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Diversity at Hartwick

We believe our students learn best when they learn to think from perspectives outside their own. That’s why Hartwick seeks to critically address and reduce all forms of prejudice, to foster diversity, and to reduce ethnocentrism and intolerance.

Hartwick College Diversity Statement

We value pluralism, a state in which diverse groups co-exist and interact without necessarily losing their individual identities. We seek to critically address and reduce all forms of prejudice, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, economic class, sexual orientation, gender, country of origin, learning differences, religious preference, disability and age, and work to foster mutual respect among all people. Our goal is to increase the presence and support for these and other underrepresented groups on campus, and to broaden the understanding, awareness, respect for, appreciation of, and dialogue about different aspects of diversity among all members of the Hartwick community.

Our community is dedicated to discovering and overcoming the conditions that undermine an inclusive and pluralistic society. We strive to foster inclusive values and responsible local, national, and global citizenship. Through valuing our own diversity and the diversity of others we strive to create a climate that maximizes each individual’s capacity to learn and, in turn, creates an institution in which diversity is embraced, valued, celebrated, and welcomed.

We recognize that diversity is not an end result, but a means of achieving a set of evolving objectives. Accordingly, the College shall periodically review its diversity-related policies, practices, and programs to determine their achievements, and to adjust them as necessary to further these objectives.

Hartwick College Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee

The Hartwick College Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee (DEIBC) will act in the best interest of Hartwick College and will:

  • Promote the College’s Mission:  Hartwick College, an engaged community striving toward inclusion and equity while increasing diversity, integrates a liberal arts education with experiential learning to inspire curiosity, critical thinking, creativity, personal courage, and an enduring passion for learning;
  • Recommend consistent terminology for the College’s diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging efforts;
  • Produce a glossary of terms commonly used in dialogue regarding DEIB;
  • Identify methods to increase awareness of issues relating to DEIB;
  • Identify and document DEIB synergies across campus;
  • Working with the Office of Academic Affairs, identify and promote inclusive pedagogical practices;
  • Identify and help implement strategy to engage on DEIB with the external College community, such as the City and County, and business and non-profits within the City and County;
  • Review and recommend improvements to the College’s policies or practices to promote and eliminate barriers to DEIB progress (e.g., ensure gender neutrality);
  • Review issues related to recruiting and retaining students and employees with diverse backgrounds on an ongoing basis;
  • Provide an annual report to the President, in April of each year. Each report will include recommendations as appropriate.

The Committee will deliver on the following:

  • Produce a college-wide inventory of DEIB efforts and initiatives;
  • Produce a glossary of terms commonly used in dialogue regarding DEIB;
  • Recommend surveys to capture feedback; collect data and produce reports based on results. To help best coordinate the surveying of our campus community, campus-wide surveys should be reviewed and approved by the Senior Leadership Team.
  • Identify and recommend metrics to measure on-going progress for DEIB across the College campus, as well as departmental accountability for DEIB initiatives and outcomes across campus.

Reporting Structure:
The Committee will be advisory to the President.

Structure, Terms and Membership:
The structure of the Committee should include 12-16 members, with representation from across the campus.

DEIB Committee Membership includes:

  • Two students;
  • A member of the faculty from each division, selected as determined by the division;
  • An athletics staff representative selected by the Athletics Director;
  • A member of the staff selected by Staff Council.

Mary Allen, Professor of Biology

Clara Barnhart, Director of the Student Success Center

Michael Branch, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice

Biama Charles, Director of the Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging & Deputy DEIB Officer

Libby Cudmore, Staff Writer

Cary Dresher, Dean of Students

Nora Fallon-Oben, Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach

Jackie Gregory, Director of Enrollment Management

Stephanie Hollander, Associate Director of Career Development

Suzanne Janitz, Vice President of Human Resources and Compliance

Alicia Richardson (co-chair/ex-officio), College Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Officer

Aaron Tolbert, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs

Sharhea Wright-Havens ’23, Alumni Board of Directors DIB Committee representative

