Stepping into Diversity, a new student leadership program, launches for 2018-19 academic year

More than 60 SUNY New Paltz students will participate in a series of workshops, trainings and other events as the first cohort of Stepping into Diversity, a new, grant-funded program designed to empower students as leaders and facilitators of conversation about identity and inclusion.

This new community of students will complete approximately 30 hours of Stepping into Diversity programming over the course of the fall and spring semesters.

The goals of this new initiative are not only to help students engage in campus life and learn about themselves and their peers, but also to develop real skills that will differentiate them in the eyes of prospective employers.

“The goal of this new initiative is empowering students to lead in a diverse and global world,” said Diana Suarez, Program Coordinator of Stepping into Diversity. “We want students to be exposed to these topics of diversity and inclusion as well as practice facilitating the difficult conversations that come along with them so that they are able to advocate and make change for themselves and others.”

The programs will include workshops, led by expert New Paltz faculty and staff as well as nationally renowned guest educators, on topics such as race and racism, ability and accessibility, immigration and the experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals.

They will also attend important cultural events, such as Black Solidarity Day, and participate in dialogues in residence halls and at the Sojourner Truth Library’s Conversation One series.

The Stepping into Diversity curriculum culminates in a conference presentation, which will ask students to synthesize what they’ve learned and apply those lessons to their own personal experiences and professional goals.

More information about the Stepping into Diversity program is available online.