Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner welcomed Mayor Byron Brown, ’83, to campus Tuesday morning to celebrate the college’s support of the City of Buffalo Opportunity Pledge.
Buffalo State joins a group of more than 145 organizations that have signed the Opportunity Pledge, which encourages area businesses, residents, and organizations to commit to building a culture of inclusion and equality in the City of Buffalo.
“As economic growth and opportunity continues in Buffalo, it is important that all residents and business owners benefit from the city’s rising prosperity,” said Mayor Brown. “I thank my alma mater, Buffalo State College, for signing the Buffalo Opportunity Pledge, a reflection of its continued commitment to helping us build a culture of diversity, inclusion, and equity in Buffalo.”
During a recent address to the campus community, President Conway-Turner highlighted Buffalo State’s commitment to diversity and how it will shape the college’s strategic planning process. “We are diverse, and it is one of our strengths. We represent the domestic diversity of our state and country, and the international diversity of the world. This diversity allows us to have nuanced discussions in class and to ask questions that homogeneous campuses cannot fully consider.”
Conway-Turner continued, “In a world where homogenization of higher education is seen, where every mission and strategic plan begins to looks like every other, we will dare to understand that because we have diverse thinkers from diverse backgrounds, we will allow this diversity to inform our deliberations. We will resist the pressure to be like everyone else. We will hone and codify what it means to be a campus that represents the multiple and interconnected diversity of our world. We will dare to exalt diversity as a strength and continue to rise to leadership among our peers.”
For the third straight year, Buffalo State has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. Buffalo State was the only SUNY campus to receive the 2015 HEED award.
The Buffalo Opportunity Pledge, part of an initiative that is moving Buffalo toward the goal of shared prosperity for all residents, kicked into high gear last summer with the debut of the newly designed logo for the pledge. To date, more than 3,400 individuals have signed the pledge.
The pledge initiative continues Mayor Brown’s efforts to break down barriers for minorities and women that includes the hiring of the most diverse workforce in the city’s history, as well as incorporating community benefits into many of the city’s largest economic development projects.
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