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"Black is Beautiful" painting by Vivian Leung '21

Yolanda Caldwell, director of the Women’s Leadership Institute and BOLD Women’s Leadership Network at Saint Rose, who was also appointed to lead these recent diversity and inclusion efforts, shared the following update from the October 16 campus conversation on diversity and inclusion.

Dear Saint Rose Community,

Today, we held our biweekly campus conversation on diversity and inclusion, where we had the opportunity to highlight a very exciting exhibition at the Esther Massry Gallery on campus.

“Engage: Artists in Visual Dialogue” spans 91 years and features 22 artists of diverse ethnicities and backgrounds, whose subject matter and creative media vary greatly. The show contains works in photography and printed media by 11 acclaimed artists from the New York State Office of General Service’s Harlem Art Collection and the University at Albany Fine Art Collections. Works by 11 noted visual artists from the Capital Region complete this engaging visual display. Read more about it in this story.

The gallery had a different exhibition slated for the fall semester, until calls for racial justice this summer prompted the organizers to shift gears and put together an exhibit that was particularly meaningful in this transformative time.

Curator Stephen J. Tyson and Dr. Robert Shane, associate professor of art history at Saint Rose, joined us to show us some of the work being exhibited and talk about the importance of the event. We encourage everyone to attend the visiting artist lecture on Monday, October 19, at 7 p.m. via Zoom, where Tyson, Shane, and three of the exhibiting artists – alum Daesha Devon Harris ‘02, Fern Logan, and Marcus Anderson – will speak about their work. Register for the free talk here.

The exhibition runs from now until November 21 at the gallery. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 8 p.m.; and closed Sunday. It is free and open to the public, but due to COVID-19 protocol, visitors must call the gallery phone at 518.337.2390 to gain entrance to the building.

Additional updates from the meeting

Director of diversity and inclusion search: Three finalists for the director of diversity and inclusion position have now completed interviews, which included students, faculty, administration, and alumni. The selected finalist will soon visit campus for further conversation. We will announce the new director soon.

Advisory committee: An update on the work of the advisory committee was provided to a Saint Rose Board of Trustees committee this week. The advisory committee has been renamed the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Action (IDEA) committee, and subcommittees, which will consist of the many volunteers who have come forward, will be started within the next two weeks to tackle the more than 80 suggestions brought forward by the community to build our capacity for inclusive excellence. If you have not yet volunteered but would like to, please see our diversity website and sign up using the volunteer form under the “participate and share ideas” section of the site.

Opportunities for Engagement

Video mosaic: At one of our campus conversations earlier this month, we announced a new campus-wide project – a video mosaic for racial justice, solidarity, and much-needed societal change. You can contribute by sharing your poetry, song, video commentary, artwork, dance or other expression of your thoughts and feelings on this important subject. Submit your work for possible inclusion by emailing it to marketing@strose.edu with the subject line “expressions” by the new extended deadline of Wednesday, October 21, at 5 p.m. We will include as many pieces in the video as we can, but selection is not guaranteed. We will premiere the video during the next biweekly campus conversation on diversity and inclusion on October 30 at noon via Zoom (Passcode: Saint Rose).

I Vote Because: We have also recently been invited to participate in the “I Vote Because” campaign video project with the Association of Colleges of the Sisters of St. Joseph (ACSSJ), where members of our community shared reasons why they will vote in the election.

ACSSJ is creating a video featuring the voices of ACSSJ faculty, staff, and students. Participating is easy! ACSSJ is looking for a few people from each campus to share why they are voting and highlight the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph. For example, “I vote because I love the dear neighbor without distinction.” Or, “I vote because I want to create a hospitable and caring community.”

Setting up your recording:

  • Find a well-lit area free from distracting backgrounds and noise.
  • Set your device (web camera, iPad, or cell phone) an arm’s length away with the camera positioned just above your eye line and slightly pointed down.
  • Use a sturdy surface instead of holding your device to avoid shaky footage.
  • Record in landscape mode (horizontally).
  • You are encouraged to wear any school attire you have, but that’s certainly optional.

Content:

  • Identify yourself by sharing your name and college.
  • Articulate how the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph is influencing why and how you are voting. For example, “I vote because I love the dear neighbor without distinction.” Or, “I vote because I want to create a hospitable and caring community.”
  • Please share one short sentence. I encourage you to use your voting plan.
  • Refrain from identifying people or parties.

Tips for recording:

  • Do a quick test run to check your audio and see how you look in the lens.
  • Avoid starting your introduction with time-dated references such as “good morning” or “good afternoon.”
  • Speak slowly and clearly.
  • At the end of your recording, wait 5 to 10 seconds before turning your camera off so that the video can fade out naturally.

Submit your video no later than Monday, October 19, by sharing on a video by email or on google drive with acssj1@gmail.com. The video will be posted on Facebook and shared in the ACSSJ October e-newsletter, as well as shared for distribution on individual campuses.

Mental health: For the last two years, Saint Rose participated in a pilot implementation of the Equity in Mental Health Framework (EMHF). The goal of EMHF is to advocate that mental health for students of color be a campus priority. On Friday, October 23, you will be able to share your thoughts about your campus resources to support mental health for students, and specifically, students of color. Please watch your email for the invitation.

Diversity training: We are in the process of scheduling trainers, facilitators, and speakers for our entire campus community. Please watch your email – including Connect, the weekly employee newsletter, and In the Know, the weekly student newsletter – for upcoming announcements.

Again, our next campus conversation is scheduled for October 30 at noon via Zoom (Passcode: Saint Rose). We hope to see you there.

Sincerely,

Yolanda Caldwell

Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute and BOLD Women’s Leadership Network at Saint Rose