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Spring 2021: Diversity Action Plan Implementation

Spring 2021 Anti-Racism Actions

The University continues to move forward in pursuit of greater diversity, equity, and inclusion. Spring 2021 highlights include events combating anti-Asian violence, identity-based graduation celebrations, significant increases in the diversity of the incoming fall class, several new senior leaders of color, and a new internship program to partner with our local community and aid in the city's post-COVID recovery.

Enrollment

GOAL: Develop Robust Admissions Strategies for Effective Recruitment of Students of Color to Fordham

Trustee Diversity Fund

University trustees have created a scholarship fund to help remove financial barriers for students of color and increase student diversity at Fordham. The fund has received $329,000 in gifts as of June 30, 2021.

Undergraduate Recruitment and Yield DEI Efforts

The Office of Undergraduate Admission has been committed to the goals of increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in our efforts to recruit, admit and yield the Class of 2025 which include: 

  • Developed and implemented new programs for students of color--2 introductory sessions for applicants in the fall and 5 sessions for admitted students this spring on academics and student life. Ninety-five students enrolled who attended these programs.
  • Granted eligibility to National African American Recognition Program (NAARP) Scholars as candidates for our National Recognition Program Scholarship, in addition to our existing consideration of National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars (NHRP). Awarding the scholarship to 129 NAARP Scholars and 256 NHRP Scholars, we enrolled 15 NAARP scholars with full-tuition awards,  40 NHRP students with full-tuition awards. 1 additional NAARP student enrolled as a Dean's scholar and 1 student as a Cunniffe Presidential Scholar. 
  • Executed outreach to students of color with a welcome email from Dr. Anthony Carter, member of Fordham’s Board of Trustees.

Increases in Diversity of Incoming Fall Class

As of June 30, more than 43% of the class identify as domestic students of color and an additional 7% are international. The largest percentage increases were among Black and multiracial students.

  • Students who identify as Black increased by 181% to 216 students.
  • Students who have more than one racial or ethnic identity increased by 84% to 136.
  • Students who identify as Hispanic/Latinx  increased by 62% to 551 students.
  • Students who identify as Asian  increased by 31% to 432.

The Class of 2025 represents a 39% increase in students from New York City, and a 79% increase of students from The Bronx over last year's incoming class. 

Overall, we believe the test-optional policy played a major part in enrolling the largest, most diverse, and most accomplished entering class in the University’s history, as did our close collaboration with the DEI Council.
 

Hiring

GOAL: Recruit and Retain a More Diverse Faculty, Administration, and Staff

Diversifying Senior Leaders

This year Fordham brought on board several experienced and gifted senior leaders who are diverse and representative of the city we serve:

  • Tyler Stovall, Ph.D., as dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • José Luis Alvarado, Ph.D., as dean of the Graduate School of Education
  • Anand Padmanabhan as vice president for Information Technology and CIO 
  • Jenifer Campbell as dean of Students at Lincoln Center (a promotion from director of Residential Life at that campus) 
  • Tracyann Williams, Ph.D., as the assistant dean for Student Success at Fordham College at Lincoln Center

Human Resources Management

Human Resources continues a phased approach to roll out the new electronic Fordham Applicant Tracking System (ATS). The ATS automatically posts positions on sites such as DiverseJobs.net, Recruitmilitary.com, LGBT in Academia, as well as other DEI-specific recruitment sites as requested.

HR prepared an Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) for Women and Minorities, which sets up flexible goals to mitigate underutilization of these populations to reflect the gender, race, and ethnic profile of the labor pools from which Fordham recruits and selects.

HR launched Fordham Flourish, a six-month pilot peer learning initiative focused on identification and retention of Fordham’s diverse talent.

HR revised its New Hire Orientation Seminar, which now includes a video greeting from Father McShane; a video greeting from Rafael Zapata, Fordham’s chief diversity officer; and a video greeting from Kareem Peat, Fordham’s Title IX coordinator, as well as information on the University’s DEI initiatives.

HR instituted Monthly Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter which covered DEI events on campus as well as training resources related to allyship, implicit/unconscious bias, disability awareness, and generational differences.

The Policy and Procedures Against Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation in Employment was amended as a key component of a holistic harassment prevention effort. 

Curriculum

GOAL: Develop Curricular and Co-curricular Initiatives That Support the Imperative of Confronting Racism and Educating for Justice

Teaching Race Across the Curriculum

The Office of the Chief Diversity Officer (OCDO) launched its inaugural Teaching Race Across the Curriculum (TRAC) Grant Program, designed to aid academic departments in their efforts to thoughtfully and intentionally integrate questions of race into their curricula, both in core offerings and within a major or minor, and support excellence in the teaching of topics related to race in the curriculum.

Supporting Anti-Racism Teaching and Research 

One of the signature initiatives of the TRAC grant program was the Teaching Racial Justice Symposium in the Department of English which brought together English teachers and writing tutors to set goals for the upcoming academic year and learn from some of the leading scholars of antiracist pedagogy. The two half-day events, Visioning an Antiracist Writing Program and Visioning an Antiracist Writing Center, featured the panels “Directions in Antiracist Writing Pedagogy & Program Design” and “Directions in Antiracist Writing Center Work."

