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Russell Sage College embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion as essential components of a rich intellectual and cultural environment in which all members are given the opportunity to reach their full potential as active participants in our local and global society.
We realize that the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion is an evolution that moves us towards our aspirations of a culturally inclusive community. The understanding we gain, as we continually assess our institution, will create informed and intentional transformation.
Russell Sage College is committed to developing policies and programs to create a campus that supports an optimal learning and working environment for all students, alumnae/i, faculty, administrators, and staff.
The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force at Russell Sage College
The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force at Russell Sage College is a newly-convened committee comprised of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni representing members of the college community. The committee recognizes that its overarching goal is to foster and create a more inclusive and supportive climate across the college. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion reflects the context in which Russell Sage College operates. The Task Force acknowledges that to fulfill its vision, it must understand and embrace the full diversity of the communities it serves and respond to the societal realities that affect us all.
The Task Force will…
- foster a supportive climate for diversity across the college
- assess Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) initiatives that are currently in place.
- undertake a campus climate project that will include a DEI climate assessment and will develop a timeline for implementation.
- create a DEI Strategic Plan which will be a blueprint to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, and create a transformative, innovative, and inclusive institution.
- be diligent in creating programming for the campus community which will include promoting a safe and positive climate that is accepting, respectful, and welcoming for constituents of all identities.
- implement a two-way communications plan that will keep campus constituencies informed about the work and charge of the task force and keep the task force informed about the campus climate, especially with respect to issues related to students.
- develop comprehensive strategies for attracting and retaining diverse students, faculty, and staff members.
- establish an inclusive learning and work environment through effective policies and practices and curriculum and pedagogical approaches.
Task Force Members
Cheyenne Baker *
Senior, Double Major in History & Sociology
Assistant Professor, Center for Applied Behavior Analysis
Nicole Collazo *
Junior, Law & Society (Criminal Justice Pathway)
Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Assistant Athletic Director, Senior Woman Administrator
Director of Title IX & EEO Opportunities
Assistant Director, Residence Life
Alumna, R’17, G’19
Senior Director of Marketing & Communications
Associate Professor, Biology & Health Sciences
Assistant Athletic Director/Head Softball Coach
Director of Corporate, Government & Foundation Relations
Professor, Psychology Department, School of Health Sciences
Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry Department
Unit Manager, Student Success
Vincent Pruchnick *
Junior, Childhood/Middle School Education, Concentration in History
Assistant Professor, Graphic & Media Design
Alumna, R’17, G’19
Alumnus, G’20 (M.S., Applied Nutrition)
Assistant Director of Student Activities
The Heritage Committee will be responsible for planning and collaborating (across the college community) cultural programs and initiatives that celebrate and educate the general public, form community, unite and inspire, and enrich the overall campus experience for the many students, faculty, staff, and alumnae/i, and the community at large.
Heritage months are observed in the United States to recognize the profound and positive influence all Americans have had on our nation through the contributions of all cultural heritages that have been woven into the fabric of our nation through perseverance and a strong commitment through family, faith, strong work ethic, and service. Heritage months seek to not only celebrate but to educate. While there are designated heritage month celebrations, we hope to continue to acknowledge the contributions made by all groups of people in the United States throughout the year, not just during the heritage month celebrations.
- Collaborate with departments across the college community to provide cultural programs and initiatives that celebrate and educate.
- Programming (lectures, performances, art exhibits, and special events) that will include meaningful dialogue that will promote the development of cross-cultural and intercultural collaborative efforts among student clubs and organizations, administrative units, and academic departments.
- The Heritage Subcommittee must communicate with the DEI Task Force to ensure alignment of activities and outcomes.
- The Heritage Subcommittee will develop modes of marketing and communication to the campus community.
