About Us

The SUNY Black Faculty and Staff Collectives is a 501 c3 Charitable Organization

Mission Statement: SUNY Black Faculty and Staff Collective (SBFSC)

We, the SUNY Black Faculty and Staff Collective, have formed to support Black students, faculty, and staff on SUNY campuses and beyond. Moreover, we are committed to transforming SUNY into an anti-racist structure. The SUNY Black Faculty and Staff Collective seeks to make meaningful institutional changes by advocating for, aiding in the implementation of, and coordinating such activities that support Black students, staff, and faculty across SUNY’s campuses. The Collective stands independent from, but in support of, offices of Diversity and Inclusion as a faculty, staff, and student led effort for concrete change for racial justice in SUNY. It frames it's advocacy and organizational activity in the following ways:

Educational Advocacy

1. Teaching of the Humanities, Sciences and Trades education at community, comprehensive and research colleges, as well as within New York state communities/community organizations done in service to the upliftment, success, and inclusion of Black & African diasporic concerns & perspectives. Work in this area centers on strengthening teacher and regional/state community capacity to support expressed needs from Black and African Diasporic communities through the establishment of New York regional and/or state level programs/projects generated by collective membership. This will include the pursuit of discipline specific state, federal and private grants, sliding scale accessible and equitable paid consultation and professional development service to outside organizations interested in deepening their support of Black & African diasporic communities, and where appropriate partnerships with solution centered community organizations.

Research and Scholarship

2. Promoting Research communities aimed at active solutions that counter racial disparities experienced by the intersectional( gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, race, class) and diverse communities of Black peoples on SUNY campuses and in their surrounding communities. Work in this area centers on the establishment of Black/African Diasporic centered research groups interested in promoting cross SUNY and cross state research partnerships between faculty at multiple levels of the SUNY community and direct collaboration with the Shirly Chisolm Center of SUNY colleges in efforts toward diversity, equity, and Inclusion.

3. Promoting Scholarship and engagement of Black students in the production of academic scholarship, including in the arts, at the undergraduate and graduate levels engaging Black and African diasporic concerns and perspectives. Work in this area centers on engagement with Black and minority student support offices, the development of direct grants/scholarships support student work and degree completion at the community, comprehensive and research levels.

Collaboration and Community Facing Action

4. Collaboration , Co-ordination, and direct advocacy to motivate accountability of the SUNY college’s Office of the Chancellor and Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion to see concreate and consistent improvement in the social, academic, and personal success of Black and African Diasporic faculty, staff, and students. At the heart of this mission is the goal to see dramatic increases in the representation of Black and African Diasporic communities in the teaching, support staff and administrative communities of SUNY colleges that more adequately represents Black and African diasporic student populations. Work in this area centers on serving on community (town/city), regional( county), state and SUNY related D.E.I committees, yearly meetings of the Board and Executive Advisory Board with the SUNY Chancellor, Chief Diversity Officer, and other administrative heads of SUNY in which key concerns, opportunities and insights centering on the diverse needs of a highly diverse Black population can be offered to inform policy approaches .

5. Creating a network of Professional support, collaboration, and communication representative of the diverse and intersectional identities of for Black faculty, staff, and students across community, comprehensive and research colleges in the SUNY system. Work in this area centers on the development of professional and/or student-centered Conference, Online meetings/discussions, social engagements community level partnerships, New York community level service actions as well as the pursuit of such funding and sponsorship to achieve these efforts.

6. Advocacy and Support for students, faculty and staff who are exposed to and/or experiencing issues relating to anti-Blackness within SUNY colleges/universities or in their surrounding communities. Advocacy and Support will be provided to disrupt anti-Blackness or support pro-Blackness. Work in this area will include comprehensive services to address physical, emotional, and academic needs with an end state in mind: to heal and prevent further harm. Our advocacy and support process are there to assist students, faculty, staff, and organizations with identifying needs and managing complex challenges. The advocacy and support team will utilize a variety of clinical lenses and frameworks to understand the root cause of the situation and support students, faculty, and staff or organizations in the creation of individualized plan(s) . This plan may include referral to other experts outside of the collective, informal dialogue and development of possible plans of action with Sr. faculty or staff, highlighting of concern(s) to union advocates at research, community, or comprehensive colleges, highlighting of concern to student governance leadership or highlighting of findings to organizations approaching the collective for service.