Tessa Yang (co-chair), Assistant Professor of English

A Timeline History of Diversity at Hartwick College

Rachel Gleiberman, College Archivist
Updated: 10/13/23

“…the best has come down to us from many sources and is the gift of many nationalities. In our thought this fact should be truly apprehended, and in the life of the educated man there can be no racial prejudice and religious bigotry.”
[President Charles R. Myers – Opening Address, Hartwick College]

Doug Jones, Ben Clark, Wendell Hammond – First Black Students at Hartwick

“… I want to be on record with your national headquarters (Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority) as stating that your policy of racial discrimination on membership is contrary to the policies of Hartwick College. We admit all students regardless of race, creed or color. It is incumbent upon religious and educational leaders insofar as is possible to set an example of accepting people on their merits rather than on their color.”
[President Miller Ritchie]

Caroline N. Terry becomes the first African American woman to graduate from Hartwick College.

Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority terminates its relationship with the national organization due to written policy decisions regarding its membership.

Mary Elizabeth Carnegie speaks at Hartwick on Race Relations and Nursing.

James Farmer, internationally recognized spokesman in the struggle for racial equality, speaks at the Senior Convocation encouraging students to become involved in the civil rights movement, stating that “… it is essential that people of good will become active in this community in uprooting discrimination in employment, housing and schools.”

Herman S. Keiter, professor of philosophy and religion, and Bill Brault, 1965 Hartwick graduate, spend the summer in Greensboro, Alabama, participating in the civil rights movement by assisting in Martin Luther King’s Summer Community Organization for Political Education Program – canvassing and registering black voters. Bill Brault is in a protest march in which all the protestors are arrested and imprisoned for three days.

In his first weekly Hilltops column titled “Salt and Pepper,” Harold Nelson states, “Writing as a Negro student at Hartwick College has its advantages and disadvantages. One does not truly comprehend how he stands in the eyes of his fellow students. On the surface everything may seem smooth, but down deep someone could really hate the ground you walk on and not really be able to explain why.”

Hilltops publishes an interview with four black students on “The Negro at Hartwick and in the United States.”

The Freshmen Class holds a panel discussion on “Racial Integration or Segregation?”

Formation of Black Studies Group and Black Power Group. The Black Studies Group, led by Dr. Cohen of the History Department, meets once a week to discuss a book pertinent to Blacks.

Student Senate approves the constitution of the Black Cultural Society. The Society’s purpose is “… to promote for the college community a better knowledge of Black heritage and a better understanding of Black people …” It announces several money-making projects including a fashion show – “Soul is Wearable.”

Black students at Hartwick express their disgust when a group of white students mock black student demands at SUCO by publishing a list of WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) demands.

A reading titled “Black Voices: A Symphony,” present a three-part mosaic of black American writers: 1) Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man, 2) Jean Toomer’s Cane, and 3) Statements made by Blacks in the last decade.

New weekly column in Hilltops – “On Being Black,” written by various authors on topics such as: Black Studies, Malcolm X, and the Power of Black Spirit.

Black Cultural Society presents “Black Spirit,” a journey through the history of Black people and their music.

Black Students of Hartwick College publish a list of “Black Expectations” including: emphasis on recruiting for diversity, financial aid for minority groups, counseling services for non-white students, renewal of efforts to recruit Black faculty, the establishment of a Black Studies curriculum, the development of a major in Black Studies.

“Racism is a White Problem” workshop challenges white students to pledge themselves to correcting their problem as racists, and to confront their ignorance by educating themselves to the “different lifestyles, goals, needs and desires of American Blacks.”

Black Cultural Society changes name to the Society of Third World Alliance To Implement Change (STATIC) as they are “concerned with the fate of all mankind; concerned with what the outcome of exploitation and hate will be; and conscious of the tremendous implications of liberation struggles around the world.”

Counseling staff integrates by hiring its first Black woman.

Dick Gregory speaks for more than two hours to some 1,600 students and faculty insisting “you’ve got to give sanity back to an insane world.”

“Right On!” begins as a new weekly column in the Hilltops. Published throughout spring semester.

The Apostles, a Black interdenominational singing group, perform a “Soul Revolution.”

