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In September 2019, a subcommittee began meeting to develop a Canisius College Diversity & Inclusion Statement.  The subcommittee consists of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, student affairs and facilities management staff, as well as neighbors from the Hamlin Park Community & Taxpayers Association. The guiding principles for the statement were to frame diversity and inclusion work as an integral part of our mission and identity, to communicate the importance of our urban location and being in solidarity with others, and to make a commitment to address diversity and inclusion issues at the macro and micro levels of the institution. The statement is both descriptive and aspirational. Our final draft of the statement, reflecting feedback from the senior leadership team, was presented and approved by the college Strategic Planning Committee this past February.

Canisius College Diversity & Inclusion Statement:

Consistent with our Catholic Jesuit mission and identity, we stand in solidarity with and advocate for everyone of all abilities, identities, life experiences and perspectives.

As a campus located in a diverse Buffalo community, we are committed to:

  • Creating a culture of acceptance, awareness, learning, respect and understanding inside and outside of the classroom
  • Pursuing academic excellence through a curriculum of diverse ideas and vibrant interpersonal classroom experiences that challenge individuals to grow
  • Promoting a safe and welcoming experience that encourages questioning and discussion
  • Advancing equity by removing institutional barriers to success for all members of the community
  • Developing lifelong learners who contribute to an increasingly diverse and global society

I would like to thank the following subcommittee members for their thoughtful contributions and collaboration:

Stephanie Barber Geter, president, Hamlin Park Community & Taxpayers Association

Sierra M. Bonerb, associate director, Support Services-Accessibility Support & Veterans

Paola C. Fajardo-Heyward, associate professor, Political Science/Faculty-Student Liaison, Faculty Senate

Deanna Garwol, student, Campus Ministry Intern

Susan C. Gruttadauria, administrative associate, Computer Science, Math, Physics, and Core

Donald Hamilton, staff, Facilities Management

Mylan Hawkins, student, ULLC

Abby Hughes, student, USA President

Jabril Moore, graduate student, HESA

Lizzy Nankumba, student, ULLC

Rodrigo Ortiz, student, Executive Board LASAF

Brian Smith, director, International Students & Study Abroad

Malini C. Suchak, associate professor, ABEC

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts on the statement, I welcome your feedback. Please email me at

Submitted by: Fatima Rodriguez Johnson, associate dean, Diversity & Inclusion