Skip to Equity and Diversity Programs site navigationSkip to main content

The mission of Equity and Diversity Programs (OED) at Ramapo College of New Jersey is to ensure the community celebrates diversity and creates a favorable campus climate for all through programs, and peer education.  As an office we believe that diversity is necessary for the success of the institution.

OED assists in the recruitment, retention, engagement and graduation of traditionally represented students, conducts cross-cultural and diversity awareness training, coordinates co-curricular diversity and equity programs and advises affiliated student organizations.

Ramapo
Programs

The Office of Equity & Diversity Programs provides an array of educational programs and social activities that promote diversity and enhance cross-cultural understanding. For more information, please see below:

Heritage Months

  • February: African American Heritage Month
  • April: Asian-Pacific Islander Month
  • September: Hispanic-Latin@ Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • October: Queer and Trans History Month; Disability Awareness Month
  • November: Native American Heritage Month; Black Solidarity Week
Ramapo College Celebrates Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month - April 2020

The Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Compliance (EDIC) is pleased to continue its tradition of recognizing April 2020 as Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, in which we acknowledge and honor the history, heritage and contributions of Asian Americans, South Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.

We are also pleased to share this video compilation, comprised of messages from some of our Ramapo students, faculty and staff!

 

 

Ramapo College Celebrates Black History Month - February 2021

Ramapo College Celebrates Black History Month

OPENING PROCLAMATION

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff & Friends, Ramapo College of New Jersey is proud to continue its annual recognition and celebration of Black History Month during the month of February. Black History Month is a time in which Black Americans are recognized for their significant accomplishments and contributions to U.S. history. Black History Month was created in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Initially, it was celebrated during just one week in February and at that time referred to as “Negro History Week”. However, by the start of the 1970s, the one-week celebration extended into the entire month of February.

Since then, Black History Month has been officially recognized throughout the United States and in other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom. We invite all members of the College to take some time to join in the celebration of the culture, heritage and accomplishments of Black Americans and people of African descent. You can do so by joining the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Compliance and the members of the Black Student Union for a range of discussions, activities and other engaging virtual events listed below.

Best regards,
Nicole Morgan Agard
Chief Equity & Diversity Officer

*Below is a listing of virtual events planned for this month, along with recommended films, readings, art and webinars.

Ramapo

EVENTS

Wednesday, February 3rd, 5:30 p.m.
Black History Month Kahoot
Join the members of the Black Student Union in a virtual Black History Month Kahoot trivia game! For more information, please send an email to bsu@ramapo.edu.

Thursday, February 11th, 6 p.m.
Speed Dating
Join the members of the Black Student Union in a discussion regarding dating in a digital setting. For more information, please send an email to bsu@ramapo.edu.

Thursday, February 11th, 9 p.m.
Jae Nichelle
The College Programming Board invites all students, faculty & staff to hear writer, poet and spoken-word artist Jae Nichelle on Thursday, February 11 at 9 pm. For more information, please send an email to cpb@ramapo.edu.

Monday, February 22nd, 1 p.m.
Dr. Louis Maraj, “Black or Right: Anti-Racist Campus Rhetoric”
EDIC invites all students, faculty & staff to join us in a conversation with Dr. Louis Maraj, Ramapo Alum, Professor and author of “Black or Right: Anti/Racist Campus Rhetorics”, which explores notions of Blackness in historically white institutions.
Location: Webex (TBA)

Thursday, February 25th, 1 p.m.
SSHS Presents “Conversations on Race”
Join the School of Social Science & Human Services in its “Conversations on Race” Series, where they will engage in a conversation on Race and Education: Segregated Schools! All are welcome! For more information, please send an email to Dean Aaron Lorenz at alorenz@ramapo.edu.
Location: Webex

Thursday, February 25th, 7 p.m.
Enactus: Celebrating Black Entrepreneurship: A Story of Relationships, Community & Success
Join the Ramapo College Enactus in a panel discussion celebrating Black Entrepreneurship.
To register, please see the following link.
Location: Webex

Thursday, February 25th, 7 p.m.
Sip n Create
Join the members of the Black Student Union in this Sip n Create event. Participants can bring their own crafts and create while mingling. For more information, please send an email to bsu@ramapo.edu.