Celebration of Black Spirit Week sponsored by STATIC to promote communication, to foster awareness, and to acquaint the community with STATIC’s Campus Center – including “a library, scholarship information, speeches on records by Black leaders, and an atmosphere of openness.”

Alex Haley speaks on “Black Heritage – A Saga of Black History,” telling the audience, “Black IS beautiful.”

Grace Thorpe, who later founded the National Environmental Coalition of Native Americans, lectures on her stay on the island of Alcatraz, where she participated in the 19-month occupation of the island by Native Americans which launched the “Red Power” movement of the 1970’s. The occupation helped to unify Native Americans and to draw attention to unemployment, high infant mortality, and other social issues in Native American communities.

The Task Force for Minority Access is formed to “investigate the role of minorities at Hartwick and how to attract more minority group members to the college, not only as students, but as administrators, professors and general staff members.”

Poet and essayist Audre Lorde, known for her writings on lesbian feminism and racial issues, gives a poetry reading at Hartwick.

Flo Kennedy, lecturer, lawyer, author, and founder of the Feminist Party, which nominated Shirley Chisholm for president in 1972, speaks on the “disruption of social norms,” women in congress, and U.S. boycott of South Africa.

Bernice Johnson Reagon, director of Black American Culture Program of the Smithsonian Institution and member of the singing group Sweet Honey in the Rock, performs at Hartwick.

Hartwick hires David Anderson, 1983 Hartwick graduate, as an assistant to Student Services to help recruit minority students and develop support programs for minority students currently attending Hartwick.

“Black Writers and Poets” series presents: Chezia B. Thompson, John A. Williams, and Earl Lovelace.

Ethnic Coalition forms “to expose our minority views, cultural values, and traditions to one another and especially to the Hartwick Community.”

“Black Experiences” begins as a new weekly column in Hilltops. Published throughout fall semester.

Ninety-seven percent of Hartwick’s population is white. Provost Advisory Committee on Minority Affairs replaces the Race Relations Task Force, and is commissioned to help create a more “realistic” diverse community.

Ethnic Coalition and Committee on Minority Affairs hold forum to discuss scenes of bigotry on campus.

Gospel singer Pearl Williams-Jones and folk singer Josh White, Jr. perform during Black History Month.

Angela Davis, former Black Panther, speaks to a Hartwick audience of more than 600 on “Race, Gender & Class,” stating that campus racism is on the rise, and one can still find posters saying, “White Supremacy Lives, Kill All Niggers.”

First Racism Awareness Workshop conducted by Kate O’Donnell’s Sociology classes segregates participants into groups determined by hair color with preferential treatment given to those with dark hair.

Director of Multicultural Affairs is hired.

In honor of Hartwick’s diversity month, Naomi Tutu – daughter of Bishop Desmond Tutu – speaks about the irony of South Africa using “diversity to divide.”

President Richard Detweiler creates a College Task Force on Pluralism and instructs this group of faculty, students, staff, and trustees to address the following questions: What purposes are served by an increase of diversity? Which of these purposes are most important to accomplish? What programs or processes will best accomplish these important purposes? How might such programs and processes be implemented?

Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott reads his poetry to the Hartwick community.

The Hartwick College Task Force on Pluralism submits report:
The Task Force determined that the goal of becoming a more diverse and pluralistic college be fundamentally educational in nature, emphasizing the quality or value that comes from having people with a variety of national, cultural, and social perspectives engaged together in learning. Graduates of Hartwick College will be seriously deficient if they cannot understand and get along with individuals from a variety of backgrounds in the workplace or in their communities.
The recommendations and findings of the Task Force were premised on these educational goals, and organized around three important dimensions:

1) Curricular Development and Multiculturalism
2) Recruitment of Students, Faculty, and Staff
3) Campus Climate

Task Force on the Interdependence Initiative included a Center for Interdependence which would, among other things, “highlight and dramatize the College’s commitment to global pluralism”.

Hartwick’s pluralism program, led by Harry Bradshaw Matthews, visits a Cooperstown cemetery as part of a genealogical research project to discover early immigrants, including Blacks and other minority groups, which may have been present in Otsego County’s history.