BFSC History

The SUNY Black Faculty and Staff Collective (SUNY BFSC) was founded in response to the death of SUNY Dutchess Community College student Maurice Gordon at the hands of a New Jersey state trooper. His death came in a time of a national pandemic and a national outcry to see justice and equity for Black peoples in their relationship to policing and larger society. In the summer of 2020 a clarion call to action was sent out -- for the first time in SUNY history -- to Black faculty, staff, and students from across the state to form a response to SUNY’s inadequate attention to the loss of Maurice Gordon and lack of support for Black peoples on SUNY’s 64 campuses. Out of this meeting student, staff and faculty representation from SUNY New Paltz, and faculty and staff representatives from SUNY Dutchess Community College, SUNY Farmingdale, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Polytechnic, SUNY Old Westbury, and SUNY Oneonta came together as full and equal members to refine a letter highlighting the necessary reforms needed within SUNY to improve the quality of life for Black peoples within SUNY colleges, and to form the first leadership team.

Statement of Community

The Collective is a space that recognizes Blackness as uniquely diverse in its representation and expression, multinational in its experiences and contexts, and expansive in its presence and presentation in social identities. This Collective is a space that centers the needs and experiences of Black peoples wherever they are and however they are. We will continuously strive to be a space that repudiates racism, misogynoir, xenophobia, colorism, homophobia, and transphobia, and always dedicated to advancing policies that support Black peoples. We challenge ourselves through our scholarship, teaching and advocacy to demand a just and equitable space for our Black students, staff and faculty within SUNY, New York state and the United States.

Advocacy Points

Advocacy Point 1

A formal letter acknowledging the loss of SUNY Chemistry student Maurice Gordon’s life and consideration of a scholarship in his name at D.C.C is to be collaboratively developed with the Gordon Family.

Advocacy Point 2

A seat at the table for Black faculty and staff on SUNY’s transition team in order to diversify representation in the selection of a new SUNY Chancellor.

Advocacy Point 3

The creation of an Institute led by qualified instructors, which would facilitate the study of race with an embedded mission to support Black scholars.

Advocacy Point 4

The preservation of SUNY faculty and staff employment, especially Black staff and faculty, in order to not lose SUNY’s progress on hiring racially diverse faculty and staff.

Advocacy Point 5

A recommendation to all SUNY campuses that faculty, especially at the community college level, serving as faculty mentors for student groups serving Black students be granted course release time to support Black students, and motivate the growth and success of Black students in SUNY.

Advocacy Point 6

Divestment of SUNY from contracts for furniture from state prisons and a reinvestment in prison education programs leading to degrees, certification and long-term employment for the formally incarcerated.

Advocacy Point 7

A reevaluation of the working conditions and mission of Chief Diversity Officers on SUNY’s 64 campuses and the establishment of clearer support for the missions of those offices.

Advocacy Point 8

The development of a special initiative within ProdiG that specifically and intentionally targets the recruitment of Black faculty across SUNY’s 64 campuses, with attention to STEM fields.

Advocacy Point 9

The establishment of an Institute within SUNY to develop faculty and staff towards the acquisition of doctoral degrees with an emphasis on growing research skills and knowledge of minority populations among SUNY’s teachers and staff who have not earned a Phd or terminal degree.

Advocacy Point 10

Reevaluating the use of PRODiG to hire Black faculty on as a retention tool prior to considering external hires.

Advocacy Point 11

The establishment of “Summer Institutes” to develop faculty racial literacy as they relate to teaching practices, student interaction, and colleague support staffed, and run by qualified teaching professionals from SUNY colleges and community colleges who study race in the classroom.