"Year of Cultural Initiative"
Year of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Cultural Initiative – 2018-19
SUNY Empire State College started the "Year of Cultural Initiative" as a way to overlay a cultural theme onto academic offerings and student events/activities.
Building on SUNY and SUNY Empire's partnership with The University of the West Indies, "Year of the Caribbean" was the first theme, in 2017-18, of this initiative, which explored a topic intensively through linked courses, cultural events and celebrations, art exhibits, webinars, seminars, service learning projects, student and alumni gatherings, speakers, articles in the college magazine and other experiences.
The SUNY Empire State College Year of Cultural Initiative Steering Committee, has selected the College's second "Year of" theme focusing on the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. In 2018-19, the college will investigate The Indigenous Peoples of the Americas broadly as part of a long-term collegewide commitment to foster cultural diversity within both the institution and the greater community. This theme includes Indigenous/Native populations across the Americas, including First Nations and Communities in North, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean. Programs and activities associated with The Year of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas will take place throughout the 2018-19 academic year including the *New* Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Virtual Residency discussed below.
SAVE THE DATE: Spring 2019 Virtual Residency Keynote Lecture Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 5PM via Zoom (link TBD).
Menoukha Case, Mentor, Saratoga Springs, and Rhianna C. Rogers, Mentor, Cheektowaga, have confirmed the next keynote speaker for the spring 2019 Virtual Residency: Vera Longtoe Sheehan, Abenaki Tribe of Vermont, will discuss Tribal Traditional Governance and Sovereignty, on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 5PM via Zoom (link TBD).
Abenaki culture bearer, master artist, educator, and activist Vera Longtoe Sheehan is a museum educator at the National Museum of the American Indian and serves her community as Director of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, a multi-arts services organization. Her combined experience and education allow her to bridge the gap between the Abenaki community and the mainstream world in creating museum exhibitions, educational programs, and events that promote the vibrant culture of her people.
Her extensive research of archaeology and other primary resources relating to Abenaki textiles and clothing in Wabanaki territory informs her textile-making process. She is an MA candidate in Heritage Preservation at SUNY Empire State College, and holds an Advanced Certificate in Public History, as well as a BA in Museum Studies and Native American Studies also from SUNY Empire State College.
Spring 2019 Course Offerings and Activities highlight the Year of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas
Menoukha Robin Case, Mentor, Interdisciplinary Studies, Saratoga Springs and Rhianna C. Rogers, Mentor, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Interdisciplinary & Multidisciplinary Studies Coordinator, Cheektowaga, have announced spring 2019 course offerings and actitivies for the Year of Indigneous Peoples of the Americas
Students enrolled in the spring 2019 classes below will have access to a special "Year of" site, where they will be able to discuss ideas with students in other classes and attend or view special presentations:
- INMS-4000 or 4025 Special Topics in IMS: Endangered Languages (Menoukha Case)
- INDG-4015 Native American Women’s Studies (Menoukha Case)
- INDG-4010 Native American Plants: Decolonizing Indigenous Knowledge (Menoukha Case)
- INDG-3005 Anishinaabe Studies: History, Culture, & the Environment (Menoukha Case)
- LITR-3080 Native American Literature (Menoukha Case)
- INDG-3015 First Peoples of North America (Rhianna Rogers)
- INDG-3020 Living History: Little Bighorn from a Cheyenne Perspective (Nicole Nesberg)
Space is still available in all of the aforementioned spring 2019 courses!
The Empire State College Common Read for 2018-19
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz was selected as the Empire State College Common Read for 2018-19 and connects with the College’s Year of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Cultural Initiative
ESC Reads Co-chairs Nadine Wedderburn and Sophia Mavrogiannis announce the Empire State College Common Read for 2018-19
To request a free copy of Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, please visit: https://esc.formstack.com/forms/esc_reads_book_request_form
After two successful iterations of ESC Reads during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years featuring Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me and Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place, respectively, ESC Reads returns for another year with a new book, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States.
What exactly is ESC Reads?
ESC Reads is SUNY Empire State College's common-read initiative. The concept of a collegewide common read is not new. Colleges and universities have been hosting common read programs for decades. These programs generally aim to provide students, faculty and staff with a common intellectual experience, to encourage them to think about ‘big issues’ and connect the entire college community across disciplines and roles. In an effort to fulfill this mission, each year ESC Reads offers a limited number of free copies of the selected book for students to read.
More about the book!
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz was selected to connect with ESC’s “Year of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas” initiative. Told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples, this non-fiction book is a necessary telling of American history discussing Native American peoples’ ongoing resistance against an ever-expanding US.
- 314 pages
- Available as an audio book
- Short video featuring a brief overview of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States can be found at Dunbar-Ortiz Book Information and Short Video
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States will be presented and discussed with 8 documentaries with Indigenous/Native themes that are featured on the PBS Independent Lens website including Reel Injun.
A limited number of free books are available to students; however, books may also be purchased through online book retailers, at bookstores nationwide, or borrowed through local libraries. To request a free book fill out the ESC Reads Book Request form.