The Conference of Arts and Sciences Deans (CASD) offered capacity building workshops on "Antiracism as Everyday Practice" to department chairs, program directors, and associate chairs, in partnership with the education and training organization ArtEquity this spring.

The Graduate School of Education (GSE), with the OCDO, co-sponsored “We're Speaking: Giving Voice to Empirical Research on Anti-Racism and Social Justice,” a conference highlighting the research of GSE students, on April 21. Nearly 100 students, faculty and staff attended.

Campus Life

GOAL: Create a More Welcoming and Affirming Campus

Student Affairs Divisional Staff Training

Student Affairs requires all full-time and part-time staff to participate in a Divisional Training Day each semester. Diversity and inclusion have been the main topics during the 2020–2021 academic year for numerous mandatory Divisional Training Days with significant focus on anti-racism, including the spring 2021 Jesuit Mission and Commitment to Anti-Racism training.

Diversity Graduation Celebrations

In Spring 2021 Fordham held identity-based graduation celebrations for Asian, Black, Latinx, and LGBTQ seniors, marking the first formalization of these ceremonies. A collaboration between the President’s Office, the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and Senior Week committees at Rose Hill and Lincoln Center, planning for the events also involved student committees for each graduation celebration.

Asian Cultural Showcase

The Asian American Pacific Islander Committee (AAPI) of the Office of Multicultural Affairs celebrated Asian heritage with an eclectic Cultural Showcase at the Rose Hill campus. Special invitations were extended to the Asian Cultural Exchange, Muslim Student Association, Pakistani Student Association, and Fordham University South Asian Entity, though all students were welcomed.

Fordham Law DEI Newsletter

Fordham Law School launched a DEI newsletter sent to all students, faculty, and staff which features a compilation of programs, projects, and initiatives focused on furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion at the school.

Combating Anti-Asian Violence

The University held two panels on on the historical and contemporary impact of anti-Asian violence and racism in the U.S., strategies for healing, and the possibilities for interracial solidarity at Fordham and beyond. The panels, moderated by Rafael Zapata, chief diversity officer, and Jeffrey Ng, director of Counseling and Psychological Services, featured Fordham students, faculty and staff.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) collaborated with OMA and the AAPI committee to host "What does it mean to be Asian now? Acknowledging the Asian American Experience.” OMA also held two virtual reflection sessions to discuss Anti-Asian violence. CPS has also continued to distribute information regarding resources on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice and has hosted ongoing support groups for historically marginalized student groups (i.e. Black students, International students, LGBTQ+ students, etc.).

Solidarity Networks
 
The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) held training sessions for the Racial Solidarity Network and LGBTQ and Ally Network. 39 Fordham faculty, students, and staff completed the training program this semester. 40 participants completed the LGBTQ and Ally Network of Support training program.
 
Heritage Month Events

The OMA undergraduate cultural committees for Black History and Women's Herstory, in collaboration with cultural clubs at Rose Hill and Lincoln Center, hosted a variety of programs, events and initiatives virtually, in person, and in hybrid formats. The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Committee held several events during its monthlong celebration. 
 
Residential Life
 
The Offices of Residential Life at Rose Hill and Lincoln Center held individual and combined professional development dialogues centered on the books How to be an Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi, and Lead from the Outside, by Stacey Abrams. At Lincoln Center, the Coalition on Action and Learning (COAL) is a student led committee that provides DEI and social justice focused programs and initiatives for residents.
 
Career Services

The Office of Career Services developed an Equity and Inclusion Committee that hosted a virtual panel during Black History Month. “Breaking Barriers and Conquering Misconceptions” included industry leaders from PwC, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, the Department of Education, and Northwell Health. Career Services also collaborated with OMA for a virtual panel, “Womxn in Workplaces,” featuring Fordham graduates.
 

Community Partnerships

GOAL: Build Lasting Partnerships With Our Neighbors
GOAL: Amplify our Voice in Educating for Justice Beyond the Campus

Bronx Book Festival

This year's Bronx Book Festival/The Bronx is Reading, highlighting prominent Bronx writers and authors, featured media personalities and Bronx-natives Desus & Mero, who were interviewed by Brandi Monk-Payton, Ph.D., assistant professor of communications and media studies.

Cultural Internship Program

Nearly a dozen cultural institutions in NYC have officially signed on to partner with Fordham College Rose Hill and Fordham College Lincoln Center to offer Fordham students the opportunity to participate in exclusive paid internships as part of Fordham’s Cultural Internship Program. Participating partners include the Bronx Book Festival, Interfaith Center of New York,  New York Hall of Science, Dyckman Farmhouse, and Elmhurst / Corona Recovery Initiative and only give students the opportunity to gain valuable firsthand experience and broaden their networks, they also allow them to put Fordham’s Jesuit mission into action by partnering with our local community in their educational, cultural, anti-racist, social justice, and other important endeavors.