SUNY events will teach students to avoid 'microaggressions' and 'implement racial perspectives in reporting'

One DEI conference will focus on '[r]ecognizing and addressing power, privilege, and difference,' 'Gender Equity,' and 'Restorative Justice Initiatives,' among other topics.

State University of New York (SUNY) schools will host several events focused on “diversity” in 2024. 

SUNY Geneseo plans to host its Diversity Summit, “Taking Action: Advancing Equity at Geneseo,” on Feb. 27. SUNY Geneseo’s last Diversity Summit had sessions titled “Avoiding Ableism and Becoming an Ally,” “Developing and Enhancing STEM DEI Actions,” and “Student-to-Student Microaggressions: Implementing change and becoming an ally.”

[RELATED: UVM’s 2024 DEI event lineup includes ‘Inclusive Excellence Symposium’]

SUNY Brockport’s “Creating Brave Spaces” Diversity Conference takes place March 27. The school called on participants to send in proposals related to DEI topics such as “[r]ecognizing and addressing power, privilege, and difference,” “Gender Equity,” “Restorative Justice Initiatives,” and more, according to the event page.

SUNY Brockport’s 2023 diversity conference featured events including “English Adolescence Education Roundtable: YA Literature and Social Justice,” in which students discussed “how Young Adult literature . . . storytelling can foster dialogue about social and political topics, promote equity and inclusion, and foster empathy and understanding,” and “Re-writing the ‘Privilege Walk’: A Participatory Experience Moving Alongside the Experiences of Others,” in which “the attendees . . . reflect[ed] on their privilege and their unique experiences.”

SUNY Brockport’s 2023 conference also featured a journalist who discussed “how and why to implement racial perspectives in reporting” and “the role journalists have in tackling racial and social inequities.”

Dylan, a SUNY Brockport sophomore studying political science, thinks diversity conferences are beneficial even if they don’t always lead to concrete changes: “I do think alot [sic] of the kind of flag waving and such is mostly for show, i [sic] doubt many college policies get created or changed based on these events, but part of the purpose is simply to try and expose the student body to the minorities that make it up to one another to hopefully reduce any biases that people might have,” Dylan told Campus Reform

Jacob, who also attends SUNY Brockport, told Campus Reform: “I feel like diversity conferences can be a positive thing, as when people come to college sometimes they don’t have knowledge about topics covered in these conferences,” but added, “I feel that most students do not care or pay attention to these conferences.”

[RELATED: University hosts a ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ themed business conference]

SUNY Oneonta will host its 13th annual Student Diversity & Leadership Conference on March 23. The conference will consist of a “series of panels, talks, roundtables, artistic expressions, posters, and workshops that consider the concepts of solidarity, equity, and justice,” according to the conference’s page.

SUNY Cortland will host its 14th Annual Student Diversity Conference on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice on Nov. 2. In 2021, Cortland’s conference included sessions such as “Racial Disparities Against the LGBTQ+ Community,” “Diversity in Higher Education: The Gap Between Students and Employees,” “Social Justice for All,” and more.

Campus Reform asked Suny Cortland to clarify the conference’s purpose. The school replied: “The conference seeks to promote open-mindedness, celebrate diversity and promote awareness of divergent views on college campus and within communities.”

Campus Reform reached out to SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Brockport, and SUNY Oneonta for comment. The article will be updated accordingly. 

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