If there is a need for alternative access to print materials due to a diagnosed sensory, learning or medical disability, the College’s Office of Accessibility Resources and Services will provide you with information about requests for an alternative format.
Keep an eye out for an email from ESCReads@esc.edu for information about our next event.
Happy reading, and hope to see you at one of our upcoming events!
More information about the Year of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Cultural Initiative is available.
Announcement from Rhianna C. Rogers, Mentor, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Interdisciplinary & Multidisciplinary Studies Coordinator at SUNY Empire State College at Cheektowaga, NY
Recording of Year of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Virtual Keynote Lecture now available on LearnScape.
On November 13, 2018 at 11:30AM, Mr. Roberto Borrero gave a keynote lecture on Indigenous Knowledge and Indian Education as part of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Virtual Residency.
Mr. Roberto Mukaro Borrero is a cultural consultant, advisor, human rights advocate, writer, historian, artist, and musician. He offers particular expertise in Caribbean and other Indigenous Peoples issues. His unique perspective draws from multiple sources including his indigenous Taíno heritage, mentorship from indigenous leaders and elders from around the world, and real-time experience in the arts, as well as human rights and environmental advocacy. With over twenty years experience in the non-profit/non-governmental sector, over a decade of experience as Senior Programs Coordinator for Public Programs in the Education Department of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and as a former radio host and producer for WBAI Pacifica Radio’s “Circle of Red Nations,” Mr. Borrero maintains a diverse resource network locally, nationally, and internationally in the civil, business, and governmental sectors.
A cultural consultant and or advisor, Mr. Borrero has shared his expertise in various capacities within the United Nations system, as well as with non-profit and for-profit entities such as PBS, BBC, the Institute for American Indian Studies, El Museo de Barrio, Tribal Link Foundation, the International Indian Treaty Council, Aveda Corporation, Natural Resources Stewardship Circle, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, among others.
This keynote is part of the inaugural Year of Virtual Residency, a new modality of learning that provides a unique applied learning opportunities through virtual lectures and interactive student practical projects. “What’s really neat about this new virtual residency model is that this will be the first time where we have undergrad, grad and international education students represented in a single residency experience,” said Rogers. “Students are going to be able to see each other, engage with each other, ask each other questions, develop cross-cultural and global competencies from their joint experience and, at the same time, examine course content on top of it.” The first virtual residency will be offered in fall 2018 as part of SUNY Empire’s “Year of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas” initiative. This initial residency will feature three courses: First Peoples of North America (undergrad), Native American Art and Culture (undergrad/international education) and Introduction to Critical Pedagogy (grad).
*New* Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Virtual Residency
The virtual residency offers online courses, and in place of the on-site meeting, you will meet online on specific dates to have joint discussions and attend a virtual keynote speech by Mr. Roberto Mukaro Borrero (Taino Cacique "Chief" from Puerto Rico and UN International Indian Council member), who will speak on the state of indigenous education. This is also the first time, undergraduates, graduates and international students will come together in one collaborative virtual environment to learn about a topic.
Students may register for one of the following courses:
- First Peoples of North America (INDG 3015) Undergraduate
- Native North American History and Art (ARTS 4055) Undergraduate
- Colonization and Resistance (LACS 6996) Graduate – undergrad may register
- Introduction to Critical Pedagogy (CURI 6005) Graduate
If you have any questions about the residencies, please contact Lori McCaffrey (Lori.McCaffrey@esc.edu or 518-783-6203) or your primary mentor.
Year of the Caribbean Cultural Initiative – 2017-18
SUNY Empire State College started the "Year of Cultural Initiative" as a way to overlay a cultural theme onto our academic offerings and student events/activities.
Building on SUNY and SUNY Empire's recently formed partnership with The University of the West Indies, "Year of the Caribbean" will be the first theme of this initiative, which is designed to explore a topic intensively through linked courses, cultural events and celebrations, art exhibits, webinars, seminars, service learning projects, student and alumni gatherings, speakers, articles in the college magazine and other experiences.
During academic year 2017-18, the college will explore the topic broadly as part of our long-term collegewide commitment to foster cultural diversity within both the institution and the greater community.
To kick off this new initiative, we were proud to host Sir Hilary Beckles, vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies, as the 2017 Boyer Family Lecturer during our annual All College Conference. Sir Hilary's address exploring "Reparatory Justice and Economic Development: Critical Support for the Social Growth Paradigm in the Caribbean," was the perfect mark to the beginning of our "Year of the Caribbean" initiative.
The steering committee for the "year of" cultural initiative will meet regularly to decide on future themes. Suggestions for themes are welcome and should be forwarded to the Office of the President at President@esc.edu
The 2017-18 steering committee:
- Francesca Cichello, executive director, International Education
- Elliott Dawes, chief diversity officer for institutional equity and inclusion and Title IX coordinator
- Pat DeCoster, executive assistant to the provost
- Michael Mancini, chief of staff
- Danielle Boardman, coordinator for Student Life
- Megan Mullen, associate dean, Arts and Humanities
- Roz Rufer, associate dean, School for Graduate Studies
- Rhianna Rogers, mentor and coordinator, Interdisciplinary Studies
- Chris Whann, director, Regional Operations