Ramapo

CAMPUS DISCUSSIONS

These short videos are best watched on a laptop or desktop computer.

  • Be Other Minded with Professor Regina Clark
  • Black Student Union (BSU) Founding with Professor Regina Clark
  • Activist Movement with Professor Regina Clark
  • Power In Numbers with Professor Regina Clark
  • Unity with Professor Regina Clark 509940250
  • Walking in the Shoes of Titans with Professor Indya Jackson
  • Assata Shakur with Professor Indya Jackson
  • Paul Robeson with Professor Indya Jackson
  • Here in NJ People Fought with Professor Indya Jackson
  • 20% of Population with Professor Indya Jackson

For the full presentations, please visit our School of Contemporary Arts’s Black Live Matter at Ramapo Colloquium.

FILMS

  • Roots. Roots is an 8-part mini-series based on a 1976 novel by renowned author Alex Haley.  It follows the story of an African man who was sold into slavery and brought to the U.S., and chronicles the lives of seven generations of this man’s family.
    Where to Watch: iTunes, Vudu, Amazon Prime
  • Hidden Figures.  Hidden Figures is a biographical drama about 3 African American female mathematicians who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and served a vital role at NASA during the early years of the U.S. Space Program.
    Where to Watch: Amazon, Disney+, FuboTV, iTunes, GooglePlay
  • Marshall.  This historical film, set in 1940, is about Thurgood Marshall, an African-American civil rights attorney who worked for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and traveled to Connecticut to defend an African-American chauffeur accused of raping his Caucasian female employer (note: Thurgood Marshall became the 1st African-American appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court and he served from October 1967 to October 1991).
    Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay, YouTube
  • The Hate You Give.  This fictional movie is about a 16 year old black girl who struggles between 2 worlds: the predominantly poor black neighborhood she lives in and the predominantly white school she attends.  Both worlds are shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her black childhood friend at the hands of a police officer.
    Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, FuboTV, iTunes, YouTube
  • SelmaSelma follows the 3 month period leading up to the historic 1965 “Bloody Sunday” march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, which was led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and key figures in the Civil Rights Movement.  This historic march resulted in the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
    Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, FX Networks, FuboTV,YouTube.
Ramapo

WEBCASTS

  • Tuesday, February 2, 2021, 4 p.m.: Protest as Politics: African American Young Adults Reimagining Democracy. The Lecture Discussion will seek to address the position many African American young adults have been placed in terms of facilitating a reimagining of democracy in the wake of recent injustices and existence of white supremacy and anti-blackness.  Sponsored by the Harvard Radcliffe Institute.  For more information, see the following link.
  • Thursday, February 11, 2021, 2 p.m.: Finding the Harriet in You.
    Join Morgan Avery McCoy, Actress and Author, in a discussion about Harriet Tubman and life-coach lessons that can be learned from Tubman’s Life.  Sponsored by the Anacostia Community Museum.  For more information, see the following link.
  • Saturday, February 20, 2021, 9:30 a.m. One Begins Again: Organizing & the Historical Imagination.
    Join the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture & the Modern Experience for this 41
    st Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series.  Moderated by Barbara Ransby, Scholar, Activist & Author.  For more information, please click on the following link.
  • Sunday, February 21, 12-3 p.m. and Sunday, February 28, 12-3 p.m.  African Americans in STEM Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon.
    T
    he National African American History & Culture Museum and blackcomputHER.org collaborated to create this program, in which participants can create and edit Wikipedia pages for African American STEM professionals, thereby highlighting the impact African Americans in STEM have on their communities, the nation, and the world.  For more information see the following link: Wikipedia.
  • Tuesday, February 23, 7-8 p.m. Historically Speaking: The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on the African American Community.
    Join in a discussion with renowned panelists about the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact is has had on the economy and the African American community. Sponsored by the African American History & Culture Museum.  This is a free event; however registration is recommended. For more information, see the following link.
Ramapo

