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SUNY Potsdam 2023 DEI Symposium

"The Strength of Community, Belonging in Action"

DEI Image

October 26 - October 27, 2023

Location: Barrington Student Union 2nd Floor

The 2023 DEI Symposium will be a gathering of faculty, staff and students representing the Potsdam Campus Community and joined by cohorts from our associated colleges.

The symposium will include both faculty/staff workshops and student workshops.

This program will provide participants with a platform for critical dialogue on existing opportunities for strengthening Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging in higher education and the college campus.


Please note: This conference is not open to the public. Those registering must be currently affiliated with SUNY Potsdam and/or the Associated Colleges.

Register Online

Symposium Schedules


Crane School of Music Concert

Crane LogoJoin the Potsdam Campus Community for "A Musical Celebration of Diversity", sponsored by the Crane School of Music on Thursday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Snell Theater.

Luncheon Keynote Speaker

Dr. Ricardo Nazario-ColonDr. Ricardo Nazario-Colon

State University of New York, Dr. Nazario-Colón is SUNY's senior vice chancellor for diversity, equity, and inclusion and chief diversity officer. He was born in the South Bronx, New York, and raised in the highlands of Puerto Rico. He is an accomplished administrator with over 30 years of experience in various industries including higher education, business, the U.S. Military,and state government. He was the inaugural chief diversity officer at Western Carolina University, a role he held for seven years.

Dr. Nazario-Colón's research interest focuses on African American faculty and staff retention, Black culture centers, and multiracial identity development. His current board involvement includes the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, past president of the Appalachian Studies Association, Appalachian Regional Commission's Leadership Institute, and the University Press of Kentucky Appalachian Futures: Black, Native, and Queer Voice advisory board. His other board experiences include former Chair of Governor Cooper's Advisory Council on Hispanic Latino Affairs, the Fort Bragg Renaming Commission, the Kentucky Native American Commission, the NASPA Latinx Knowledge Community state representative for Kentucky and North Carolina, and the University of North Carolina System Racial Equity Task Force.

He is a published poet with numerous publications in journals and anthologies. He has authored two full and one chapbook, The Moor of the Bronx, Finishing Line Press 2023, Of Jíbaros and Hillbillies,Plain View Press 2011, and The Recital, Winged City Press 2011. Dr. Nazario-Colón's research interests are Black culture centers, multiracial identity experience, and student leadership development. His doctoral research focused on African American faculty and staff retention. He is a former U.S. Marine and division one cross country athlete, a DeWitt Clinton high school graduate, a life member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets.

Dr. Nazario-Colón earned a Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from Western Carolina University, a master's degree in Secondary Education from Pace University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Literature and Latin American Studies from the University of Kentucky.

Artist Highlights

Kit Thomas PictureKit Thomas

Kit Thomas (they/ she) is a Two Spirit Haudenosaunee artist from the St. Regis Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne. They discovered their love for art at a young age and have been creating ever since. Kit works primarily with acrylic paint,using bold and vibrant colors to express their unique perspective on the world thus creating stunning pieces that blend the old with the new. As a two-spirit person, Kit draws inspiration from their Indigenous heritage and incorporates traditional motifs and symbols into their work.

They use their art as a way to explore their identity and connect with their community. Kit’s work has been exhibited across the country and has received praise for its powerful storytelling and striking visual impact. Through their art,Kit aims to challenge stereotypes and promote greater understanding and acceptance of two-spirit people. Their work is deeply rooted in their culture and identity, exploring the intersections of gender, sexuality, and spirituality.

Kit Thomas Art Kit Thomas Art Kit Thomas Art


David Robertson PictureDavid Robertson

David A. Robertson (he, him) was the 2021 recipient of the Writers’ Union of Canada Freedom to Read Award as well as the Globe and Mail Children's Storyteller of the Year. He is the author of numerous books for young readers including When We Were Alone, which won the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award and the McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People Award. The Barren Grounds, Book 1 of the middle-grade The Misewa Saga series, was shortlisted for the Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch Award, and was a finalist for the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award. The Stone Child, Book 2 of The Misewa Saga, won the McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People Award. David's memoir, Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory, was a Globe and Mail and Quill & Quire book of the year in 2020, and won the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction and the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award at the 2020 Manitoba Book Awards. On The Trapline, illustrated by Julie Flett, won David's second Governor General's Literary Award, the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, and was named one of the best picture books of 2021 by the CCBC, The Horn Book, New York Public Library, Quill & Quire, and American Indians in Children's Literature. Dave is the writer and host of the podcast Kíwew (Key-Way-Oh), winner of the 2021 RTDNA Praire Region Award for BestP odcast. His first adult fiction novel, The Theory of Crows, was published in 2022. He is a member of Norway House Cree Nation and currently lives in Winnipeg.

David Robertson Book Cover Image David Robertson Book Cover Image David Robertson Book Cover Image