Conversation Series (Dialogue) Subcommittee
Courageous Conversations is a continuous (sustained) dialogue that examines the current state of affairs and policies in our nation that directly impact our community. The conversation is a type of protocol to effectively engage, sustain, and deepen dialogue. We believe it is necessary to have conversations surrounding social justice issues that critically examine the systems that perpetuate injustice and take action to advance social justice through understanding and exploration of self-awareness and identity, including addressing issues of privilege, oppression, and power. Additionally, exploring the root causes of social issues including an analysis of intersecting injustices on the individual, organizational, and institutional levels. The Courageous Conversation Dialogue will present in multiple formats panel discussions, speakers, moderated led conversations, and round tables.
- Identify and support individuals willing to lead crucial conversations for the on DEI
- Through conversation, we foster understanding, learn from each other, and begin to process difficult thoughts, emotions as well as develop next steps for innovative campus transformation.
- The Conversation Subcommittee must communicate with the other DEI Task Force members to ensure alignment of activities and outcomes.
- The Conversation Subcommittee will develop modes of marketing and communication with the campus community.
Campus Climate Subcommittee
Our purpose is to establish RSC as a welcoming, inclusive, equitable, and safe community for all its members. By analyzing the data gathered, we will be able to develop a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of both our achievements and challenges to inclusive excellence. (Russell Sage College affirms that healthy societies are diverse and inclusive and welcome the creativity of all persons.)
Ahead of the Survey
- In conjunction with appropriate administrative offices, the committee should identify all DEI data available, gaps in desired data, and important questions for future monitoring.
- Student, Staff, and Faculty-led Forums (DEI Ambassadors)- The committee can gather information from forums (with a DEI focus) conducted by various groups.
- Strategic Information Gathering with Students—Identify what is going well, gaps in our focus on DEI, new transformative goals, and ideas for achieving these.
- Strategic Information Gathering with Faculty—Identify what is going well, gaps in our focus on DEI, new transformative goals, and ideas for achieving these.
- Strategic Information Gathering with Staff—Identify what is going well, gaps in our focus on DEI, new transformative goals, and ideas for achieving these.
- Encouraging faculty, staff, and students to attend interviews
- Setting response goals
- Establish timelines for launching and closing the response period
- Develop a general promotion plan for the administration of the survey.
Throughout the Survey
- The campus climate subcommittee will assist in coordinating the following:
- Targeting populations to take the survey
- Develop response incentives
- Reviewing and updating response goals
- Reviewing and assessing community feedback from the multiple forums conducted
- Assisting to identify and prioritize specific survey questions that will be presented in a preliminary report
- Student, Staff, and Faculty-led Forums – to review draft reports and solicit feedback that will assist in the development of the strategic plan
- Offering constructive feedback on a draft of the preliminary report
- Recommend revisions on the draft report
- Development of the final report
Goals of the Sub-Committee
- Plan for financial and human capital support of the survey findings.
- Obtain approval through the institutional review board (IRB) and secure assistance from the office of institutional research to create in-depth data analysis once the survey is complete.
- Development of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategic Plan
Advocacy refers to organized endeavors by members of society to influence the creation and implementation of public policies and programs by influencing and compelling government officials, environmental institutions, health organizations, international financial institutions, and other powerful entities.
Advocacy embraces a multiplicity of actions to gain access to and influence decision-makers on matters that are important to a specific group or to society in general.
Advocacy is often thought of as “an act of publicly representing an individual, organization, or idea and used as an umbrella term for many intervention tools. It can include active lobbying, including methods such as letter writing, meeting politicians, running public forums, questions in legislature, and participating in various consultative processes.” (source: ruminating.org)
Advocacy can also include service to our community.
The committee can seek to find ways to disrupt patterns in societal behavior that keep underrepresented populations oppressed and move them towards advocacy for themselves and their authentic life’s work.
- Awareness — recognizing that an issue exists and the need to make a change.
- Education — basic knowledge of advocacy skills needed to be successful in a college setting and society at large.
- The Advocacy Subcommittee must communicate with other DEI Task Force to ensure alignment of activities and outcomes.
- The Advocacy Subcommittee will develop modes of marketing and communication with the campus community.