BOOKS

  • “Becoming” by Michelle Obama. This autobiographical novel by the former 1st Lady chronicles her journey from childhood to becoming the wife of the 1st Black U.S. President. 
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This fictional book is about two Nigerians who travel to the U.S. and the United Kingdom and along the way raise universal questions of race, belonging and the overseas experience for the African diaspora.
  • “Dear Martin” by Nic Stone. This fictional novel is about an Ivy League-bound black student, who is faced with social injustice when confronted by a police officer. The student looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for answers and creates a journal to Dr. King. 
  • “Freedom is a Constant Struggle” by Angela Davis. This book contains a collection of essays, interviews, and speeches by renowned activist and scholar Angela Davis, who draws connections between the struggles against violence and oppression throughout history and around the world.
  • “Just As I Am: A Memoir” by Cicely Tyson. A memoir about the life of a trailblazing lecturer, activist and award winning actress, who recently passed away on January 28, 2021 at the age of 96.
Ramapo

TED TALKS

Programs
Ramapo

All Together Diversity Retreat

ATD is designed to critically examine various issues and “isms” that relate to living in a multicultural and diverse community. This is an excellent opportunity to explore the intersection of diversity and leadership, build skills around communication and inclusiveness, and connect with student leaders from different organizations across campus. After the retreat, students are galvanized by the enhanced connections made and are able to continue in their work as student leaders with a supportive community behind them.

Retreat Goals:

  • Identify and explore your own cultural values, while learning about other participants’ sociocultural backgrounds.
  • Examine the impact of oppression on different sociocultural groups.
  • Identify your personal responses to cultural diversity.
  • Develop a stronger understanding of multiculturalism.
  • Develop or enhance your skills and identify resources for incorporating a multicultural perspective into your own lives and into our society.
Ramapo

Diversity Peer Educators

The Equity & Diversity Peer Educator (EDPE) position is a student staff position within Equity & Diversity Programs that assists with student diversity initiatives on campus including: acting as a facilitator for diversity dialogues; planning activities and events that educate on issues of diversity; building relationships that foster inclusivity and celebrate differences; and serving as a role model within the community.

Ramapo

Diversity Day

Diversity Day is a day to celebrate and embrace who we are, despite our differences, no matter what race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality, or disability. It is also a day to reflect on and learn about different cultures and ideologies at Ramapo College.

Ramapo

Mentoring

The Office of Equity and Diversity provides mentoring for Faculty and Staff. Please reach out to oed@ramapo.edu for any questions or concerns.

Ramapo

Programs, Workshops, and Training

The Office of Equity and Diversity hosts webinars throughout the semester to educate and discuss topics of diversity and inclusion on campus and in the classroom. Upcoming and past webinar topics can be found here.

Ramapo

Students of Color Rites of Passage Ceremony

The Students of Color Rites of Passage Ceremony is a specific celebration for graduating Students of Color. It is held to express and celebrate the achievements of the community here at Ramapo College, and to honor each individual’s journey through college and through their identity.

Ramapo

Check out how to get involved with Equity and Diversity Programs below:

Discussion/Support Groups

Sister Connections

A bi-weekly discussion/support group for women of color on campus to find support and community with other women of color. This group is sponsored by The Women’s Center and The Office of Equity and Diversity Programs.


MAST (Men Achieving Success Together)

A bi-weekly group mentoring program for men at Ramapo College to provide an environment where students can recognize differences, create community with other students, faculty, and staff, and celebrate diversity. This group is sponsored by the Educational Opportunity Fund and The Office of Equity and Diversity Programs.

