Fall Message from the Alumni Board Chair of Diversity
Entrepreneur Malcolm Forbes once defined diversity as “the art of thinking independently together.” It’s a rather poignant way to surmise the sometimes controversial notion that great things can happen when we come together to celebrate our array of ideas, cultures, perceptions and experiences. If you believe that this is true, then you have come to the right place.
As a member of the newly formed Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee (DISC) and the Chair of Diversity on Skidmore’s Alumni Board, I can assure you that our mission remains the same: to support Skidmore’s LGBTQ alumni and alumni of color populations by extending a hand in solidarity and service.
We started this fall with an after work social event at NYC’s Heartland Brewery Chop House. With nearly 40 Skidmore alumni in attendance (from classes as far back as 1973 and as recent as 2016), the energy was palpable. We want to see more of that moving forward and so, we’re currently planning several activities for 2017 that will further explore issues of diversity and inclusion as it pertains to Skidmore’s alumni.
Won’t you be a part of the excitement and join us? We need your help and feedback to know if we are providing you with what you need. Come back periodically for further news and opportunity updates. Also, feel free to email me directly (see button below) or contact Skidmore’s Office of Alumni Relations & College Events with suggestions along the way. I look forward to hearing from you.
Wendy L. Wilson '96
Chair of Diversity, Alumni Board
Skidmore celebrates Black History Month with several stories drawn from the memories of alumni of color as well as the book, Make No Small Plans: A History of Skidmore College by Professor Emerita Mary Lynn. These moments of Skidmore history, as well as archival material, were posted on the Skidmore Alumni Facebook Page during the month of February.
Skidmore recognized National Coming Out Day on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 in a number of ways online. The Skidmore Alumni Facebook Page commemorated the day, as did the Skidmore College Homepage and Facebook Page.
Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee
Members of the Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee will help Skidmore’s Office of Alumni Relations shape the volunteer structure, strategic initiatives, and communication to both our alumni of color as well as our LGBTQ alumni populations moving forward. The steering committee will focus initially on identifying alumni who would like to be part of this effort, shaping the language and terminology used with these populations, and generating ideas for programming, communications, and engagement opportunities which strengthen ties between our diverse alumni, current undergraduates, and Skidmore.
Amari Boyd '14
Jeffrey Klein '01
Peony Chan '95
Erin McHugh '74
Stuart Hendrickson '97
Antonio Mojica '02
Nelle Hotchkiss '85
Diana Perry '89
Craig Hyland '05
Wendy L. Wilson '96
The committee held it's inaugural meeting in February 2016. Many of us made it to campus while others were able to phone in. Joined by Megan Mercier and Jessica Cellini from the Office of Alumni Relations, we came away with some solid goals and ideas for this group. We decided upon the terminology and language we want to use to identify our role, our commitment to inclusivity in regard to gathering information and engaging any who are interested in this important work, and most of all defining a collective mission and some immediate initiatives as it pertains to connecting, networking, programming, engagement and communications with our diverse alumni populations.
The committee met most recently in NYC on October 6, 2016 at the LGBT Community Center in NYC. Stay tuned for some programming and networking opportunities!
The Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee, after reviewing Skidmore's historical events and efforts around diversity an inclusion and, in the spirit of inclusivity and looking ahead to the future, encourages you to join the Alumni of Color Network (formerly Multicultural Alumni Network). The group has also affirmed the need for the Alumni Pride Network.
- 2nd Annual Diversity & Inclusion Reunion Breakfast: Join alumni of color and LGBTQ alumni for a complementary continental breakfast on Sunday, June 4 (8:30AM to 9:30AM). More to come!
- Reunion Committee Role: Skidmore has instituted a new volunteer position as part of the Reunion Committee. Through various forms of communication, The Class Diversity & Inclusion Chair will encourage alumni of diverse backgrounds to participate in reunion, serve as the main point person for Diversity and Inclusion efforts/planning and attend the Diversity and Inclusion event during Reunion Weekend. Selected by the Reunion Committee, the role will work in cooperation with the Alumni Relations office, Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee, and the Chair of Diversity on the Alumni Board.If you may be interested in joining your reunion committee to focus on this outreach, please reach out and let us know if you have an interest in volunteering in this way. You can email Megan Mercier.
It's important to note the important work being done across the campus to support our students of color and LGBTQ students.
- New Staff at Skidmore: The college has recently made several key appointments that serve students and the Skidmore community. Cerri Banks has been appointed as the new Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs. Learn more about Cerri. In addition, Latisha Barnett has been hired to direct the Office of Student Diversity Programs. Learn more about Latisha. And the Opportunity Program has welcomed Kelli Johnson as the new director for that program.
- On October 20, The Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery will feature a speaker on Trans-Issues in Politics and the Workplace as part of the A More Perfect Union exhibition. Learn more here.