Living the Mission: Diversity and Social Justice

SESSION 1:   10:45 am – 11:45 am          Room 1.99

What’s In A Name? Embracing Our Identity as a Hispanic-Serving Institution

Presenters:   Nancy Velázquez-Torres, María Julia Rossi

Many questions arise when considering John Jay College as an HSI. What does this label actually mean? How is being a Hispanic serving institution impacting our practices? Does this affect us as a college, as departments or as professors? Is there anything that can be done differently in the classroom? This workshop consists of three sections: first, a presentation on data about Hispanic students in the US, John Jay College statistics and other colleges’ practices; second, a participative workshop on ideas and suggestions on how to approach being an HSI and what practical steps can we take on that direction; third, a presentation of best practices in the field, with a theoretical approach and some practical examples of successful institutions. The goal of this workshop is twofold: to present colleagues with relevant information (demographic data both about Hispanic students in general and at John Jay College, as well as useful resources and best practices) and to collaborate in reflecting on what it means to us to belong to a Hispanic Serving Institution and creating our own ways to approach this in the Strategic Plan.


SESSION 2:   1:00 pm – 2:00 pm          Room 1.99

Best Practices for Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Faculty

Presenter:   Cheryl L. Franks

Research has shown people of Color are judged more fairly when they are at least 30% of the applicant pool. This is only one of the strategies for recruiting a diverse faculty that will be covered in this FDD session. The presentation will review John Jay’s commitment to faculty diversity and strategies for realizing this commitment. Best practices for both recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty will be covered including an understanding of the mind sciences (implicit/unconscious bias, stereotype threat and racial anxiety) as a critical dimension of this work. The presentation will also review the concepts of microaggressions and historical trauma and how awareness of all these concepts helps in ensuring an environment where not just some, but where all can thrive. Participants will leave with a greater understanding of what it takes to build and nurture a College community where faculty is better representative of the students we serve. A robust discussion focusing on application will follow the presentation.


SESSION 3:   2:15 pm – 3:15 pm          Room 1.99

Changing the Narrative about Our Students: Disrupting Implicit Bias

Presenters:   Charles Davidson, Nathan Lents, Allison Pease, Monika Son

How do you describe John Jay students, to others and to yourself? Language affects thought.  How we talk to and about our students affects how we teach and how students learn. What effect, for instance, does using deficit-based language to describe student abilities have on how we shape assignments?  This hands-on session will (a) recount the language John Jay students have heard from their professors (b) explore the language students use to describe themselves, and (c) work in small groups to “change the narrative” by creating phrases and narratives about our students that reflects what we know, avoids bias or stereotypes, and helps create a pedagogically effective campus climate. By confronting the bias inherent in the language we use and then consciously constructing alternative narratives we are choosing to re-frame the story of our students and our roles in their lives.