SUNY New Paltz students gained a valuable professional and personal development experience at SUNY Cortland’s Men of Color Student Leadership Summit, a full-day event featuring workshops, plenaries and networking that celebrated the launch of a new Multicultural Male Initiative, dedicated to addressing issues related to degree completion and goal attainment for underrepresented male students of color.
The New Paltz representatives, many of who are members of the Scholar’s Mentorship Program and/or the Educational Opportunity Program’s Men Valuing Professionalism leadership initiative, had the opportunity to attend the summit with no registration fee, through a partnership between the Office of Student Affairs and SUNY Cortland’s Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusion.
They traveled with EOP Advisor Robert Hancock and were joined at the SUNY-inclusive summit by students from Cortland, SUNY Delhi, Tompkins Cortland Community College and Oneonta Job Corps.
The conference was headlined by an inspiriting keynote address from Kevin Powell, nationally acclaimed author, activist, poet, entrepreneur and curator.
“Powell challenged the audience to challenge their notions and definitions of manhood,” said James A. Felton III, Chief Diversity Officer at SUNY Cortland. “Who in society created the structures of manhood, who maintains the structures of manhood, and who benefits from manhood? He outlined six areas of redefining manhood: Spiritual (developing compassion for all groups in society), Political (becoming active in issues that impact communities of color), Cultural (self-love or safe-hate of self and your people), Financial, Physical Health and Mental Health.”