as well as CBO and city agency partners. This workshop will elucidate how a co-design processes may help move us away from illusions of inclusion or performative diversity. The facilitator will share the BA creation story and invite participants to engage in dialogue around a series of questions for collective consideration.

Chanira Rojas
Acad Program Coord
School of Professional Studies
Sarah Zeller-Berkman, PhD
Academic Director, Youth Studies
School of Professional Studies

Sistah’s in the C-Suite When Bureaucracy is Too Much

Track: Organizational Equity - Systems/People/Culture

Presentation

This presentation will provide a valuable perspective on work in higher education—that of a Black woman in leadership roles. The experiences of Black women in educational leadership differ greatly from those of White women and other women of color. Yet, research about the challenges they face, although increasing, is still minimal. It is vital that their lived experiences and voices be heard in order to dismantle the strongholds of racial microaggression, racial battle fatigue, and gendered racial microaggression in academia. The use of the term ‘women and people of color’ distorts and detracts from the specific experiences of Black women, thereby, rendering them invisible. Black women’s experiences are different from those of (White) women, women of color, or people of color, which include men. The presentation will provide an analysis of leadership strategies and effective accomplice-ship that allowed for impactful change and reflect on the challenges that can emerge when leadership shifts and priorities change, especially in DEI work. Because their experiences are so different and are often missing or ignored in scholarship, it is imperative to conduct targeted research and conversations about Black female faculty and administrators to ascertain how their experiences shape their ability to thrive – or not.  

Wendy Nicholson
Confidential Exec Officer-HEO
LaGuardia CC
Kerri-Ann M. Smith
Assc Professor
Queensborough CC

UDL Promotes Inclusion for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties

Track: Designing Inclusive Pedagogies

Presentation

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) guidelines, created by CAST, propose ways to address diversity and disabilities in higher education classrooms by intentionally adjusting the curriculum to suit the students’ learning needs. UDL checkpoints encourage creating intentional designs that instill confidence, provide assignment transparency, and create a sense of belonging.

Madeline Ruggiero
Asst Professor-Librarian
Queensborough CC

We Belong: Creating a Culture of Inclusivity at BMCC

Track: Organizational Equity - Systems/People/Culture

Panel

The “We Belong: Creating a Culture of Inclusivity at BMCC” panel will examine the evolution of the Borough of Manhattan Community College’s (BMCC) Race, Equity, and Inclusion (REI) Steering Committee. REI serves as the “Conscience of the College” and creates a space and culture of true belonging. The Committee leads and supports college-wide efforts to develop strategic and sustainable initiatives to expand inclusive pedagogies; establish vehicles to share information, exchange ideas, and generate knowledge; and identify and challenge informal and formal policies/practices that may pose obstacles to institutional practices. Panelists will assess committee structure and goals; consider strategies to garner investment from the College community and leadership; analyze challenges associated with leading college-wide efforts to strengthen equity, diversity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging; and present community colleges’ unique challenges in building a space to carry out this critical work to establish metrics and achieve meaningful outcomes.

Shenique S. Davis
Associate Professor
Borough of Manhattan Community College
Jenny Fernandez
Race, Equity, & Inclusion Steering Committee Adjunct
Borough of Manhattan Community College
Odelia Levy
Exec Advisor to the President
Borough of Manhattan CC
Pedro Perez
Acad College Discovery Dir
Borough of Manhattan CC