Message from SUNY community college presidents

Message from SUNY community college presidents

As presidents of the 30 SUNY community colleges, we have been shaken by the recent and abhorrent, race-related tragedies throughout our nation. Together we stand with those harmed by racism, discrimination and hatred that has plagued our communities for far too long. Our resolve and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion have never been greater. 

Community colleges are a beacon of hope for many who pursue higher education and while we often celebrate our diversity for the strength and enrichment it brings, we recognize we are not immune to its challenges. As higher education institution leaders, we believe strongly in and work every day to fight injustice of any kind, including racial injustice. We are individually and collectively committed to learn, listen and work to change policies in our institutions and in our respective communities that negatively impact our students and employees of color. 

Racial equality and social justice are ideals inextricably linked to our mission, while hate and fear are anathema to our spirit and beliefs. We are committed to treating all members of our community with respect, protecting them from injustice, and ensuring that their voices are heard. 

We also know that action is important to make change and, as presidents, we agree to take the following actions to support inclusive activities on our campuses: 

  • Create town hall sessions or educational series on social justice, antiracism and equity for all students, faculty and staff at our college; 
  • Enhance cultural competency training for all who lead our institutions, and who deliver our courses, programs and services; and 
  • Evaluate data to address disproportionate outcomes and identify issues of inequity and disparate treatment

Together, and with our collective resources to reach hundreds of thousands of individuals through education, we will create greater equity and justice for all the students, faculty and staff in our colleges and impact our surrounding communities and the state. We can do better and we are committed to doing so now and in the future. 

Signed, 

The Presidents of SUNY’s Community Colleges