J Term Theme: “Beyond the Melting Pot: Ethnicity in America.”

Yager Museum exhibit FROM COLOR TO CULTURE focuses on African American heritage.

Hartwick College is selected by the Association of American Colleges to be a member of a curriculum development team designed to incorporate pluralism in college classrooms.

The Oyaron Hill Project documents persons associated with the Hartwick Seminary and/or local community who participated in the anti-slavery movement.

P.A.L.S. – the Pluralism Associates League for Students – is established.

Pluralism Advisory Committee is formed.

As Hardy Chair lecturer, Dr. Ted Gordon speaks on “The Cultural Politics of the Black Male Experience.”

Five campus-wide forums on diversity are held.

To support the January Term theme: “Ethnicity in a Changing America,” nationally-known speakers and consultants come to campus: N. Scott Momaday, Joanna Osburn-Bigfeather, and Joan Morrison.

Supported by an American Association of Colleges and Universities grant, faculty are sent to conferences on domestic pluralism, and a modest resource center is established.

In response to the call for a more domestically diverse curriculum, faculty develop new courses. Dean Susan Gotsch makes funds available for additional course development, and an interested group of faculty members meet to discuss the creation of an ethnic studies program.

Thomas Beattie sends a memo to the Planning Advisory Board encouraging:
1) A statement in support of diversifying the student body and the curriculum be added to the Five Plus Plan.
2) The “Academic Climate/Program” portion of the Capital Campaign include among its priorities “increasing and strengthening curricular and student diversity, with special attention to domestic pluralism.”

Hartwick students participate in the Million Man March in Washington, D.C.

Fall Forum – “The Ice Cream Game” is an experiential exercise in the dynamics of discrimination.

Fall Forum – “Mirroring Ourselves and Others: Role-Playing and Parody as Ways of Crossing the Boundaries of Ethnicity, Gender, Culture and Class.”

ALANA students present “Texas Hotlinks.”

ALANA student enrollment at 170 – A more than 100% increase from four years prior.

PALS and USPPO host the ALANA Heritage and Leadership Conference with the Hudson Mohawk Association of Colleges and Universities.

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones played to a packed house in the Agora, Dewar Union.

First annual ALANA Students, Faculty, and Staff get-together, with more than 50 in attendance.

ALANA students hold first Kwanzaa Celebration.

The United States Colored Troops Institute for Local History and Family Research establishes a national membership organization hosted at Hartwick College.

ALANA students establish Gamma Delta Nu Sigma Fraternity

History Department introduces new course: “The United States Colored Troops in the Abolitionist Movement,” taught by Harry Bradshaw Matthews.

Ethnic Coalition celebrates Black Solidarity Day. Student comments: “It’s hard to be the only black face in a classroom.”

Bell Hooks speaks on the role of the Civil Rights and Feminist Movements on American society during J Term’s “Revolutions and Dilemmas of the Twentieth Century.”

First Annual USCT Civil War Luncheon

The Society of Sisters and Brothers United began as an organization for young women of ALANA descent with the intention of establishing a historically black sorority at Hartwick.

“Students for Tolerance” rally on Frisbee Field, with speakers declaring that the campus community must stand united in “support of tolerance and diversity.”

U.S. Pluralism Programs Office submits mission statement.

USCT Institute at Hartwick College selected for inclusion in the Internet Guide to African American Documentary Resources.

Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott’s play, “The Ghost Dance,” which he wrote for the Hartwick theatre arts department and which debuted at Hartwick in 1989, is published by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.

Brothers United became a permanent addition to the existing Society of Sisters United, forming SOSU/BU.

The College Diversity Statement is approved by the Board of Trustees.

Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church of New York City and president of SUNY Old Westbury gives the address at Opening Convocation and is awarded an honorary degree for his distinguished service to society.

Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott, who has visited the college more than 20 times, returns to Hartwick for a poetry reading.

West African musician Mamadou Diabate and his quartet perform their critically-acclaimed world music during Pine Lake Day.

Dean and Director of U.S. Pluralism Programs at Hartwick learns that his book, “African-American Genealogical Research: How to Trace Your Family History” is selected for the permanent collection at the Library of Congress.

