At the College of Human Ecology, we recognize that our efforts to create a community of belonging must be ongoing. Below we share progress on a number of goals outlined as part of a comprehensive plan to work actively against systemic racism and structural inequality. We will continue to add to the list below as our work continues.
Awareness, dialogue and training
Goal: All faculty, staff and students have been provided access to Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to Be an Anti-Racist.” The College will lead a series of community-wide discussions of this book this summer and fall.
One faculty and two staff discussion groups took place in the 20/21 academic year. All Cornell students were provided access to this book.
Goal: Results from the recent Belonging at Cornell Survey will be shared with our community. We will also gather more detailed information regarding racial and social justice and equity in the college to inform our work.
Survey results were shared with the leadership team, and the survey was discussed at Fall 2021 Town Hall, noting that we are focusing on addressing this part of the survey: "Heard someone in your department/unit make an insensitive, disparaging or discriminatory comment."
Goal: The College leadership team will take part in ongoing education and dialogue to continuously broaden our perspectives and inform the way we lead and approach racial and social justice and equity.
The college leadership team took part in educational sessions individually in Summer/Fall 2020.
The entire leadership team took part in a facilitated training in Spring 2022.
The Fall 2022 leadership retreat is focused on justice and equity.
The college leadership will take part in college-wide programming in Spring 2023.
Goal: We will provide and encourage college-wide conversation, education and training around anti-racism and equity.
The Spring 2021 Humecathon focused on the topic of inclusion and equity and was titled “Many People—One Human Ecology.”
The College organized and hosted an interactive art exhibit titled "Truth Tellers" in Fall 2021, which highlighted portraits and information about Americans who worked for justice.
In March 2022, in collaboration with Becker House, CALS, and JCB, we hosted the Truth Tellers Documentary and the artist, Robert Shetterly, on campus for a viewing and Q&A.
The College will host two conversations focused on building an inclusive community in Spring 2023.
The College will launch the Flemmie Kittrell Biennial Lecture series in 2022.
College structures and programming
Goal: The Dean will appoint a Dean’s Fellow for Social Justice and Equity. This faculty member will report to the Dean, will lead faculty-driven efforts in the area and will be part of the Dean’s leadership team.
Eve DeRosa appointed Dean’s Fellow in Fall 2020
Goal: The Dean will form a Social Justice and Equity leadership team consisting of staff, faculty and students. This team will be empowered to engage our community in identifying meaningful action, developing action steps, evaluating our progress and tailoring our plans accordingly.
Goal: The Dean will work with colleagues to enhance our curriculum and out-of-classroom experiences to incorporate racial and social justice and equity. In doing so, we will build upon our history of community-engaged learning to provide students the opportunity to put their education into action to create social change.
The College is undertaking a curriculum revision in the 2022/23 academic year, and has appointed Lauren Korfine as Dean’s Fellow to lead this work. A focus of this revision will be enhancing the curriculum to promote racial and social justice and equity.
Goal: The College will continue to seek and provide support that makes both in-classroom and out-of-classroom experiences accessible for all students regardless of circumstance.
Affordability in terms of financial aid and support for out-of-classroom experiences is the top priority in the current capital campaign, and the college has made good progress in this area.
Goal: The College will seek to develop graduate fellowships that enhance the diversity of our graduate programs and the pipeline in academia.
The college is providing summer funding for two graduate fellowships per year via the Action Research Collaborative, and one graduate fellowship for two years.
Goal: Through awards, grants and other mechanisms, the College will recognize and support faculty, staff and students whose work enhances racial and social justice and equity.
Goal: The Dean will launch a college-wide strategic planning process that has diversity, equity, racial and social justice, and belonging as an essential component of our vision, goals, and plans, drawing upon the specific strengths and perspectives that Human Ecology contributes in this area.
The College strategic planning process was completed in May 2022. One resulting priority is to “build upon our longstanding commitment to inclusion and social justice to foster a strong sense of community, connection and trust so that all members of the college community can flourish.”
Goal: To the extent possible given the current financial situation, the Dean will work with departments to prioritize faculty searches that have the potential to enhance faculty diversity.
In the 2021/22 academic year, the College launched and successfully completed the Pathways to Social Justice Cohort search, hiring six new faculty members whose work centers on racial and social justice and who enhance the diversity of our College faculty.
The College, along with CALS, launched the Action Research Collaborative on January 1, 2022. ARC is a home for faculty whose work addresses justice and equity and involves community partnership.
Goal: We will work to increase the diversity of our student body and the leadership of student organizations, as well as develop new student organizations that enhance racial and social justice and equity and provide opportunities to create supportive communities.
Our counselors who advise student organizations are working to enhance diversity among its membership as well as its leadership. We have seen some change in PATCH and the HE Ambassadors.
The Career Explorations Center staff has had DEI training for career assistants. They are also planning some programming with the Association for Students of Color this year.
We continue to offer supplemental grants through our office to students who may have difficulty funding graduate and professional school experiences (exams, travel, interviewing) or to attend professional conferences.
Admissions is continuing to offer extensive online programming (recorded and live) to reach students and families who may not have the resources to travel to campus to consider our College and its majors.
We have seen a larger, more diverse pool of candidates for admission since moving to test optional.