A Statement from the Chief Diversity Officer

March 11, 2022 - 8:15 pm

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Brockport Community: 

As some of you may have heard, one of our faculty members has invited Jalil Muntaqim, formerly known as Anthony Bottom, to campus on April 6 to hold a talk entitled, “History of Black Resistance, U.S. Political Prisoners & Genocide: A Conversation with Jalil Muntaqim.”  

This event has received funding from a Promoting Excellence in Diversity (PED) Grant. PED Grants are administered by the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in consultation with a campus committee. Some have questioned why an event featuring a potentially polarizing individual received such funding.  

Below is a description of the PED Grant from our website:

“The purpose of this grant is to support proposals from faculty, staff and students for scholarly and artistic events that provide intellectual activities that will engage our community in conversations about diversity issues, prepare our students for leadership in a diverse world, and increase respect and understanding for differences based on knowledge and shared experiences.” 

Academic freedom is the backbone of higher education, especially at a public institution. One of the goals of the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is to support faculty in their scholarly endeavors in achieving our educational mission and to enhance learning opportunities. While some perspectives may be controversial and at odds with one’s values, my hope is members of the SUNY Brockport community will continue our work to engage in critical conversations around equity, diversity and inclusion.  

A college campus is a perfect place to engage in such dialogue, whether it’s during Mr. Muntaqim’s visit and/or through other Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion programming throughout the year. Our 20th Annual Diversity Conference takes place March 28 – April 1 and we hope you’ll register to attend.  

I hope you have a safe, relaxing, and rejuvenating spring break.  

Sincerely,

Damita Davis 
Chief Diversity Officer

Last Updated 9/22/22