Training and Development

Better Together

Better Together is a mini-workshop for faculty that aims to foster dialogue on diversity and equity in the classroom, focusing in particular on issues that are important to students. The workshop was developed by the Faculty Fellow for Diversity and Equity along with the staff of the Center for Student Involvement and the Diversity Action Committee. Drawing from issues and concerns that emerged during focus groups with students, the workshop’s goal is to provide a venue for faculty to engage these issues and discuss how to best address them. Some of the topics covered include how to facilitate difficult dialogues in the classroom, recognizing and addressing microaggressions, and employing best practices.

Ramapo

Teaching Circles

Topics:

Student Engagement Techniques in the Classroom

Navigating the National Political Climate in the Classroom

Environmental Humanities

Contemplative Learning

For more information click here.

Ramapo

Webinars

 

Past Webinar Topics

Beyond LGBTQ
Students who identify outside the well-known labels of bisexual, transgender, lesbian, and gay often feel left out of conversations about sexuality and gender. Learn more about supporting students whose identities are not commonly spoken (or known) about.

Black Men & Mental Health
Many black students feel less emotionally prepared for college than white students do – and they are often less likely to seek help – according to a recent survey conducted by the Jed Foundation and the Steve Fund. For black men, there are psychological and emotional concerns that can arise as a result of the intersectionality of being black and male in American culture, making mental illness a silent epidemic for this population. Is your institution adequately supporting these students?

Minority students – including black men – are at a greater risk for mental health difficulties. Barriers exist, making it difficult for black men to reach out for help when they need it most. Stigmas surrounding seeking help, worries about expressing vulnerable emotions, and pressures to endorse traditional masculinity compound these struggles.

Campus Facilities & Transgender Students
Building new campus facilities and renovating older facilities are huge projects with many intersecting interests, priorities, and requirements. When it comes to trans students, how do we foster and create campus facilities that are safe, inclusive, and comply with Title IX? This webinar will share strategies to develop restrooms, residence hall bathrooms, and locker rooms in recreational centers and athletic buildings that can address the needs of trans students, including an examination of social and political concerns and the financial cost. The experiences of several campuses will be discussed as case studies to help other colleges create trans-supportive facilities.

Charlottesville Aftermath
The national outrage and controversy surrounding the Unite the Right rally has been unprecedented. Campuses across the country are dealing with the fallout. Students have been arrested; others have been dismissed from their institutions; and faculty, staff and administrators are grappling with how to address their outrage, fear and concerns.

Anger, fear and grief are real emotions that many are expressing because of the rally, its aftermath and other prominent incidents taking place globally. Gain tools to address the underlying hate and fear many on campus are experiencing — and will likely continue to experience as events unfold over the next number of months.

DACA Program to End
The lives of hundreds of thousands undocumented youth or DREAMers are once again in limbo. The U.S. Administration has announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be phased out within the next six months. The program allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to work with a social security number and live in the country without fear of deportation. These 800,000 recipients, many of whom are in college, will no longer have the legal protections they formerly had. It’s a crushing blow.

The stress and fear for undocumented students is real. They may not be able to finish their education due to financial hardships and stressors, they may not be able work in the career they have been studying towards, and they will become vulnerable to deportation. Get the facts so you can support them with the phasing out of DACA – legally, socio-emotionally and academically – through March 5, 2018 and beyond.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Training for Faculty and Staff
Campuses across the country feel the intensifying call to stand in unison and invest effort and energy to ensure that leaders, staff, and faculty are committed to and demonstrating a mutual goal to create an inclusive campus environment. Many recognize the potential rewards of increased student persistence and graduation and increased staff/faculty retention.

Now is the time to reignite and reinvigorate intentional, comprehensive training programs focused on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.

First Generation Students
First-generation students bring unique challenges to the table, as they sometimes balance two identities for themselves — one for home and one for college. Being the first in their family to embark on the college experience can be both anxiety-provoking and exciting. Family members may be supportive, but may not have the cultural or social capital to help their students successfully navigate this strange new world. This is where you can help.

