Three projects awarded Belonging at Cornell Innovation Grants


The Presidential Advisors on Diversity and Equity (PADE) awarded three Cornell Membership Innovation Grants for 2022 Programming, for projects addressing a range of topics involving diversity, equity, and inclusion across all Cornell campuses.

Similar to last year, PADE originally sought two projects in its RFP, but three projects stood out so advisors increased the number of recipients, while staying within the original total of $30,000.

The Grants Committee sought proposals that align with the goals of improving the Cornell experience for students, faculty, and staff, and fostering a sense of belonging, promoting fair treatment, and supporting the Cornell environment as an ideal place to study and work. Collaboration between colleges and units, and the promise of having a lasting impact on the Cornell community, were key criteria for grant selection.

The subsidy program is one of the measures taken in response to the problems identified by Cornell Membership Surveysent in February 2020 to faculty and staff at the Ithaca, Geneva, and Cornell Tech campuses, who asked about their sense of belonging, fair treatment, willingness to recommend Cornell, and experience with marginalizing behaviors.

The three funded projects:

Can you hear my voice? The impact of untapped marginalized groups on the talent management space: This project – a collaboration between the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), the ILR School, eCornell and the College of Human Ecology (CHE) – will give the Cornell community a chance to “hear the voices” of those in communities marginalized and learn about areas where university members can make a difference, including hiring diverse people.

The first phase of this project includes a one-day symposium, scheduled for April 5, 2023. Keynote speakers from various marginalized groups and community organizations, as well as nationally recognized voices, will be invited to participate. The symposium will also include a panel discussion and a question-and-answer session.

The second phase will include the creation and implementation of specialized training for people working in the field of talent management to help them understand how to best attract, recruit and retain people within these marginalized groups.

The project leaders are: Donna Lynch-Cunningham, Director of Human Resources at A&S; Sandy Dhimitri, Director of Human Resources at CHE; Carol Graubard, Acting Director of Human Resources at eCornell; and Lawrence Mancuso, associate dean of human resources at the ILR School.

[email protected] (Belong to Cornell) 360: This project, anchored byImpact week(scheduled September 28-October 4), is a collaboration of Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science; the College of Architecture, Art and Urban 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 reflect their respective fields of study. An inaugural cohort of 30 representatives will then be recruited to form the [email protected] 360 Collaborative, which will address issues identified in the 2020 Belonging at Cornell survey.

The project culminates in a day-long retreat, where diversity leaders within colleges and units will participate in professional development workshops, team-building activities, and other supportive opportunities.

The project leaders are: LeeAnn Roberts, director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Cornell Bowers CIS; and Jami Joyner, Director of Engineering Diversity Programs.

· Fostering a Supportive Culture: Cornell AgriTech Membership: This project will support underrepresented groups on the Geneva campus and begin to understand cultural barriers to inclusive outreach programs by creating a cohort of Cultural Ambassadors, trained in the principles of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) , to network across units and ensure representation across the institutional hierarchy.

A series of four workshops will be offered to the Cornell AgriTech community, addressing cultural norms and systemic change, and engaging in constructive discussions on difficult DEI issues.

The project leaders are: Anna Katharine Mansfield, associate director of Cornell AgriTech and co-chair of the AgriTech DEI Council; Amara Dunn, Associate of Cornell Cooperative Extension and Co-Chair of the DEI Board of AgriTech; Cynthia James, extension support specialist at the Cornell Food Venture Center (Department of Food Science) and co-chair of Minority Genders in STEM (MinGenSTEM); and Ann Charles Vegdahl, extension associate at Cornell High Pressure Processing Center (Food Science) and co-chair of MinGenSTEM.


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