The Cyrus B. Mehri Global Pluralism Fellowship is established to enhance Hartwick’s commitment to global pluralism and to help foster “a diverse community of honest interchange in which people can learn from one another through an open sharing of perspectives and life experiences.” Recipients demonstrate an ability to show “promise of being both personally capable of, and interested in, supporting the types of campus activities that will bring more pluralistic and global perspectives to the campus.”

The Harriet Tubman Mentoring Project established at Hartwick as experiential education outside the classroom, under the tutelage of Harry Bradshaw Matthews as the preceptor.

Harriet Tubman Mentoring Project identified by the Association of American Historians as a national model for the engagement of African American and Hispanic students in the study of history.

Twenty notable personalities from the Northeast and Tennessee joined select Hartwick faculty and students in the formation of the American Society of Freedmen Descendants.

The New York State Museum designates the USCT Institute and the Harriet Tubman Mentoring Project as the official New York State representatives at the USCT Grand Review held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in November.

The Society of Sisters United and Brothers United celebrated 10 years of dedication to community service and campus awareness at their annual formal in Stack Lounge, Dewar Union. SOSU/BU service projects include Haiti fundraisers, soup kitchens, Adopt-A-Highway, and YMCA Phone-A-Thon. The organization also dedicates time to awareness campaigns for diabetes and lupus.

The percentage of Hartwick students who are ALANA reaches 14%.

The USCT Institute at Hartwick College was designated by the National Park Service as a (research) center of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

The Harriet Tubman and Buffalo Soldiers Centennial Commemoration was sponsored by PALS, the Harriet Tubman Mentoring Project, and the USCT Institute to mark the 10th Cavalry Regiment’s visit to Oneonta, NY in 1913. A news release was published by the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers.

Harriet Tubman Mentoring Project publishes its first genealogical booklet, “Stories Our Mothers Told Us: A Search for Roots,” which was favorably acknowledged by the New York Public Library Schomburg Center.

The New York State Network to Freedom – Underground Railroad Map identifies the USCT Institute at Hartwick College as a Research Center. The map is co-sponsored by the “I Love New York” campaign and is online.

ALANA students comprised 27 percent of first-year students, which is the largest percent in the history of Hartwick College.

The College Diversity Statement from 2003 is revised and approved by the Board of Trustees.

United States Colored Troops Institute (USCTI) Alumni Advisory Council established.

Student Diversity Advisory Council established.

Series of student/faculty/staff discussion groups on “Civil Rights to Human Rights: A Place for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” are held.

“Black Lives Matter” Hawk Newsome – chairperson of Black Lives Matter New York is guest speaker.

The search began for the inaugural position of Chief Diversity Officer, which was filled by Rory Dean Smith.

In the Fall of 2021, a group of faculty and staff organized the Campus Accessibility Working Group. The purpose of the group is to make Hartwick’s physical campus more accessible for faculty, staff, students and visitors.

Hartwick published a statement acknowledging that the campus is located in the territory of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.

In January of 2022 the first meeting of the Indigenous DEI Committee was held. The committee of faculty, staff and students was created to honor and bring awareness to the Indigenous communities in which we live and learn.

In February of 2022 a campus-wide survey was conducted, asking about how people experience Hartwick in terms of its diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus. 134 people responded, providing largely positive comments and sharing ideas for areas of improvement.

Hartwick celebrated Black History Month with a speaker series that included presentations by Juan Mitchell, Odell Bizzell, and Jordan Green-Ellis.

A new scholarship award titled “It Can Be Done” was started by former students of Harry Bradshaw Matthews, Hartwick’s first Director of the Office of Intercultural Affairs, in his honor.

The Campus-Wide Diversity Committee was given an updated charge and new structure, and renamed the Hartwick College Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee (DEIBC).

How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith was the focus of Hartwick College’s campus-wide read in the Fall. Smith’s works were used in 22 courses involving over 500 students as part of an effort to foster dialogues about race, history, and America’s commitment to equality.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Center

Yager Hall
4th Floor
Hartwick College
Oneonta, New York 13820