Fiscal Year 2018 was the Alliance for Diversity and Inclusion’s most active year yet! Read on to see details about the events and initiatives that occurred in the last year.
A total of fifty-nine activities of a variety of types were held for the program. Among them were twenty facilitated training sessions that focused on seven different topics. The thirty-nine other activities comprised facility tours and presentations, campus cultural events, and cultural food events. Attendance for at least part of the program was near-universal, with almost as high a response for class surveys.
Diversity of Thought
In Fiscal Year 2018, efforts were made to broaden experiences to ensure that ADI organizations’ awareness of diversity is broader than race and gender, by increasing exposure opportunities.
All annual VP Staff meetings were completed by January 2018, which provided an opportunity for department staff to be informed of the program, have a discussion, and ask questions. For the program rollout, participants could choose a Diversity of Thought item to complete their ADI training requirements. Twenty-seven Diversity of Thought events were held to accommodate the ADI participants, around 600 in total. New views of the university ranged from tours of Space Sciences to the Stocking Hall Dairy Bar, as well as Wellness, ROTC, and many more.
The tours were very well-received. After each tour, the ADI committee learned of informal dialogues that took place between those who participated in the tour and their work group colleagues who went on different tours. This level of interest reflects how positive the experience was for many. There were also instances where individuals signed up for many more events than the program required.
Cultural Diversity Awareness
To increase experience with cultural diversity, opportunities were provided to expose members of the ADI organizations to other cultures and customs. Events included campus activities and performances offered by student groups, training in cultural fluency, and cultural food events. In Fiscal Year 2019, ADI will look for opportunities for greater collaboration and consistency between groups to promote best practices from the most successful cultural food events of Fiscal Year 2018.
Most participants indicated their experience with ADI this past fiscal year was a positive one, and as always, in instances of constructive feedback, suggestions are being used to improve this year’s programs.
This year, for the first time, CU Learn was used to manage training activities and participation. This change brought many benefits! They range from simplifying instructions for program participants, to making it easier to provide feedback, and include other efficiencies typically associated with reducing the number of systems used to accomplish a task.
ADI’s fifty-nine options this past year were intended to promote diversity of thought and cultural diversity awareness of the participants. Goals included encouraging conversation with Cornell colleagues on topics that fall outside of typical workgroup subjects, exposure to programs outside of the workplace to gain insights on the diversity of the campus, and exposure to cultural diversity representative of campus demographics.
There were twenty diversity training sessions, which covered gender inclusiveness, race and inequality, diversity in higher ed, disability and inclusion, cultural fluency, and multi-generational offices.
Summer Intern Program
We’re currently in the swing of things with this summer’s interns. (More details about that in another update coming soon!) Turning back to summer 2017, our seventeen interns participated in eleven weekly activities, among them kickoff, closing presentations, and field trips to Taughannock Falls and the Geneva Research Center. The Geneva trip was added to provide a broader view of Cornell activities outside of the Ithaca campus.
Two sessions were added to highlight diversity activities. The luncheon series included new and different speakers, including former Cornell students working at Cornell, to provide broader perspectives on administration of the university. Based on expressed interest, information on business etiquette was provided, as were mock interviews arranged by the Career Center.
For the first time, a project was developed which required the entire intern group to collaborate on outcomes, and there was an increase in the number of intern-led social events.
CU Police worked with the ADI team to pilot ride-alongs with the ADI constituency in preparation for offering them to the interns. As a result, this summer, interns will have a tour of CU Police facilities and opportunities for ride-alongs.
Based on written feedback from the interns and supervisors, the program continues to be highly rated, supervisors are well thought of, and the luncheon program and speakers are extremely appreciated. Supervisors also provided formal performance comments to the interns. Students enjoyed the overall experience and say they would recommend the program. Additionally, many of the same supervisors continue to participate in the program, hosting an intern in their area year after year. Many also hire interns for the school year as budgets permit.
In Fiscal Year 2018, ADI communications continued to produce and circulate articles and updates, as well as post them to adi.cornell.edu, to keep ADI members and the broader Cornell community informed on initiative activities. The poster for member unit conference rooms was updated, and awareness activities were undertaken in support of specific efforts, such as informing students about internship opportunities.
Supplier Diversity Initiative
This past year, the Supplier Diversity Program continued to help the campus increase spending with diverse suppliers, and in turn help diverse suppliers develop stronger relationships with customers on campus. The SC Johnson College of Business’s Big Red Consulting (BRC) teams again worked with a select group of Cornell’s diverse suppliers. The BRC teams, comprising graduate students and a director for each team, helped the diverse suppliers grow their businesses by addressing potential sources for improvement and revenue increases. The graduate students participating in the program come from the College of Business, ILR, and Engineering. Projects are selected that align suppliers’ needs with the skill sets of these students.