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Fall 2021: Diversity Action Plan Implementation

Fall 2021 Anti-Racism Actions

The University continues to move forward in pursuit of greater diversity, equity, and inclusion. Fall 2021 highlights include several events to welcome our most diverse class ever, a new postdoc fellow in critical race theory, continued success in diversifying resident assistants in the resident halls, and two new programs in the Bronx made possible by funding from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation that will help Fordham serve our surrounding community. 

Enrollment

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

Our Most Diverse Class

In August, Fordham welcomed the most diverse class it has ever had—and also its largest ever, with more than 2,800 students. The Class of 2025 has more than 44% domestic students of color. The new Rams hailed from 45 states, 51 countries, and all five boroughs of New York City. More than 600 students in the incoming class are from New York City, including more than 160 from the Bronx—up significantly from last year. Finalized admissions numbers are as follows:

  • Hispanic 18%
  • Asian 14%
  • Black 7%
  • International 6%
  • Unknown <1%
  • American Indian/Alaska Native <1%
  • Pacific Islander <1%
  • Two + 4.5%
  • White 49%

As the office continues its hiring process for a new associate director of admission for diversity initiatives, Ike Uche has recently been promoted to senior assistant director and will be working on many of our DEI-related initiatives.

Realizing Excellence and Access in the Law

In August, Fordham Law School launched its Realizing Excellence and Access in the Law (REAL) program  to expand opportunities for first-year law students from historically underrepresented backgrounds, including underrepresented racial, ethnic, geographic, socioeconomic, LGBTQ, and first-generation college student backgrounds.

REAL will orient students to the study of law and help new first-year law students feel prepared, confident, and welcome in the Fordham Law community. It provides a pre-orientation program consisting of classes that introduce students to the foundation of law and focus on the basics of legal reasoning and analysis and fundamental legal concepts. There is also a wellness component to the program, which includes peak performance sessions to manage the personal aspects of navigating law school. Participants will also learn useful information from peer mentors during the program.

 

Hiring

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

Postdoc Fellow in Critical Race Studies

With funding from the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Office of the CDO, this academic year we enthusiastically welcome sociologist Daniela Pila, Ph.D., our inaugural Postdoctoral Fellow in Critical Race Studies, in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Pila’s research and teaching focus on race, ethnicity, immigration, and the law, with a focus on the experiences of Filipino immigrants in the greater New York City area.

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 has awarded 22 mini grants across more than 20 departments for exploring ways to integrate questions of race into their introductory and major/minor courses as part of the Teaching Race Across the Curriculum grant program, launched last spring.

Campus Life

GOAL: Create a More Welcoming and Affirming Campus

Racial Justice Examen

In August 2021, during the annual planning retreat, the University Deans Council— which includes the deans of all of the schools, the Provost, and other academic leadership—participated in a Racial Justice Examen, connecting the work of racial justice to the goals for the coming year.

Racial Justice Workshops

This summer, Chief Diversity Officer Rafael Zapata helped create and facilitate a series of mission-based racial justice workshops for about 50 participants of Cohort 14 of the Ignatian Colleagues Program (ICP) held at Loyola University Chicago's Retreat and Ecology Campus, focusing on the Racial Justice Examen. Building on the success of these workshops, the Office of the CDO will be piloting a series of mission-based community building/racial justice workshops adapted to Fordham students, faculty, and staff.  

Welcoming New Students

New Student Orientation hosted a number of enhanced, annual programs for incoming students, including multicultural receptions for students and families, a reception and mixer for LGBTQ students, a presentation and video from the Office of Multicultural Affairs, DEI speaker Mohammed Soriano-Bilal from Stanford University, and DEI-focused small-group conversations facilitated by orientation leaders.

Civility Core Program

These conversations continued after orientation through the mandatory Civility Core Program for new students, in which students explore a number of DEI concepts and terms and receive an overview of the University’s bias policy and how to report a bias incident. Survey results indicated that 84% of students agreed, or agreed strongly, that the presentation was interactive and engaging.

OMA Block Party

The Office of Multicultural Affairs hosted its first OMA Block Party at the Rose Hill campus with various cultural clubs and committees advised by the office, followed by BIPOC student mixers at both Rose Hill and Lincoln Center.

Resident Assistant Diversity

The Office of Residential Life has continued to see progress in increasing the diversity of the resident assistants (RAs) and resident first-year mentors (RFMs). The percentages below represent the racial and ethnic breakdown by campus (identity categories differ by campus) for 2021-2022:

  • Lincoln Center total number of RAs and RFMs: 42 (Asian 26%, Black 14%, Hispanic/Latinx 10%, White 29%, Mixed Race 21%, Total BIPOC 71%)
  • Rose Hill total number of RAs: 95 (Asian 12%, Black, Afro-Caribbean, or African American 21%, Hispanic/Latin/Latinx 19%, White 48%, Total BIPOC 52%)

Alumni Multicultural Affinity 

Alumni Relations held its MOSAIC (Multicultural Organization Supporting Alumni Initiatives and Community) fall networking event on September 30 at the Princeton Club in New York City. MOSAIC  supports the inclusion and engagement of diverse Fordham community members in the life of the University—it is the premier annual event for alumni of color.

Community Partnerships

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

Providing Mental Health Services in the Bronx

A team from the Graduate School of Education is leading a new project to provide mental health telehealth services to underserved children and youth in the Bronx, a group especially hard hit by the pandemic. Clinical Mental Health Services in the Bronx Community (CCMH) is an initiative being funded by the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation for 2021.

Faith-Based Leadership

A unique course for Latinas in the Bronx, the Values and Faith-Based Leadership Program, is a joint effort between the Institute of American Language and Culture (IALC) and the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GRE). The 10 month program is a leadership course facilitated primarily in Spanish but also peppered with conversational English to help the women, who are leaders in their communities, strengthen their English language skills.