Six Canisius faculty, administrators and alumni recently attended the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Conference on Diversity and Equity (AJCU-CDE) in Syracuse, NY from June 17-19, 2019. This year’s conference, entitled Magis: Breaking the Cycle of Marginalization on College Campuses, took place on the campus of Le Moyne College.
The AJCU-CDE (formerly known as the Conference on Minority Affairs) was founded in 1981 to provide a forum for professionals and students from Jesuit colleges and universities across the United States to share information relative to students of color.
Lilly Adams-Dudley ’72, MS ’76, Canisius’ retired associate dean and director of COPE, co-founded the AJCU-CDE.
“The theme, Magis: Breaking the Cycle of Marginalization on College Campuses,” is particularly important as we all strive to become more diverse and inclusive campuses,” says Fatima Rodriguez Johnson MS ’98, associate dean of diversity and inclusion. “The workshops hosted by our colleagues at John Carroll University and Santa Clara University provided great insight for developing comprehensive strategies for inclusion and tools for diversifying the professoriat.”
Each year, the AJCU-CDE hosts a meeting in June on the campus of an AJCU member institution that brings together colleagues from all areas of campus to discuss the broad range of issues that significantly impact the education of students of color and the retention of faculty and staff of color at Jesuit institutions of higher education.
Sababu Norris, director of the ALANA Student Center, is a long-time participant in the AJCU-CDE and has held multiple leadership positions over the years. ”Offering valuable support to students and colleagues, the AJCU-CDE creates, educates and as a bonus, invigorates its membership,” he says. “The AJCU-CDE provides an impressive network of experienced and accessible leaders.”
Participants took part in engaging diversity workshops, listened to informative keynote speakers, sampled delicious food, and enjoyed networking with faculty and staff from 17 Jesuit institutions. Canisius alumnus Bennie Williams ’11, MS ’13, director of Le Moyne College’s Office of Inclusive Excellence & Global Education, who served as interim vice chair for the AJCU-CDE, also did a fantastic job as the conference’s main campus host.
The Canisius contingent included:
Devonya Havis, PhD, associate professor of philosophy, who served as one of the keynote speakers. Her talk, entitled “Improvising upon and Inhabiting Magis: Modes of Being Otherwise,” received an appreciation award.
Sababu Norris, director of the ALANA Student Center. Norris received a handsome plaque from the AJCU-CDE E-Board for his work in higher education, including the creation of the Canisius College Performance Troupe. Norris was surprised and humbled by the gift. Williams ’11, MS ’13, told the banquet audience that he attended Buffalo’s Bennett High School and witnessed a performance of the Troupe, which inspired him to attend Canisius College!
Fatima Rodriguez Johnson MS ’98, associate dean of diversity and inclusion and Canisius’ campus representative for the AJCU-CDE
Gustavo Dos Santos ’17, MS ’20, graduate assistant in the Office of Student Life
Neil Savoy ’16, MS ’18, area director, Office of Campus Life & Leadership, Le Moyne College
Bennie Williams ’11, MS ’13, director of Le Moyne College’s Office of Inclusive Excellence & Global Education, AJCU-CDE’s vice chair and main campus host
Submitted by: College Communications