Global Initiative 2020-21 AnnouncedNovember 16, 2020
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – In conjunction with the State University of New York’s “64 Changes on 64 Campuses” initiative to reaffirm SUNY’s system-wide commitment to diversity, SUNY Orange announces its 2020-21 Global Initiative theme will be “Confronting Racism in America.”
The College’s Global Initiative programming will include a modest schedule of virtual lectures, panels and symposia between now and the end of the College’s academic year in May that will support a deeper understanding of the historical, cultural, political and social dimensions of racism within the United States.
“SUNY Orange has a long history of embracing diversity and inclusion, and promoting universal access to our academic curricula, student services and campus communities,” said Dr. Kristine Young, SUNY Orange president. “We cemented our commitment in 2016 with the creation of a formal Diversity and Inclusion Plan. That five-year plan will sunset in 2021, so I am excited about the opportunity for our College to use the lessons we learn from our Global Initiative to inform a transformative new plan for 2022 and beyond.
“I am most appreciative of the work Paul Basinski and our Global Studies Department have done in leading this initiative,” Young added, “along with support provided by our Cultural Affairs staff, SUNY Orange Foundation, and our Committee for Institutional Diversity and Equity.”
“Through our Global Initiative programming, we will affirm the need for diversity and inclusivity at all levels of society,” said Basinski, who is chair of the College’s Global Studies Department. “We will involve experts from our College community, students and other recognized authorities, and will attempt to foster greater discussion among our internal and external communities.”
The Global Initiative will kick off with a moderated panel on race and racism scheduled via Zoom technology for 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 1. Basinski will moderate the panel, which will feature Elizabeth Tarvin, associate professor of education; Madeline Torres-Diaz, associate vice president for student engagement and completion; Lisa Zylberberg, instructor of nursing; Dr. Greg Geddes, associate professor of history; JoAnne Gordon-Burton, chair of the Committee for Institutional Diversity and Equity; and SUNY Orange students Johnathan Linton and Nesa Harris.
The discussion will explore the challenges of race and racism within this region, and the nation, from a personal and professional perspective, examining both the problems and potential solutions.
A keynote event is planned for the Spring, and additional sessions will be announced as they are finalized. Basinski indicated the College hopes to create a digital archive of the Global Initiative so the discussions can be shared and revisited in the future.
This Fall, SUNY Orange offered, for the first time, a history course entitled “Diversity and Inclusion: the American Experience” taught by Professor Michael McCoy. The online course is designed to present a social history of diversity and inclusion in the United States. The curriculum seeks to provide students with a deeper understanding of the historical, political, cultural, and theoretical bases of diversity, inclusion and exclusion; and have students consider the history of the United States from the perspective of groups traditionally excluded, marginalized or written out of the American narrative. The course was developed with support from a SUNY grant received by the College.
Students from the College’s visual communications program were commissioned to conceptualize and develop digital posters to showcase the Global Initiative for 2020-21. The design submitted by Elizabeth Kyle, of Walden, was selected as the winner by a panel of faculty and staff, and will be featured on the College’s Global Initiative website and social media accounts to help promote the Global Initiative.