Identify your first-generation students’ strengths, as well as take an active role in helping them transition into, through and beyond college.

Hate Crimes On Campus
University administrators must be swift and comprehensive in addressing hate crimes on their campuses or the effect can be devastating to their community. Southern Poverty Law Center reported approximately 1,094 hate and bias-related incidents in the months following the election. Morale, institutional values, inclusive training, opportunities for authentic dialogue and legal concerns are all issues that institutions must consider when an incident occurs.

Meet the Mental Health Needs of Your LGBTQ Students
The 2015 Freshman Survey results showed that only 25 percent of students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or “other” rated their emotional health as “above average,” compared to 53 percent of heterosexual students. And almost 50 percent of students who identified as queer said they frequently felt depressed, compared to 8 percent of heterosexual students.

If your clinical staff isn’t prepared to provide optimal support, you can’t take part in creating an affirming and supportive community that assists in the safety, satisfaction and success of your LGBTQ students.

Microaggression
Today, more than ever, college campuses across the world are experiencing tremendous upheaval, a rise in student activism and institutions living in a world of uncertainty. Higher Education administrators must serve their diverse populations however, many feel ill equipped to recognize campus dynamics, solicit student experiences, and implement strategies to foster inclusive campus environments that address microaggression from the bottom up.

Those doing the work find themselves caught in a world where the idea of safe spaces are highly scrutinized, microaggressions and exclusionary behaviors, policies, and structures go unaddressed and ongoing debate of political correctness stifles progress and spreads confusion and frustration.

Move Beyond Civility
Many faculty members are experiencing a significant increase in both the frequency and the intensity of difficult dialogues in their classrooms. Their ability to engage students and facilitate meaningful dialogue in these moments not only furthers learning, but can also impact student success. Mismanaged conversations often result in unresolved issues, misunderstanding, and simmering conflict that undermine learning outcomes and campus-wide goals to create inclusive campus environments.

Support Your Muslim Students
It’s scary to be Muslim in America. There have been a number of incidents in the news involving hate crimes, property damage, and ongoing episodes of verbal and physical abuse to Muslim individuals across the country. A recent episode of hate letters targeting mosques is yet another instance of an action of hate that has been targeted towards the Muslim community. The events regarding the U.S. Presidential Election have heightened the intensity of these threats, as proposed policies discuss the exclusion of Muslim immigrants and the tracking of those who reside here, amongst other polarizing rhetoric.

What can you do on your campus to support your Muslim students, faculty and administrators?

Trigger Warnings & Safe Spaces On Campus
The letter above received national attention because of its polarizing view on trigger warnings and safe spaces. A great deal of discussion has ensued about how institutions should support students. How do you respond to complaints about subtle cultural insensitivity — as well as more overt racist behavior? Trigger warnings and safe spaces may or may not be the answer. Join this important national discussion so you can determine how to manage trigger warnings, free speech, and even Title IX issues on your campus. These legal and emotional issues can quickly land you, your staff and your institution in the midst of a lawsuit, a headline or a protest if you don’t have a handle on them.

Working With Your Student Activists
Racial Climate. Gender Equity. Religious Freedom. Tuition Increases. Administrative Integrity and Trust. These hot button issues — and many more — are serving as a springboard for student rallies, protests, sit-ins and demonstrations that can create chaos, disruption, potential risk and safety concerns throughout your campus community — sometimes without any notice.

You can provide space for your student activists to express themselves and create awareness of issues important to them AND maintain a safe and productive campus environment for everyone. There are effective ways to work with your student activists, leaders and organizations beyond the typical hard core response. Through a few adaptable strategies, you can create ongoing, inclusive and positive dialogue and relationships by engaging those students EARLY who may feel disenfranchised. It’s a win-win for your students and your institution.

Calendar of Events

Diversity Convocation

Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 12 p.m.
Virtual Event