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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

Days of Reflection: Education for Racial Equity and Justice

The Days of Reflection is an initiative intended for education and conversation necessary for moving our campus, community, region, state, nation, and world toward greater racial equity and justice.

Following up on the success of, and feedback from our past events, we have scheduled longer sessions to allow for more conversation among participants. Days of Reflection recognizes the need for sustained, informed conversations about race, ethnicity, and culture, to develop racial literacy and cultural competence.

These much-needed events and the preparatory work for them are sponsored by the College’s Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as part of its belief that "a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice is essential in preparing engaged global citizens to lead lives enriched by critical thought, creativity, discovery, and the pursuit of academic excellence.”

Days of Reflection are closed educational events for the campus community, intended for students, faculty, and staff of SUNY Potsdam.

Virtual Days of Reflection - Spring 2021
April 12-15, 2021

View Flyer (PDF)

All spring 2021 Days of Reflection events will be virtual in Zoom.

Zoom access for Days of Reflection: 

  • To find the Zoom link for a Days of Reflection event as an audience member, you must log into the Get Involved website with your regular SUNY Potsdam credentials. Use the blue login button in upper right corner of the Get Involved screen.
  • Then, click on the Events tab and select "Days of Reflection" from the "Categories" dropdown on the left side of the page.
  • In an individual event, choose "join event online" to join the Zoom meeting.  
  • At 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., the meeting will open 5 minutes before start time.
  • These events are closed educational events for the campus community.

Schedule of Events

Spring 2021 Days of Reflection Events: April 12-15, 2021

Key for Events

W = workshop
P = presentation with discussion/dialog

F = film screening with Q&A

1 = first steps
2 = deepening our understanding

3 = challenging ourselves

Monday, April 12th   

  • The Triple Trauma of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: Race, Gender, Higher Education (P, 1-3) 

    Presented by: Dr. Claudia Ford (SUNY Potsdam Interim Chief Diversity Officer and Department of Environmental Studies)
    5 - 6 p.m.

    There are many impacts of campus sexual and gender-based violence on individuals, families, and, in our case, the campus community. How do we listen and respond to victims and survivors? What are the campus-specific relationships between #metoo and BLM? This presentation will focus on the intersections of gender, race, and student success, along with criminal justice, public health, and civil rights frameworks for understanding this crisis.
  • Fishbowl Conversations on Race (W, 2)
    Presented by: Dr. John Youngblood (SUNY Potsdam Department of English and Communication & Interdisciplinary Studies) & students from COMM 390: Interracial Communication and Rhetoric
    7 - 8:30 p.m.

    Students from COMM 390: Interracial Communication and Rhetoric will host a fishbowl conversation on race. Fishbowl participants will first discuss among themselves race, ethnicity, racism, and power. The moderator will then open the conversation to audience members who may then pose questions or make comments to fishbowl participants. This event will allow students and community members to hear the perspectives of their peers on these important issues, and it will also allow students and community members an opportunity to ask questions of their peers as well as share their own perspectives and thoughts on race and other related topics.

Tuesday, April 13th    

  • Double Pandemic: COVID-19 Amplifying Health Inequities and Social Injustice in America (P, 2)
    Presented by: Dr. Sabena Thomas (SUNY Potsdam Department of Public Health and Human Performance)
    5 - 6 p.m.

    Though not fully characterized, the impact of COVID-19 amplifies pre-existing health inequities that are persistent across other health issues in the U.S. Specifically, black and brown communities suffer disproportionately in the rates of COVID-19 infections, hospitalization and death rates. This disparity begs for us to examine the inherent relationship between systemic injustice, discrimination and acts of racism that may contribute to these health inequities. Most importantly, it underscores the importance of a responsive shift in addressing the root causes of such inequities.
  • Spanish is Forbidden in Here: The Case for Bilingualism (P, 1)
    Presented by: Dr. Oscar Sarmiento (SUNY Potsdam Department of Modern Languages)
    7 - 8 p.m.

    Understanding that bilingualism can take many faces, I will focus here mostly on Latinx ones. Many members of the Latinx community also speak Spanish. But Spanish has been historically suppressed in schools because the educational system privileges monolingualism as a crucial feature of assimilation. Frequently racialized and deeply aware of the push for assimilation, Latinx parents may prefer for their children to become English monolinguals so as not to see them discriminated against. Privileged middle-class people, on the other hand, usually see the instruction of their children in Spanish as a clear educational asset for their future.

Wednesday, April 14th    

  • Let’s Talk about the N-Word (P, 2)
    Presented by: Latesha Fussell ('11, '12, '14 - Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning)
    5 - 6 p.m.

    This presentation will discuss varying viewpoints on the N-word through recent acts of pop culture and incidents on college campuses, as well as strategies to help our students reflect on relationships in order to help them understand language use, including the N-word, is determined by relationships.   

Thursday, April 15th    

  • Becoming the Change (P, 2/3)
    Presented by: Shwanda Barnette, J.D. & Dr. Rebecca Dupas
    5 – 6:30 p.m.

    Join Dr. Rebecca Dupas and Shwanda Barnette, J.D. for an interactive conversation on the college experiences that taught them to become the change that they wished to see. Relying on insight gained on their university campus, their role in the Black Student Union, and the surrounding community almost two decades ago, Dr. Dupas and Ms. Barnette will share their current perspectives as professionals who study and address the effects of systemic racial inequity. Together, they co-host a bi-weekly program on DEAI Strategies for people of color in corporate America.

    Presenter Bios:

    Shwanda T. Barnette, J.D. is the Membership Relations Ambassador and Chair of the Diversity Council for the Florida League of Cities.

    Dr. Rebecca Dupas is an educator, author, poet, and museum educator. She has professional experience rooted in workshop facilitation, training design, and educational and professional development for diverse learners.