Chancellor Malatras Announces New SUNY Shirley Chisholm Center for Equity Studies Fellowship Program to Study Racial and Economic Disparities in Order to Drive Policy Change

June 22, 2021

Fellows to Support SUNY Research on Social and Racial Injustice, and Inform SUNY's 25-Point Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan to Close Racial Equity Gaps, and Eliminate Cultural and Institutional Discrimination

Five Fellowships to be Awarded; Application Process to Begin Next Month

Albany, NY – State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras announced today the creation of the SUNY Shirley Chisholm Center for Equity Studies Fellowship Program to study racial and economic disparities to drive policy change for people of color and underserved communities. Up to five fellows will be selected to research and find solutions to social and racial injustice in our communities, as well as in SUNY's 64 campuses. The Chisholm Fellows will also help inform the implementation of SUNY's 25-point Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan, announced in February, to close racial equity gaps, and eliminate cultural and institutional discrimination across SUNY. The application process for the 2021-2022 academic year is expected to begin next month.

The fellows will receive $10,000 for research and other academic activities, and will serve for one year at the Shirley A. Chisholm Center for Equity Studies, which is currently housed at SUNY Empire State College. Chancellor Malatras established the Center in 2020 in honor of the Brooklyn native who in 1968 became the first Black woman to win a seat in Congress. It is a public policy institute serving SUNY's 64 campuses, using data-driven analysis to explore and uncover the roots, workings, and impacts of structural racism and systemic inequities in communities today, and from the research drive policy change and create opportunities for underserved communities.

"Shirley Chisholm was a trail blazer and an inspirational advocate for economic and social justice, and the new fellowship program at the SUNY Shirley Chisholm Center for Equity Studies in her honor will address important issues of racial diversity, discrimination, equity, and inclusion in a concrete and truly meaningful way," said Chancellor Malatras. "The Shirley Chisholm Fellowship Program will bring together leading researchers to study and craft impactful policy, and challenge us to always embody the ideals on which SUNY was founded. Shirley Chisholm said, ‘I don't measure America by its achievement, but by its potential'. As leaders, we must adopt a similarly aspirational approach rooted in real and meaningful action—taking stock in the incredible progress we've made, while working tirelessly to formulate a brighter, better, and more inclusive vision for the future."

SUNY Trustee James Haddon said, "Through our new Shirley Chisholm Fellowships, we will tap into specialized research expertise both within and outside SUNY, bringing together Faculty Fellows with deep knowledge on issues of racial diversity, equity, and inclusion. We will listen closely, as input from these faculty experts will be invaluable in framing and implementing our ambitious, 25-point system-wide action plan. The plan they shape will help protect and empower all members of our SUNY community, expand educational access and improve outcomes for members of marginalized communities, and ensure that we are producing solid citizens literate racial justice issues—both historically and in present-day society."

Dr. Henry Louis Taylor, Jr., a University at Buffalo professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and member of the Black Faculty Staff Collective who raised the idea for the fellowship program, said, "Amongst the SUNY faculty, we have some of the brightest minds conducting research and sharing their expertise to solve for long-standing social and racial issues. Convening a fellowship to develop policy and contribute to SUNY's 25-point Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion action plan is an excellent opportunity for both SUNY to help guide the work ahead in a meaningful way, and for the faculty members to affect true, lasting change across the vast SUNY system. Together, we will create a more equitable and welcoming environment for all."

SUNY Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Phase 1 Action Plan


SUNY Black Faculty AND STaff Collective BLACK Solidarity Conference 2020 Day1


SUNY Black Faculty AND STaff Collective BLACK Solidarity Conference 2020 Day2

Theme: "Good and Necessary Trouble"

The late Congressman John Lewis called upon all of us to embrace getting into "Good Trouble and Necessary Trouble" to make the United States and the World a better place. For the inaugural BFSC Black Solidarity Conference, in partnership with SUNY Dutchess Black History Committee, we ask the questions in honor of Congressman Lewis :

  • What "Good and Necessary Trouble" do we need to get into at SUNY, and in the larger world, to positively change the lives of Black students, staff and faculty in Higher Education?

  • How do we envision and actualize a SUNY that better supports the needs of Black students, faculty and staff?

  • What "waters need to be troubled" to reform academic practices, systemic norms and/or actions should be (re-)evaluated and (re-)conceptualized to build a better SUNY system moving forward to best support Black students, faculty and staff in your area of study/scholarship/advocacy?

  • How can we put such envisioned changes into action and get into "Good and Necessary Trouble" in positive and meaningful ways?

(Click Here for more information on the Conference)