Date Posted: 8/29/2022

The Presidential Advisors on Diversity and Equity (PADE) have awarded three Belonging at Cornell innovation grants for 2022 programming, for projects addressing a range of topics involving diversity, equity and inclusion on all of Cornell’s campuses.

B@C (Belonging at Cornell) 360, to be anchored by “Impact Week” (scheduled for Sept. 28-Oct. 4), received one of the grants. LeeAnn Roberts, director for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science and Jami Joyner, director of Diversity Programs in Engineering are the program leads.

The event is a collaboration of the Cornell Bowers CIS; the College of Architecture, Art and Planning; the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; the College of Engineering; Cornell Law School; Cornell Tech; Cornell University Library; the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business; and Weill Cornell Medicine.

Impact Week is a new college-wide event that encourages each entity to demonstrate and celebrate the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging through a series of events that reflects their respective fields of study. An inaugural cohort of 30 representatives will then be recruited to form the B@C 360 Collaborative, which will address issues identified in the 2020 Belonging at Cornell survey.

The project concludes with a one-day retreat, where diversity leads within the colleges and units will engage in professional development workshops, team-building activities and other support opportunities.

Similar to last year, PADE had originally sought two projects in its request for proposals, but three projects stood out such that the advisers increased the number of grantees, while staying within the original award total of $30,000.

The grant committee sought proposals that align with the objectives of improving the Cornell experience for students, faculty and staff, and fostering a sense of belonging, promoting fair treatment and supporting the environment of Cornell as a great place to study and work. Collaboration across colleges and units, and a promise to drive sustained impact to the Cornell community, were key criteria for the grant selection.

The grant program is one of the actions taken in response to issues identified through the Belonging at Cornell survey, sent in February 2020 to faculty and staff on the Ithaca, Geneva and Cornell Tech campuses, which asked about their sense of belonging, fair treatment, willingness to recommend Cornell, and experience with marginalizing behaviors.

Read more about the other grant recipients in this Cornell Chronicle story.

By Tom Fleischman